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No more Pande(y)monium

india Updated: Apr 27, 2012 01:19 IST
Amol Karhadkar
Virender Sehwag. Manish Pandey

He may not have played robust shots like Virender Sehwag, but it was a delight to watch Manish Pandey, the first Indian to score a century in the Indian Premier League, make a 56-ball 80 for the Pune Warriors India against Delhi Daredevils on Tuesday.

Even though the knock didn't result in a victory for his team, Pandey finally announced his arrival with the bat for the Warriors.

After his sensational century for the Royal Challengers Bangalore in Centurion almost three years ago, the stylish Karnataka batsman had emerged as hot property in domestic cricket.

And once he followed up the dream start in the IPL with an outstanding domestic season, he was chased by every other team ahead of IPL IV.

Raging row
But Pandey was caught in a controversy after he was accused by the RCB of reverse-bargaining. Though he was eventually allowed to be signed by the Warriors in the last season, he was banned for the first four games.

He did feature in the remaining 10 games and even scored a valiant 59 against Mumbai Indians, but he appeared to be carrying the baggage of the controversy.

But on Tuesday, the moment he sent Delhi's pace spearhead Morne Morkel over the long-off fence early in his innings, the 22-year-old appeared to have broken the shackles.

After taking on the best bowler of the tournament, Pandey would be looking to make his mark against the best pace bowler in the world when the Warriors face-off against the winless Deccan Chargers on Thursday.

He had registered an unbeaten 73-ball 114 against the Chargers in IPL II, but none of the 11 members, who were at the receiving end of Pandey's onslaught at the SuperSport Park, are associated with the Hyderabad team anymore.

While the Steyn gun will be pointed at the Warriors' batsmen, the Chargers, having got their first point in Tuesday's rain-abandoned match against the Kolkata Knight Riders, will finally hope to get their act together.