Pune end Knight Riders´ play-off hopes
Pune Warriors took only their third win of the Indian Premier League campaign as they edged to a seven-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders.
The Warriors performed well with both bat and ball to take the shock victory on Wednesday and end the Knight Riders' hopes of qualifying for the end-of-season play-offs.
Pune started well after being put into bat, Robin Uthappa and Aaron Finch opening the innings with a partnership of 41 before Uthappa edged onto the stumps from the bowling of Sachithra Senanayake.
Senanayake almost trapped new batsman Manish Pandey lbw with the very next ball, however his appeal was waved away.
It proved to be a pivotal moment, with Pandey and Finch upping the run rate in the next seven overs as they put on a stand of 56, Finch finally falling for 48 after being deceived by a slower ball from Lakshmipathy Balaji.
That would not slow Pandey down, however, as he continued to act as the Warriors' talisman, scoring 42 runs in an impressive third-wicket partnership of 65 with Yuvraj Singh - who was dropped by Manvinder Bisla off the bowling of Sunil Narine at the end of the 17th over - before being run out by Bisla with three balls remaining.
Jacques Kallis struck with the final ball of the innings to account for Yuvraj after the India international had added another eight runs, but the struggling Warriors would undoubtedly have been satisfied after posting a relatively impressive total of 170-4.
The Warriors' morale will have been boosted further as South African paceman Wayne Parnell collected the scalps of Bisla and compatriot Kallis, and when Ishwar Pandey struck to account for Gautam Gambhir the visitors had the Knight Riders on the rack at 29-3.
However the Pune attack found Yusuf Pathan a much more difficult obstacle to overcome, as he advanced the hosts' total score significantly, combining with Ryan ten Doeschate in a stand of 98 to reinvigorate their innings.
The revival would not last too long, though, with Ten Doeschate's run-out by Ali Murtaza sparking an alarming slide. Manoj Tiwary fell for just two balls later, as he heaved the ball to Manish Pandey after swinging wildly at a delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, but that was just a prelude to the most controversial incident of the match, with Pathan finding himself sent to the dugout in unusual fashion.
On 72, with 13 balls remaining Pathan ambitiously called for a quick single, a request which was not heeded by non-striker Debabrata Das, forcing Pathan to obstruct bowler Wayne Parnell from executing a run-out by kicking the ball out of his reach.
Pathan's actions left the third umpire Vineet Kulkarni little option but to dismiss the Knight Riders' top scorer, reducing them to 148-6, effectively ending their hopes with Das and Bhatia failing to revitalise the innings, the latter eventually run out as they slumped to 163-7 and elimination from the tournament.