Pune consign Delhi to last place
Pune Warriors 172 for 5 (Finch 52, Wright 44, Kaul 2-27) beat Delhi Daredevils 134 for 9 (Gautam 30, Mathews 3-14, Murtaza 3-15) by 38 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
Amid the bad news in the IPL, and with the knowledge that this afternoon's game was as dead as it could get in this tournament in the battle of the bottom-placed sides, a healthy crowd made its way to the Sahara Stadium in Pune, a considerable distance from the main city. It was worth it, as they saw their team beat Delhi Daredevils comfortably, consigning the visitors to the last place in the IPL points table and marking an ignominious end to a journey that began with Unmukt Chand's off stump being knocked out of its place in the tournament opener.
Aaron Finch, Angelo Mathews, and Luke Wright played a critical role with the bat to set a tough target on a slowish pitch, and Ali Murtaza, who had been scarred by Chris Gayle during his assault of 175, picked up three wickets in the chase to put the task beyond Daredevils. Robin Uthappa and Finch have shared a productive opening stand this IPL, and Uthappa began Warriors' charge with some lovely drives through the off side before his stay ended with the score on 38. Finch then took over, opening up in the ninth over bowled by Umesh Yadav, who was in for an expensive spell.
Umesh struggled with his length, serving up one in the slot that Finch dispatched over long-on, a short one that was pulled over midwicket, before doling out a full toss that was slammed through extra cover in an over that went for 17. Irfan Pathan was flicked through square leg for 12 runs in an over, but Daredevils found their way back with the wickets of Finch and Yuvraj Singh to leave Warriors at 97 for 4 in 14 overs.
Wright has had a quiet tournament with the bat, while Mathews has had a consistent run, and both stepped up at the death. Some of their shots were a result of luck - a top-edge for six, an inside edge for four - but both also middled the ball well, tearing in to Yadav in the penultimate over, both smacking him for sixes to snatch 24. Length balls were not spared, and Wright was especially adept at playing the pull and clipping the ball past square leg. The last five overs yielded 65, and it proved decisive.
In the chase David Warner's poor form continued, but Mahela Jayawardene and Bharat Chipli, who replaced Chand, appeared to be putting Daredevils on track. The pair added 23 in quick time, but Daredevils' slide began when Murtaza was brought on to bowl in the fifth over. He was unlucky not to get Jayawardene stumped, but dismissed him next ball as he spooned a catch to point. Virender Sehwag struck a couple of attractive boundaries, but holed out against Murtaza, who also trapped Chipli in front next ball to leave Delhi at 55 for 4. Ben Rohrer dragged one back on from Ashok Dinda and Irfan was left with too much to get with the lower order.
Warriors have slipped up badly in the last few overs with the ball, but a half-century stand between Irfan and CM Gautam didn't unsettle them. A double-strike from Mathews in one over all but sealed the game for Warriors, who may have won today but, bought for US$370 million, have had three forgettable seasons on the trot.
Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo