x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Jesse Ryder hits his potential for Pune Warriors

New Zealand batsman, known for disciplinary issues, scores an unbeaten 73 to spearhead his team to seven-wicket win over Chennai Super Kings in IPL.

Jesse Ryder batted through the innings to spearhead the Pune Warriors chase last night. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP
Jesse Ryder batted through the innings to spearhead the Pune Warriors chase last night. Indranil Mukherjee / AFP

But for the disciplinary problems that have dogged his career, Jesse Ryder could have been one of New Zealand's cricket legends.

He still has plenty of time to be one of the current generation's best given the way he batted the Pune Warriors to a table-topping victory over the Chennai Super Kings at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium last night.

Chasing 156, the left-handed opening batsman scored an unbeaten 73 to lead the hosts to a memorable seven-wicket win with four balls to spare. Ryder received ample support from the Australian right-hander Steven Smith, who remained unbeaten on 44.

For some time, Ryder has had focus issues, getting into trouble with the authorities back home for breaking the law. But there has never been a doubt whether the 27 year old could bat – or for that matter bowl occasionally – and whenever he strived to give it his all on the field, he has usually prospered.

It is exactly what he did last night before he went out to bat.

"I wanted to bat through the innings. I wanted to continue with that idea," Ryder said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

"I didn't want to throw my wicket away after getting a flyer."

He did not - even though it got a bit tense in the middle when the Warriors were 90 for three. Smith, though, gave Ryder the support he required before stroking a few boundaries towards the end of the innings. Ryder acknowledged that.

"Steven Smith made it easy for me," Ryder said. "This was a different track to the one we played on in the first game and made it easy to play the strokes."

He also thanked the fans for their help. "The home crowd is amazing and they are supporting us well."

Chennai missed out with the bat after winning the toss by scoring just 155 for five. Ravindra Jadeja (44), at the end, and Faf du Plessis (44), at the beginning, did well but it was the overs in between which the Super Kings failed to capitalise on with most of their batsmen getting into double figures before their dismissals.

Meanwhile, the Kings XI Punjab have denied an allegation that their players damaged the dressing room at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium during their 22-run defeat to Pune Warriors last Sunday, the Press Trust of India reported.

The denial came after Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA), guardian of the stadium, lodged a complaint with IPL authorities against the Punjab franchise.

"Kings XI Punjab [KXIP] would like to clarify that none of its players is responsible for any damage in the dressing room during Pune Warriors and KXIP match in Sahara Stadium as reported by some of the press," said Arvinder Singh, the chief operating officer of the franchise, in a press release.

"The news is totally baseless and speculative. KXIP is a team that believes in fair play and our players have the maturity to play the game in true spirit."

Earlier, in the complaint to Rajiv Shukla, the IPL chairman, MCA officials said Adam Gilchrist, the Punjab captain, had broken the dressing room door after being dismissed for just six runs.

After preliminary inquiries, though, it was found the damage was caused by Paul Valthaty Gilchrist's fellow opening batsman, IPL sources told Press Trust of India. Valthaty, however, escaped any punishment as the damage was said to have been caused accidentally and not intentionally.