Suffering the ignominy of eleven straight losses, Pune Warriors India, on Thursday night decided it was time to tinker with the records at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. A collective effort from the team, that has burned at the bottom for too long, saw the home team breaking all shackles, and in telling style when they recorded their first win of the Pepsi IPL 2013 season. With the odds stacking up against them, PWI put in their all to record a convincing seven wicket victory over Rajasthan Royals to give the franchisee owners and their home fans something to cry hoarse about. Chasing a modest 146, PWI got back to winning ways as Aaron Finch played a magnificent innings scoring 64 off 53 balls.
The victory came as a massive relief to Allan Donald and his team. PWI started positively as openers Robin Uthappa and Finch went hard after the RR bowlers. Harmeet Singh's 2nd over was taken apart for 17 runs, before Uthappa dismantled S Sreesanth hitting him for two sixes and a boundary to bring up Pune's 50 in just 3.4 over. James Faulkner provided the much needed breakthrough as Rahul Dravid pulled off a blinder to send Uthappa (32) on his way. Needing less than 6 runs an over thereafter, Finch and Ross Taylor pushed the ball into gaps and rotated the strike to steadily close in on the target. Finch bought up his fifty in style smashing Kevon Cooper for a six. Harmeet Singh got RR their second wicket having Ross Taylor (17) caught in the deep by Brad Hodge.
Finch finally departed to give Faulkner his second wicket. Yuvraj Singh finished the match in style with a six as PWI romped home with eight balls to spare.. Earlier RR won the toss and elected to bat. Bhuvneshwar Kumar got his team off to a fantastic start as he dismissed Kusal Perera leg before off the very first delivery. Ajinkya Rahane and Dravid laid the foundation for RR putting on 81 runs for the second wicket. At the halfway stage RR were at 72 for 1, with Dravid and Rahane stroking the ball beautifully. Mathews pulled off a stunning catch in the covers off Rahul Sharma to send back Rahane (30) and break the partnership. Stuart Binny (1) fell soon after caught off Yuvraj Singh.
Brad Hodge was given a reprieve by Mathews when he was dropped off his own bowling on just one. Yuvraj Singh struck in the 15th over when he removed Dravid (54), courtesy of a brilliant one hand catch by Ross Taylor. Dishant Yagnik (12) fell playing an awkward shot to give Sharma his second wicket and pull the game in Pune's favor. A few lusty blows by Hodge (22*) and Faulkner (19*), in the last over enabled PWI to finish at 145 runs for 5. Man-of-the-Match: Aaron Finch Brief Scores: Rajasthan Royals 145 for 5 (Rahul Dravid 54, Rahul Sharma 2-16) lost to Pune Warriors India 148 for 3 (Aaron Finch 64, James Faulkner 2-17) by 7 wickets.