When another disastrous campaign winds up for Pune Warriors, the win over Chennai Super Kings at their fortress Chepauk is likely to remain the only bright spot.
Though they also defeated Rajasthan Royals at their backyard, two victories in 13 matches so far has repeatedly plunged their fans and owners into gloom.
On Thursday, the 46-run thrashing they received at the hands of KKR was their 11th defeat in the current edition of the domestic T20 league, the eighth in a row and fourth at home. And once again, Pune proved right their critics, who feel they have developed the bad habit of losing a match from a winning position.
Kolkata were under tremendous pressure coming into the game. And Pune did control the game till the 16th over, only for the bowlers to throw away the advantage. They allowed the Kolkata batsmen to plunder 53 runs in the last four overs and the late surge propelled KKR to 152 for six. Pune were bundled out for 106 in 19.3 overs.
KKR skipper Gautam Gambhir top-scored with 50 off 44 deliveries to be named the Man-of-the-Match as the team clinched their first away win.
As if the flop show by their bowlers in the death overs was not enough, the batsmen too came up with a pathetic show. For the Warriors to overhaul the target, it was imperative for Aaron Finch and in-form Robin Uthappa to lay a good foundation for the following batsmen.
However, the Aussie failed to maintain his good form and was castled by Jacques Kallis early. The Warriors never looked comfortable after their skipper departed and kept losing wickets at regular intervals to make it easy for KKR in the end.
The only bright spot was provided by Jammu and Kashmir off-spinner Parvez Rasool, who made an impressive debut in the tournament with a brilliant spell while Bhuvneshwar Kumar claimed three wickets to continue his steady performances.