Rising Pune Supergiant finally seem to be rising while Royal Challengers Bangalore experienced their seventh loss of IPL10, which virtually threw last year’s finalists out of the playoffs race. (UPDATES |SCORECARD)
Lockie Ferguson’s 4-1-7-2 and Imran Tahir’s 3/18 helped Pune restrict Royal Challengers to 96 for nine in 20 overs in reply to 157/3 to win the match by 61 runs at the MCA Stadium on Saturday. (IPL FIXTURES)
Except for Virat Kohli’s 55-run knock, the rest of the Royal Challengers batsmen lacked the appetite to fight as they collectively managed only 41 runs.
That only six boundaries were hit by the RCB batsmen speaks volumes of Pune’s quality bowling. It was also a pointer to RCB’s batting display that the only six of the innings was hit in the 17th over – a first in IPL’s history. It raced to the fence after a gap of 66 balls.
RCB’s poor Powerplay
Royal Challengers again had a poor Powerplay performance, managing only 39 runs in their six overs and also lost two wickets. Travis Head (2) was bowled by Jaydev Unadkat in the second over while AB de Villiers was dismissed in single digits for the third consecutive time when he hit one straight to Manoj Tiwary at cover for three.
In the next four overs, RCB could add only 10 runs and lost Kedar Jadhav, who was involved in a mix-up with Kohli, and Sachin Baby in the next over, courtesy a superb diving catch by skipper Steve Smith. (IPL RESULTS)
Frustration was writ large on Kohli’s face as no one was willing to shoulder the responsibility with him in the chase.
Kohli smashed Imran Tahir for a six over midwicket to bring up his 29th half-century and also some cheer for fans. His resistance was finally broken as he holed out at deep cover.
Earlier, Pune’s Rahul Tripathi, who was dropped by Kohli at mid-on on 11, again failed to capitalise on the start. He threw away his wicket for the sixth successive time in the 30s as he nicked it to wicketkeeper Jadhav on 37.
Smith on a roll
Royal Challengers bowlers kept Smith quiet for the first 22 balls, where he managed only 17 runs with one boundary. But it is difficult to keep the Australian quiet for too long as he took on Samuel Badree in his third over, scoring 16 runs off it which included a slog sweep for six, followed by a classical back-foot punch and a fine cut that raced to the boundary.
Smith’s next target was Stuart Binny, as he welcomed him into the attack with consecutive boundaries – the first one flicked off his pads and the other between the point and backward point fielders by opening the face of his bat. Two balls later, Smith took a risk again, but this time it landed straight into the hands of Adam Milne.
Brilliant death bowling
The in-form Tiwary (44 not out), who was promoted ahead of MS Dhoni on Saturday, struggled to connect the ball on Saturday. To top it, Milne bowled a brilliant penultimate over, giving away just eight runs.
Sreenath Aravind followed it up with a miserly final over, giving away just 10 runs as the pair of Tiwary and Dhoni (21 not out), who put up 49-run stand for the fourth wicket, could manage only 46 runs off the last five overs.