The burly New Zealander, Ryder smashed his way to 86 off only 58 balls while Sourav Ganguly who had failed in six previous matches contributed 41. Their second wicket partnership of 93 was the foundation on which Pune built their innings after being put into bat.
Ryder hit seven fours and four sixes in his innings. Not to forget young Smith’s cameo of 34 from only 13 deliveries (4×4, 2×6) towards the end also helped in beefing up the total.
Smith hit two fours and two sixes in the 18th over from Shahbaz Nadeem (0/44 from 4 overs) that yielded 23 runs as Pune, who have not batted well consistently so far in the tournament, put up a fighting total.
At the start, the first few scoring shots from Ryder were all mishits but did give him the desired results. The first six that he hit off Morne Morkel was over third-man when he wanted to hit over extra-cover.
That was followed by a ‘Chinese-cut’ that went past wicketkeeper to the fine leg fence. The second hit was a mistimed hook that went for a six. The first boundary he got off the middle of the bat was over mid-wicket off Morkel.
While Robin Uthappa (10) was dismissed early while trying to play a flashy drive, Ryder continued to play his shots in company of Ganguly, who finally found some form after failing in six consecutive matches.
Pune reached 50 in the sixth over which was not bad considering they scored their first runs off the ninth ball. With two left-handers in Ryder and skipper Ganguly, Daredevils skipper Virender Sehwag decided not use his two frontline left-arm spinners and brought himself and Kevin Pietersen to bowl off-breaks.
Sehwag, who was bowling for the first time in the IPL, was swept for three boundaries — one from Ryder and a couple from Ganguly who slowly got into the groove.
In Pietersen’s second over, Ganguly stepped out to hit a six over extra-cover.
The 50-run partnership for the second-wicket came off only 29 balls and the 100 in the 11th over as Ganguly started middling the ball.
Ryder completed his second half century of this edition of the IPL with a push. It came off 33 balls and a reversal of roles happened suddenly. It was Ganguly who started hitting the spinners.
First, a bowler’s back-drive off Shahbaz Nadeem that threatened to knock umpire’s head-off and then he muscled one through square leg region off Yogesh Nagar to get into the 40s.
Ganguly finally holed out in the long-on region when he failed to get the required elevation while trying to hit Morkel in the stands. His 41 came off 35 balls with five fours and a six.
Ryder hit the best six when blasted Yadav over deep square leg for his third maximum and then played the signature Twenty20 scoop over short-fine leg.
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