Rising Pune Supergiant demolished Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets in a do-or-die contest for the final playoff spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Sunday, chasing down the paltry 74-run target in style to finish second in the points table. (RPS vs KXIP HIGHLIGHTS)
It was a terrific start from Steve Smith’s men, who opted to field first after winning the toss at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. Left-arm pacer Jaydev Unadkat (2/12) sent back Martin Guptill with the very first delivery of the innings. It was a half-volley outside off-stump but the Kiwi batsman hit it straight to Manoj Tiwary at cover. (SCORECARD)
Kings XI Punjab, who had won two matches on the trot to keep their qualification hopes alive, gave a shocking batting display as they slumped to their lowest IPL total of 73 all out in 15.5 overs. Rising Pune Supergiant reached 78 for one in 12 overs.
KXIP fold up fast
The visiting side lost five wickets inside the powerplay overs, the third time a team has collapsed that badly in this edition of the IPL, Delhi Daredevils faring that badly on two occasions. Axar Patel (22) provided a bit of resistance but after a couple of glorious hits to the fence, but had to head back after edging one to MS Dhoni behind the stumps. Apart from Patel and Marsh, only Swapnil Singh and Saha managed to reach double figures.
The result lifted Rising Pune Supergiant to second in the standings behind Mumbai Indians. Sunrisers Hyderabad qualified as the third team and Kolkata Knight Riders went through as the fourth team.
After the initial setback for KXIP, Shaun Marsh (10) joined Wriddhiman Saha (13) in the middle, but after a couple of boundaries holed out to Smith off Shardul Thakur. The dismal show continued for Kings XI Punjab as they lost wickets at regular intervals with skipper Glenn Maxwell, Eoin Morgan and Rahul Tewatia all falling cheaply.
Mumbai Ranji pacer Shardul Thakur (3/19) was the star for the hosts, taking three wickets in his four overs, but it was an all-round effort by Rising Pune Supergiant bowlers that helped restrict the power-packed batting line-up of Kings XI. Daniel Christian (2/10), Jaydev Unadkat and Adam Zampa (2/22) took two wickets each while Morgan was run out to a direct hit from Unadkat.
No frills chase
Rising Pune Supergiant started strongly after the break with the consistent Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane taking on the Kings XI bowlers. Tripathi scored 28 off 20 balls before being cleaned up by Axar Patel in the last over of the powerplay phase.
However, Rahane (34no) and Smith (15) chased down the target with eight overs to spare. They didn’t take many risks and dealt mostly in singles before Rahane lofted Maxwell for six to get the winning runs.
RPS will face Mumbai Indians in a Maharashtra derby in the first qualifier on Tuesday.