Delhi outdo Yuvraj's all-round show
Delhi Daredevils 190 for 7 (Warner 46, Yuvraj 4-29) beat Pune Warriors 187 for 5 (Ryder 60, Yuvraj 66*) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Delhi Daredevils used the depth of their revamped batting order to complete a thrilling chase at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, securing their maiden victory after two losses, and handing Pune Warriors their first defeat in the 2011 IPL. Delhi's team effort upstaged a terrific all-round performance from Yuvraj Singh, whose half-century had powered Pune to 187 before his four-wicket haul was the difference between Delhi winning at a canter and having to sweat until the final over.
Teams have had trouble defending targets in excess of 180 in this tournament but Pune were on course to do so, with Delhi needing 41 runs off the last three overs with five wickets in hand. Yuvraj had tripped his opponents' progress by dismissing Irfan Pathan and Naman Ojha off successive deliveries in the 13th over. Delhi, however, had kept a couple of their power-hitters back and Aaron Finch and Venugopal Rao matched the demanding asking-rate.
The over that won the game for Delhi was the 18th, bowled by Shrikant Wagh, off which they scored 20, slashing the equation to 21 needed off 12. Finch, batting at No. 7, broke the game open with two huge strikes over the long-on boundary.
There was another twist, though, as Yuvraj bowled the 19th and had Finch caught and bowled with his first ball and dismissed Venugopal with his last. Between Finch's dismissal and his, however, Venugopal had clattered Yuvraj over long-on and to fine leg.
That left Delhi with only 8 to get off the final over, which Yuvraj gave to Jesse Ryder ahead of his seamers, who had gone for plenty. James Hopes, having faced only two balls in the IPL, crashed his third cleanly over Ryder's head for six, and carved the next through backward point to spark off celebrations in the Delhi dug out.
Such a tense finish was a remote possibility when David Warner and Virender Sehwag were batting, and for the first time in the tournament showcased just how explosive an opening combination they can be. Warner was all muscle, bludgeoning the ball down the ground and square of the wicket. He was particularly severe on the South African pair, taking three boundaries off one Wayne Parnell over and hitting Alfonso Thomas for four, six and six off consecutive deliveries. At the end of the Powerplay, Delhi had scored 67, four more than Pune had.
Warner was eventually run out for 46 and Sehwag, after scoring 37 off 23, had his middle stump knocked back in the 10th over. Pune had finally got through Delhi's powerful top order but they failed to break the lower-middle.
The difference between the two sides was the number of batsmen that pulled weight: four for Delhi while only Ryder and Yuvraj for Pune. The free-spirited Ryder struck the tournament's second-fastest fifty, off 24 balls, laying into mediocre bowling from Venugopal, Pathan and Umesh Yadav. He swung hard, aiming straight or over midwicket, and made powerful contact several times.
Delhi began to pull Pune back after Ryder's dismissal with Hopes bowling tight overs and dismissing the dangerous Robin Uthappa cheaply. Only one wicket stood between Delhi and keeping Pune to a merely competitive total, but they failed to take it.
Yuvraj got into his stride with a sweep and a six on the leg-side off Shahbaz Nadeem, and he punished Pathan by slamming him over long-off, but it wasn't until the final over that he really hurt Delhi. After taking two off Ashok Dinda's second ball and top-edging the third over the wicketkeeper for four, Yuvraj sent the last three flying into the crowds at midwicket and long-on with powerful swings off the front foot. Pune plundered 26 runs off the 20th, but ultimately that didn't cost Delhi the game.
George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo