Dada never lets you down. He ridiculed the strong Mumbai Indians line-up that day and today he led the Pune Warriors to its second victory in as many games. After competing home matches in Navi Mumbai last year, the Pune based outfit finally got their home stadium when the new Sahara stadium was inaugurated amidst Bollywood blitz. The eventful 81 run partnership between Uthappa and Marlon Samuels, late hitting by Steven Smith proved too much for the visitors to chase.
Winning the crucial toss Dada elected to bat first stating batting second would be difficult. The winning eleven was not retained as Nehra and Ryder were given a chance. It was Dada again who opened the batting but with a different partner this time. The full packed stadium, dressed in blue was puffed up as Dada walked in with Ryder. Dada flicked one off his pads before edging one towards the fine leg boundary. The lady luck was smiling again as another inside edge went past the keeper for a boundary off Faulkner. Dada who rotated the strike well for the next two overs mistimed a shot to Paul Valthaty at mid-off. Jesse Ryder who never looked his old self followed Dada soon running himself out. It was once again Dada’s master stroke sending Marlon Samuels early.
Samuels justified his early entry with a well-made 39 ball 46, clearing long off and long on off Bipul Sharma and Piyush Chawla respectively. However, Samuels missed a Harmeet Singh straight delivery onto the stumps, missing out his maiden fifty. Uthappa, similar to the last match against Mumbai played the anchor role for the home team. He showed his might bumping a one handed six towards the long off. It was again Harmeet Singh who dismissed well settled Uthappa, this time with a leg cutter. The 81 run partnership between the two had already set up a launch pad for the rest. When Harmeet Singh sent back Ferguson in his third over he had his team back in level with the home team. Harmeet yet again proved to be the catalyst in his fourth over, but favoured the warriors this time removing himself out of the attack bowling two high full-tosses. Three cleared the rope in the next four balls bowled by Bipul Sharma. Pandey plundered one to midwicket and Steven Smith, man of the match against Mumbai Indians continued his form clearing the rope twice. The best shot of the day came next over with Smith whipping the ball off his pad, hitting towards square leg. Faulkner came back in two balls sending Smith to pavilion but Pune, by that time had enough runs on the board to defend.
The Pune bowling attack, one of the best in IPL-5 never allowed to settle the visiting team as they fell short of 22 runs. Dinda and Samuels who bowled the first spell never gave width and tested the batsmen with their tight line. As a result the batsmen were forced to search their runs. The pressure yielded two run outs in two overs as Punjab Kings XI struggled losing both the openers. The next four overs bowled by four different bowlers produced just 21 runs as the away team was in a spot of bother. Mandeep Singh edged one to keeper after an eventful Murali Kartik over and Nayar soon found Dada at midwicket. The chase was much as over when David Hussey was bowled by Rahul Sharma, who lived up-to, his reputation of removing dynamite hitters. The late hitting were just a consolation for the away fans.