Pune Warriors plays First Game in IPL          
 
Nobody believed when cricketing pundits and writers extolled Pune as the team to be beaten !

Yesterday, the strength of Pune was in full view. Her bowlers restricted hapless Punjab to 111 and the match was over !

Their pace bowlers Parnell, Wagh and Thomas bowled superbly and Punjab were 40 odd for six.

Earlier Shastri opined that the New Bombay track is more or less a green top and it was a good toss to lose !

So Yuvraj was lucky to lose it ! The pitch aided the swing bowlers and it was a procession of batsmen to the paviliion !

Gilchrist swung at a ball from Thomas and was caught behind. Shaun Marsh was out to Wagh. Abhishek Nayar, Valthaty and Dinesh Karthik followed. Only Ryan McLaren played brilliantly and was 51 not out. Had it not been for him, Punjab would have been bowled out for less than 100 !

Even though P Kumar accounted for Smith for a blob, 111 was not a defendable total. Jesse Ryder was out to McLaren for 17 . Then Manhas (35 ), Yuvraj ( 21 not out ) and Uthappa ( 22 not out ) took the Warriors home !

Yuvraj was all praise for the Pune bowlers.

"Nice to get a first win. Our bowlers picked up early wickets and set the momentum. It was a good toss to lose and we bowled wicket to wicket according to our plans. Happy that we got the results," India's formidable all rounder said.

"First two years when I was captain of Kings, I took too much pressure and got distracted on the field.'

He also extolled Mithun Manhas.

"Mithun, I always back him, unfortunate that he has not played for India, but he did well for us on Sunday," said the Indian all rounder, who became the first player to take 15 wickets and score more than 300 runs in the World Cup.

On the contrary, Gilchrist was disappointed.

"Poor all-round performance and it all started with my dismissal in the first over," he said.

He praised McLaren for his brilliant fifty.

"Ryan McLaren and Chawla had a good partnership. McLaren was outstanding. If we had them five down for 70-odd, who knows. We didn't step up at all today but long tournament to go."

Srikant Wagh, Man of the Match, said that he felt the immense pressure of the IPL match.

"I have been working hard but I was a bit nervous. DY Patil is good place to bowl on. There is good bounce in the wicket, Alfonso and Parnell, we bowled as a unit," he said.



The formidable Slinga Malinga did it again ! A matchwinner. Figures 5/13 !

He bowled the MI to victory in a blistering spell. He clean bowled Warner with an inswining yorker and then clean bowled Chand for a blob. When Sehwag was run out for 19, Delhi's fate was sealed. Delhi 27/3.

Earlier Bajji opened the bowling. Sehwag got two runs and then lofted the next ball into the crowds for six. Unfortunately Sehwag was run out.

Then the formidable slinger cleaned up Delhi. V Rao, Morkel and Dinda fell to Slinga and Delhi could only score 95 !

Sachin was at his best and scored 46 not out. Morne Morkel did take an early wicket, that of Jacobs and Rayudu was run out for 14. Those two successes were the only successes Delhi got. R Sharma asserted himself and was 27 not out.

IPL gives great opportunities to young stars. All India is waiting to see the fastest bowler in India - Varun Aaron who clocked 153 kph - play for Delhi. The selectors have taken note of him and they should groom him into India's main strike bowler ! He needs experience and encouragement. Steven Smith, O Keefe, Michael Klinger, Davy Jacobs, Warner, Hastings etc also can bask under the limelight with good performances. Remember that Shane Watson was a discard till IPL found him and he is now Australia's trump card !

IPL gives opportunities to discards - like Rohit Sharma, Irfan Pathan, Piyush Chawla, Amit Mishra, Prajnan Ojha etc. They can prove their calibre with sterling performances.

Sachin praised Malinga, who generated genuine pace and got wickets with his fast, inswinging yorkers.

"Malinga started so well and after that the wickets kept coming." said the batting legend.

"It was a spectacular bowling display by him and the fielding was very good as well."

Admitting that adjusting to the Delhi track was tough, Sachin said

Before the toss, we thought 135-140 on this wicket was a good score. But the batsmen especially Rohit (Sharma) played well. He is a gifted player today we saw how he played shots on a difficult track."

Mumbai Indians next face Royal Challengers Bangalore in an away match on Tuesday.




The formidable Slinga Malinga can be proud of a unique feat, apart from his five for 13. That is bowling a maiden over to the most destructive batsman in world cricket , Sehwag.

Sehwag admitted that he had played a maiden over after ten long years ! 

"Yes, I think after 10 years I played a maiden today. It was a plan. We lost two wickets so I thought let me play Malinga because others may not be able to pick him. We have 10 debutants in Delhi squad and it will take a little time for us to come together." said the formidable Indian opener.

It was unfortunate that his side, DDD, crashed to an eight wicket defeat to MI, spearheaded by the outstanding slinger. 

DD were 40 runs short and their inexperience did them in. "A 140-150 is a good total here, but everything went Mumbai's way."

Sehwag was bullish about their excellent fielding and bowling and hope to improve in the coming matches.

"We have a good bowling unit and fielding. I am the only one who have played in the last three IPL. I am sure we will come good in the coming matches." India's dashing opener said.

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