Pune Warriors ended their nine-match losing streak and in the process knocked Kolkata Knight Riders out of the Pepsi Indian Premier League with a thrilling seven-run victory, in Ranchi, on Wednesday.
After Manish Pandey (66), skipper Aaron Finch (48) and Yuvraj Singh (30) guided Pune to a competitive 170 for four, after being asked to bat, the defending champions fell short in the chase, restricted to 163 for 7.
The victory was Pune’s third in 15 matches.
Yusuf Pathan (72) registered his first IPL half-century in three years and almost steered KKR home with splendid hitting but he was out in bizarre fashion towards the end of the chase, becoming the first batsman in the IPL history to be given out for obstructing the field.
After managing to negotiate a yorker from Wayne Parnell, Pathan attempted a single. As he ran, the bowler too tried to get close to the ball but Pathan kicked it with his foot.
The incident was refereed to the third umpire and he was declared out.
His dismissal in the 18th over was the turning point of the game, as KKR did not have the batsmen to score the required 23 runs from 13 balls after that.
KKR's chase was far from ideal as they lost the top three batsmen, including skipper Guatam Gambhir, inside five overs and were struggling at 30 for three.
Parnell trapped Manvinder Bisla (1) in the second over and then castled Jacques Kallis (1) in his next.
Ishwar Pandey saw the back of rival skipper Gambhir, who ballooned one up high while attempting a big shot and the top edge landed in the hands of Yuvraj Singh.
Pathan and Ryan Ten Doeschate (42 off 30) repaired the innings with a 98-run stand for the fourth wicket that put KKR on course for victory.
However, Pune struck twice in four balls to bring themselves back in the match. Doeschate's run-out ended his partnership with Yusuf and at that time KKR needed 44 off the last four overs.
Earlier, Pandey, who has been struggling for form this season, faced 47 balls in his knock of 66 while Yuvraj took 20 balls for his 30 as Pune raised a challenging total on a slow JSCA stadium pitch.
The duo shared a 65 runs for the third wicket off 40 balls.
Pandey hit eight fours and a six before being run-out in the final over.
Yuvraj too was dismissed off the last ball after hitting three big sixes in his knock.
Pune got off to a steady start with openers Finch (48) and Robin Uthappa (25) looking in good touch. Uthappa hit Laxmipathy Balaji for two sixes in the third over to complete 400 runs in this edition of the IPL.
However, Uthappa's innings did not last long as he was dismissed by Sri Lankan off-spinner Sachithra Senanayake for 25 off 21 deliveries.
The duo put on a 41-run opening stand.
Finch, who shared 56 runs with Manish Pandey for the second wicket, started to attack after nine overs when he hit Jacques Kallis for two consecutive sixes.
Pune were 57 for one at that time.
Just when Finch seemed to have settled down to set up a platform for a big total, Balaji dismissed him for an individual score of 48 in 32 balls. His knock was laced with two fours and three sixes.
Yuvraj looked sluggish at the start as he took six balls to get off the mark while Pandey was the aggressor.
For Knight Riders, Balaji, Senanayake and Kallis picked a wicket each.