Delhi Daredevils won the 'Battle of Minnows' as they defeated Pune Warriors by 15 runs in the Twenty 20 League at the Shaheed Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium in Raipur on Sunday.
Needing 165 to win, Warriors could manage only 149 for four despite a 76-run opening stand
between Aaron Finch (37) and Robin Uthappa (37) at the newly built swanky Shahid Veer Narayan Singh International Stadium.
This was Daredevils' second win in nine matches and they climbed a place higher from their usual last spot to be placed eighth in the nine-team table. The win also technically kept them in the hunt for a place in the knock-outs.
The Warriors, who have had an equally disastrous campaign, now languish at the bottom after their seventh defeat.
Umesh Yadav bowled a brilliant 18th over in which he dismissed Yuvraj Singh (31) and Luke Wright (19), giving away just two runs. The over turned out to be the 'Game-Changer' as Warriors lost out despite two half-century partnerships.
Finch and Uthappa matched each other stroke for stroke as the Daredevils pace quartet of Irfan Pathan, Umesh Yadav, Ashish Nehra and Morne Morkel provided with at least one 'boundary-ball' per over.
Not only did the two burly openers hit a flurry of fours but shoddy fielding helped them to take the ones and twos liberally.
The 50 came off 6.3 overs without much difficulty. The sense of purpose seemed to be lacking in Delhi bowlers as none of them bowled well enough to get a breakthrough.
If Umesh drifted on the pads, Pathan lack of pace became his undoing. Similarly, for Morkel, the batsmen used his extra pace while Nehra gave too much width.
At the halfway stage, Warriors had knocked off 75 runs before Pathan provided with twin strikes in the 11th over.
The first one was more of a fielder's wicket as Pathan bowled a poor delivery on Uthappa's pads and the Coorgi flicked it only to find Unmukt Chand taking a fine catch at deep backward square leg. Uthappa scored 37 off 33 balls with four boundaries.