Four accurate and intelligent overs from medium-pacers Alfonso Thomas (2-27) and Shrikant Wagh (3-16; his best figures in T20), and a few moments of madness allowed IPL debutants Pune Warriors to rip through the Kings XI Punjab batting line-up and dismiss them for below par 112-8 at the DY Patil stadium on Sunday.
Warriors skipper Yuvraj Singh (21 not out) and Robin Uthappa (22 not out) added match-winning unbeaten 45-run for the fourth wicket to help the debutantes register an easy win.
It proved a cakewalk for Pune as they reached the target in 13.1 overs for the loss of three wickets.
Robin Uthappa (22; 14b, 1×4, 2x6s) and Yuvraj Singh (21; 15b, 2x4s, 1×6) capitalised on their lifelines to guide Pune to a resounding win.
Uthappa was dropped by Nathan Rimmington when he was on 2, while Yuraj was dropped at first slip by Piyush Chawla. The duo made the most of it to snuff the life out of the Kings XI challenge. Mithun Manhas (35) and Jesse Ryder (31 off 17, 6x4s) had set the tone for a successful chase. Skipper Yuvraj fittingly scored the winning runs.
Kings XI skipper Adam Gilchrist had said at the toss that he had played a few games here and knew the pitch well. But the former Australian wicketkeeper clearly seemed to have misread the pitch. Gilchrist (1) went for the pull to a delivery from Warriors’ South African import Thomas but could only manage to get some bat on it through to the ‘keeper Robin Uthappa who held the snorter.
The other Kings XI opener, Shaun Marsh (1), followed suit in the next over. Marsh flicked a full length delivery from Vidarbha left-arm pacer Shrikant Wagh, right to Rahul Sharma at short fine-leg, who lapped it up in a flash.
With the openers out of the equation, a little restraint and patience from the new batsman Paul Valthaty (6; 1×4) would have him and his side a long way in the innings. But the 27-year-old played a shot that never was off Thomas for a simple catch to Jesse Ryder at point.