Pune thrash Punjab, cruise into playoffs
Rising Pune Supergiant cemented their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) playoffs on Sunday after thrashing Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
After a fantastic performance from their bowlers, which saw Punjab bundled out for just 73 runs, it was a simple task for Pune, who are now second in the IPL standings.
Punjab's director of cricket operations Virender Sehwag was scathing in his review after the match, questioning the approach of the foreign players and even going on to name the failures.
"I'm very disappointed," Sehwag said. "I can say that none of the foreign players took responsibility and at least played 12 to 15 overs. I think they were complaining that the wicket was a bit slow but when you play international cricket so much, you should get used to playing on difficult or good wickets. But Maxwell, Shaun Marsh, Guptill and Morgan [were all disappointing]. Maxwell didn't take the responsibility as a captain and didn't perform for Kings XI Punjab."
The only foreigner that Sehwag praised, lavishly at that, was South African batsman Hashim Amla.
"We missed Hashim Amla. The kind of consistency he showed, none of the other players could do that, an individual couldn't take responsibility. He is an experienced player and has played more than 100 Test matches and averages close to 50 in Test cricket and also one-day cricket. He knows how to score runs immaterial of the format."
In the day's second match, the Royal Challengers Bangalore won their first match in their eight outings, defeating Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs.
Virat Kohli and Chris Gayle both finally showed up to the party, albeit still not in top gear. The Indian captain scored a 45-ball 58 while the West Indies firebrand hit a 38-ball 48.
The duo came together with the score at 30 when opener Vishnu Vinod was bowled for three, and the partnership ended when Gayle fell with the score at 96 after 13.1 overs.
Some late pinch-hitting took Bangalore to 161, a target the Daredevils fell short of. Rishab Pant top-scored for the losing side with a 34-ball 45 and Shreyas Iyer chipped in with 32. Pawan Negi and Harshal Patel took three wickets each.