Pune Warriors 166-6 (Marlon Samuels 46, Robin Uthappa 40, Harmeet Singh 3-24) beat Kings XI Punjab 144-8 (Bipul Sharma 35, Mandeep Singh 24, Rahul Sharma 2-34) by 22 runs.
A combined team effort by the Pune Warriors led by Marlon Samuels on the top order won them the important match against the Kings XI Punjab in the IPL 2012.
Pune Warriors smashed 166 runs for the loss of six wickets in the metered 20 overs and restricted Kings XI Punjab on 144 with two wickets to spare when the required quota of overs came to an end.
Marlon Samuels (Pune Warriors) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his all round performance as he demonstrated a responsible innings of 46 off 39 balls and claimed one wicket.
The 8th match of the Indian Premier League was played at Subrata Roy Stadium, Pune, on April 8, 2012. The Pune Warriors got the home support right from the moment their Captain, Sourav Ganguly won the toss until the match finished in their favour.
Ganguly initiated the innings with Jesse Ryder and the skipper opened up right from the first over when after scoring 9 runs with two boundaries followed by the one on the first ball of the next over. Ganguly was flying high at 20 off 18 balls with three fours when he lost his wicket as the score board showed 28 runs on board. Ryder went back after the addition of four runs in the total at his personal score of 8 when Marlon Samuels and Robin Uthappa took over the game.
The duo crafted the innings as Samuels became more aggressive off the two but got a life at 18 when he was dropped at short cover on the first ball of the 10th over. He capitalised on the chance with positive batting and the duo gathered 13 runs in the next over. The ball visited the boundaries very often and they contributed 81 match winning partnership runs for the third wicket.
Samuels became the next victim at that point when he was clean bowled by Harmeet Singh on the last ball of the 15th over for 46 from 39 balls with the help of 2 powerful sixes and 4 fours. Uthappa was the fifth batsman who went back to the pavilion for 40 off 33 deliveries with two sixes and even fours as the score reached at 132 in 18.2 overs. A late onslaught from Steven Smith and Manish Pandey escalated the total to 166 when the last ball of the 20th over was bowled.
Harmeet Singh was the most successful bowler with three wickets whereas James Faulkner and Dimitri Mascarenhas claimed one wicket each.
Kings XI Punjab lost their openers at just nine runs in 3.2 overs and things looked gloomy for them as Mandeep Singh and Abhishek Nayar tried to stabilise the innings. They kept on enhancing the score as Mandeep earned 12 runs in the ninth over with two boundaries but lost his wicket on the fourth ball of the 10th over. He was caught behind by the wicketkeeper Robin Uthappa off Jesse Ryder for 24 off 23 balls with 3 fours.
Nayar added 10 runs in the 12th over which composed two fours but was caught by Ganguly at midwicket off Ashish Nehra for 24 from 28 balls with two fours. The Pune Warriors bowlers took over from there and the wickets started tumbling at regular intervals and Kings XI Punjab was reeling at 99-6 in 15.1 overs.
Bipul Sharma resisted in the lower order as little assistance was provided to him at the other end. He remained unbeaten by hammering 35 runs off just 18 balls with 2 well timed sixes and 3 fours as his team managed 144 runs for the loss of 8 wickets at the end of the 20th over.
Rahul Sharma was the top wicket taker with two whereas Ashok Dinda, Marlon Samuels, Ashish Nehra and Jesse Ryder claimed one wicket each.
Pune Warriors beat Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs and that was their second consecutive victory in the tournament. They are going head to head with Rajasthan Royals with four points each and the Kings XI Punjab has yet to win a match.
Underdogs are now favourite for the top spot. Pune Warriors are showing good team work and dedication.