Manish Pandey's 66 from 47 balls
Manish Pandey's 66 from 47 balls helped Pune beat defending champions Kolkata by seven runs on Wednesday and oust them from the tournament.
Pune were off to a solid start as openers Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa scored briskly. But Uthappa fell in the sixth over to Sachithra Senanayake for 25. Uthappa's departure brought Pandey to the crease and he combined with Finch to rebuild the innings.
The pair played cautiously at the start and rotated the strike as Kolkata's bowlers held a tight line. Pune went three overs without a boundary. Finally, Finch cut loose and clobbered Jacques Kallis for two sixes in the tenth over. The eleventh by Rajat Bhatia was no different as both Finch and Pandey dispatched the medium-pacer for a six each.
Finch's departure in the 13th over was a setback and prompted Pandey to go into his shell. But he switched gears in the 14th over and sent Kallis packing for three-consecutive fours. Pandey and Yuvraj Singh continued to raise the tempo and Pandey hit L Balaji for two fours in the 18th.
The last over of the innings had more fireworks as Pandey struck Kallis for two fours before falling off the third ball of the over. The late onslaught helped Pune post a formidable 170 in their 20 overs.
Kolkata looked good in the chase and needed 49 from 30 balls with seven wickets in hand but the chase went pear-shaped as they lost four wickets in the last five overs.
"After nine losses we went through a tough time but we did really well today," Pandey said. "We tried our best in the tournament but couldn't do as-well as expected but in the last few games of the tournament we did really well. So it's a good thing."
Pune's captain Finch said his side will focus on knocking other team's out of the tournament now. "We've played some good cricket throughout but haven't been able to get over the line," Finch said. "When you get to this stage when you don't have a final-spot to play for we're happy to knock other teams out of the tournament."
David Miller - 44 from 24 balls
David Miller smashed a quickfire 44 from 24 balls to help Punjab beat Delhi by a slender seven-run margin on Thursday to register their seventh win of the tournament.
Punjab's openers Adam Gilchrist and Shaun Marsh cashed in on some wayward bowling early on and hit six boundaries in the first four overs. Gilchrist switched gears further in the sixth over which was bowled by Ashish Nehra. He struck the left-armer for two sixes and a four. The 60-run opening stand was broken two overs later as Gilchrist fell.
Punjab were in a spot of bother when they lost inform allrounder Azhar Mahmood for nine in the 12 over. His departure brought David Miller to the crease. Miller played cautiously for the first three overs but broke loose thereafter. He hit Umesh Yadav for a huge six in the 16th over and then smacked Siddarth Kaul for two sixes and a four in the 18th.
Miller and his partner R Satish took Yadav for 17 runs in the 19th over, hitting two fours and a six. Miller ended the innings with a boundary that helped them post 171.
Delhi's batsmen, who've struggled throughout the tournament, failed to make an impact yet again. They lost wickets regularly and eventually fell seven runs short of the target.
"I did start slowly as the pitch was slow. Just wanted to get myself in and then start from there. I enjoyed playing straight and it felt good today," Miller said.
Punjab's captain Gilchrist lauded Miller for his contribution. "It was a beauty of a wicket and our team suited the conditions here. David is outstanding and has really come-off age in this tournament. South Africa knows his value and now the world knows his value."
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