Warriors take KKR down with them
Pune Warriors 170 for 4 (Pandey 66, Finch 48) beat Kolkata Knight Riders 163 for 7 (Yusuf 72, ten Doeschate 42) by 7 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Yusuf Pathan ended his three-year IPL fifty drought, but the day was meant for the end of another barren spell. Pune Warriors won their first match since April 15, which knocked Kolkata Knight Riders out of the tournament. This was their third win in 24 matches, which gave them hope of avoiding the bottom of the table for a second year running.
For a majority of the contest, the match seemed going down the familiar Warriors script. A good start from Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa, a slowdown after they fall, a middling finish, then a good start with the ball, then a recovery from the opposition, and then Warriors break down. Tonight, though, it was Yusuf, who seemed to have committed the crucial error, getting out obstructing the field when his 72 off 44 had brought his side to needing 23 off 14 balls. It wasn't a clear-cut decision.
Parnell, who had started well with two wickets in his first spell, was going through a torrid comeback over - 14 off four balls - when he bowled a yorker. The ball was on the pitch but Yusuf took off for the single. Parnell closed in on him while going for the ball, which was also in Yusuf's path.
Parnell stuck his hands out as he approached Yusuf, who slowed down, possibly because of the contact. Yusuf ended up kicking the ball with the face of his foot open, like footballers do. The umpires, with the help of replays, deemed Yusuf had done so deliberately, and ruled him out.
Presumably the umpires also deemed that Parnell didn't deliberately block Yusuf's path by raising his hands. Had they seen it as deliberate obstruction by Parnell, they would have called the ball dead and awarded the batting side five runs. Repeated replays showed neither was Parnell looking at Yusuf when he ran into him nor did Yusuf seem to be looking at the ball when he kicked it.
Yusuf was livid at being given out, and he watched the rest of the match from the stairway to the dressing room, punching the railing at one point. The railing was sturdier than Knight Riders' lower order, who managed only 15 further runs. This was the kind of finish you could have attributed to Warriors in the normal course, but this time they managed to come back every time they slipped.
When Finch fell for 48 off 32, Warriors were 97 for 2 in the 13th over, and the expected slowdown began. Yuvraj Singh struggled against spin, and the next nine balls produced only two runs. Manish Pandey, though, put paid to that, hitting three consecutive fours off Jacques Kallis. Despite later stumbles, Warriors managed 72 off the last six overs.
Parnell put them further ahead with full swinging deliveries to Manvinder Bisla and Kallis. Gautam Gambhir fell early too. Yusuf and Ryan ten Doeschate, though, added 98 for the fourth wicket to take Knight Riders close. Then came Yusuf's first mistake of the night when he refused to respond to ten Doeschate's call for a single to short fine leg.
That single was fair game for the final overs of limited-overs games, but Yusuf was now left needing to make amends. He nearly did make amends by rearranging Parnell's figures, but he was adjudicated to have made the final mistake of the night.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo