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Pune Warriors celebrate homecoming with win over KXIP

Pune Warriors India beat Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs to win their IPL match in Pune today.

Marlon Samuels (46) and Robin Uthappa (40) shared a 81-run stand to help Pune Warriors score a competitive 166 for six against Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket match, here today.

The third-wicket stand between Samuels and Uthappa helped hosts recover from a pathetic start as they had lost both the openers inside first five overs.

Samules' 46 runs came off 39 balls with six boundaries including two sixes while Uthappa took 33 balls for his 40, which contained two fours and as many sixes.

Sourav Ganguly, Steven Smith, Murali Karthik, Callum Ferguson

Sourav Ganguly (foreground) celebrates the fall of a KXIP wicket with his PWI teammates. Pic/AFP

Both of them were dismissed by paceman Harmeet Singh, who was the most successful bowler for his side with a three-wicket haul at the expense of just 23 runs.

Steven Smith (25) and Manish Pandey (12) played some big shots towards the end to lift the side to a fightable total.

The hosts extracted 35 runs in the last two overs, with 27 coming off the penultimate over when Bipul Sharma was hit thrice out of the park. Sharma bowled last four balls of that over when Singh was taken out of attack due to bowling consecutive beamers.

Earlier, Sourav Ganguly (20) was lucky to get some quick runs as two of his three boundaries came off inside edges. His 'not-so-confident' stay ended soon when he smashed one straight off Dimitri Mascarenhas at mid-off.

Jesse Ryder (8) joined his skipper back in the dug out when he became a victim of superb fielding effort by paceman Praveen Kumar in his follow through.

Thanks to a disciplined bowling attack, supported smartly by sharp fielding by Punjab fielders, only four shots crossed the fence till seven overs.

Samuels and Uthappa hit a six each off spinner Sharma as the hosts managed 71 for two at half-way mark.

The burly Caribbean hit a massive six off Piyush Chawla and a deft late cut for a boundary off Mascarenhas to keep the scoring going at a decent run-rate, just over seven.

With Samuels and Uthappa playing sensibly, their innings got stabilised and there wan enough opportunity to go all out in the last five overs.

Their partnership ended when Samuels was cleaned up by Harmeet Singh. The gentle medium pacer added another wicket when he scalped Callum Ferguson (3) in his next over.

Earlier, Pune Warriors captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat against Kings XI Punjab in their Indian Premier League match in Pune on Sunday.

Ashish Nehra and Jesse Ryder have been included in the playing XI of the Pune Warriors.

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