Pune Warriors snapped their nine-match losing streak and knocked Kolkata Knight Riders out of the Indian Premier League with a thrilling seven-run win, here on Wednesday.
Manish Pandey (66), skipper Aaron Finch (48) and Yuvraj Singh (30) guided Pune to a competitive 170/4 after being asked to bat.
Yusuf Pathan (72) cracked his first IPL half-century in three years and almost steered KKR home with splendid hitting but he got out in a bizarre fashion towards the end of the chase as he became the first batsman in IPL history to be given out for obstructing the field.
After managing to negotiate a yorker from Wayne Parnell, Pathan attempted a single. As Pathan ran, the bowler too tried to get close to the ball but Pathan pushed the ball with his foot, causing obstruction in the field.
The matter was refereed to third umpire and he was declared out. His dismissal in the 18th over was the turning point of the game as KKR did not have the batsmen to score the required 23 runs from 13 balls after that.
Pune restricted Kolkata to 163 for seven to complete their third win from 15 matches.
KKR’s chase was far from ideal as they lost the top three batsmen, including skipper Gautam Gambhir, inside five overs to be struggling at 30 for three.
Parnell trapped Manvinder Bisla (1) in the second over and then castled Jacques Kallis (1) in his next over.
Ishwar Pandey saw the back of the rival skipper when Gambhir ballooned one up high in the air while attempting a big shot and the top edge landed in the hands of Yuvraj Singh.
Pathan and Ryan Ten Doeschate (42 off 30) repaired the innings with a 98-run stand for the fourth wicket that put them on the way to win.
However, Pune struck twice in four balls to bring themselves back in the match. Doeschate’s run out ended his partnership with Yusuf and at that time KKR needed 44 off the last four overs.
From 30 for three in five overs, Pathan brought his side so close to the win but his strange dismissal nullified all the good work he did with the bat.
Earlier, Pandey, who has been struggling for form this season, faced 47 balls in his knock while Yuvraj took 20 balls for his 30 to help Pune raise a challenging total.
The duo shared a 65 runs for the third wicket in 40 balls. Pandey hit eight fours and a six before being run out in the final over. Yuvraj too was dismissed on the last ball after hitting three big sixes in his knock.
Pune got off to a steady start with openers Finch and Uthappa looking in good touch.
Uthappa hit Lakshmipathy Balaji for two sixes in the third over to complete his 400 runs in this edition of the IPL.
However, Uthappa’s innings did not last long as he was dismissed by Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for 25 off 21 deliveries. The duo put on a 41-run opening stand.
Finch, who shared 56 runs with Pandey for the second wicket, started to attack after nine overs when he hit Kallis for two consecutive sixes. Pune were 57 for one at that time.
Just when Finch seemed to have settled down to set up a platform for a big total, Balaji removed him for the individual score of 48 in 32 balls. His knock was laced with two fours and three sixes. Yuvraj looked sluggish at the start as he took six balls to get off the mark while Pandey was the aggressor.
For Knight Riders, Balaji, Senanayake and Kallis picked up a wicket each.