Rising Pune Supergiant’s wait to qualify for the Indian Premier League (IPL) play-offs continued after the visitors went down to a disciplined Delhi Daredevils by seven runs in a league contest at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Friday.Placed at third in the standings after eight wins from 13 games, Pune will now need to win their final league game against fifth-placed Kings XI Punjab to qualify for the play-offs. Delhi, despite their two back to back wins, are placed sixth and out of the race to the play-offs.Chasing 169, Bengal batsman Manoj Tiwary raised the hopes of the visitors with a 45-ball 60, laced with five boundaries and three sixes before finding themselves seven runs short in the end. Skipper Zaheer Khan gave Delhi a stunning start by picking Ajinkya Rahane for a duck off the very first ball of the innings before packing back the in-form Rahul Tripathi (7) in his third over.With the visitors finding themselves at a precarious 36/2, skipper Steve Smith (38) provided some resistance, raising a 38-run third wicket stand with Tiwary.Smith looked in great touch in the middle, slamming Shahbaz Nadeem for three consecutive boundaries, including a flat six before the left-arm spinner trapped him plumb on the first ball after the strategic time-out.Reeling at 74/3, all-rounder Ben Stokes (33) provided some momentum to the chase, adding 51 runs for the fourth wicket with Tiwary, who by now had got two lives, once on 34 when he was dropped by Sanju Samson and then on 40, dropped by Karun Nair.advertisementComing in at the fall of Smith, the Englishman slammed three fours and two massive sixes during his 25-ball stay, which was cut short by pacer Mohammed Shami off a low full toss, which Corey Anderson latched on comfortably. Shami then jolted the visitors with a brilliant direct hit at the bowler’s end to dismiss Mahendra Singh Dhoni for a run-a-ball (5) before trapping Daniel Christian (3) to further dent their hopes.With 25 required off the final over, Tiwary slammed Pat Cummins for two consecutive sixes to bring up his half century before the Australian came back strongly to dismiss the Bengal right-hander in the final ball.Earlier, Nair’s 45-ball (64), laced with nine hits to the fence, helped Delhi recover from a precarious position after the visitors had reduced the home side to 9/2 in three overs. Electing to bat after calling the toss correctly, Daredevils were off to a disastrous start, losing the key wickets of opener Sanju Samson (2) and one down Shreyas Iyer (3) cheaply.Nair and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant (36) then steadied the ship with a 74-run third wicket stand as the right-left combo took the attack to the opposition in no time.The first three overs yielded only 11 runs for Delhi before Nair started the onslaught slamming Washington Sundar and Ben Stokes for five boundaries in two overs.Pant wasn’t left too far behind, slapping Sundar for a flat six over midwicket before milking Shardul Thaur for three boundaries as Delhi got back the momentum to yield 62 runs in the next five overs.Later on, West Indian Marlon Samuels (27) added 34 runs for the fifth wicket with Nair before stumper Mahendra Singh Dhoni plucked off a stunning catch off Christian to pack back the Caribbean batsman.Despite losing his partners at the other end, Nair, who had faced 37 balls by then completed his half century and together with Amit Mishra (11 not out) added a quickfire 22 for the seventh wicket to help Delhi go past the 150-run mark.
TweetPinShare0 Shares PITTSBURGH — A.J. Burnett insists this is it. That after 17 years in the majors, he is done whenever the Pittsburgh Pirates season ends, no matter what.Funny, nobody told his stuff. The way Burnett is dealing at the moment, he hardly looks like a guy counting down the days to retirement.Dazzling the New York Mets with impeccable command, Burnett won his fourth straight start in an 8-2 victory on May 23, easily outdueling an uncharacteristically sloppy Matt Harvey to lower his ERA to 1.37, the best in the majors.Heady stuff for a 38-year-old who led the National League in losses, walks and earned runs during a forgettable and injury-marred 2014 in Philadelphia.“He’s like a kid in the backyard out there that’s having some fun that is being aggressive and very, very purposeful on the mound,” Pittsburgh Manager Clint Hurdle said. “He’s pitching as well as I’ve ever seen him pitch. He’s doing more. He’s doing his job.”One that is helping the Pirates linger around .500 despite an uneven opening two months. Facing one of the game’s brightest young talents in Harvey, Burnett (4-1) dominated, striking out 10 without walking a batter.“I just look at leaving it all out on the field, knowing it’s my last go around,” Burnett said. “It’s fun to pitch for (my teammates), to be around them. They bring so much out of me.”And for once Pittsburgh’s offense gave Burnett plenty of wiggle room. Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez both homered and drove in two runs while Josh Harrison extended his hitting streak to 10 games by going 2 for 4 with two RBI.“It shows what we can do when we’re ready to hit,” Harrison said. “We got some pitches today and we didn’t miss them.”Harvey (5-2) lasted only four innings, the shortest outing of his career. He gave up a career-worst seven runs on six hits and also threw two wild pitches, matching the number he had all of the 2013 season.New York has dropped four of five. Daniel Murphy had two hits, and Ruben Tejada homered for the Mets.“Everything was kind of all over the place,” Harvey said. “I wasn’t locating obviously. My arm feels fine, my body feels fine. It was one of those days where if I tried to spin it, it was over the middle. If I tried to throw a fastball in, it was away and vice versa. It’s just a pretty terrible outing. ”(WILL GRAVES, AP Sports Writer)