Jesse Ryder and Steven Smith combined for an unbeaten 117 runs as the Pune Warriors scored an impressive seven-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
New Zealand opener Ryder (73) and Australian all-rounder Smith (44) added 66 runs for the unbroken fourth wicket to help Pune score 156-3 in 19.2 overs after defending champions Chennai had been restricted to 155-5.
Ryder steadied the ship with his 56-ball knock that included one six and seven fours, while Smith hammered three sixes and four fours in his 22-ball innings.
Ryder remained cool despite seeing two of his partners — Robin Uthappa and Sourav Ganguly — being run out.
He kept the team in the hunt with singles, twos and the occasional boundary, setting the stage for Smith, who finished the game off with a four and a six off the first two deliveries of the final over bowled by pace man Yo Mahesh.
“I wanted to bat through the innings, I wanted to continue with that idea,” Ryder said after being declared man of the match. “Steven made it easy for me to do that.”
Earlier, Chennai were boosted by the in-form Faf du Plessis, who was man of the match for his innings of 71 in the team’s previous game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, which they won off the last ball.
The South African scored 18 off the fourth over of the innings bowled by Ashish Nehra, which comprised one six and two fours. Du Plessis was stumped off the bowling of leg-spinner Rahul Sharma, but not before he had hit two sixes and five fours off 33 balls.
After steady knocks by captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (26) and Suresh Raina (20), all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja made a well-paced 44 off 26 balls with two sixes and four fours.
The game featured the added attraction of being led by two of India’s recent captains — Chennai’s Dhoni and Pune’s Sourav Ganguly.
This was the third win in four games for Pune, while Chennai have two wins and three losses from five games.