Rising Pune Supergiants’ miserable run in the IPL continues after they lose by 3 wickets to Gujarat Lions in a pulsating finish. Aided by Steve Smith’s maiden T20 hundred, RPS got themselves to 195 to set up a large target. In the second innings, Gujarat Lions were off to a flier with the help of Dwayne Smith (63) and Brendon McCullum (43) but at the end, GL couldn’t control their nerve to lose.
AS IT HAPPENED:
2338 hrs IST: 1 needed from 1. FOUR! Short and Faulkner beats the mid on fielder! Gujarat Lions win by 3 wickets
2337 hrs IST: 3 needed from 2. Poor throw by Rahane and the batsmen steal two!
2335 hrs IST: 3 needed from 3. Ishan Kishan the new man in. Hits it straight to the mid off fielder and the fielder hits the stumps. Third umpire! And it’s an easy decision – OUT!
2333 hrs IST: 3 needed from 4. BOWLED! Perera keeps it full and Raina gets an inside edge on to the off stump!
2332 hrs IST: 4 needed from 5. Straight at the fielder in the circle but a single taken.
2332 hrs IST: 5 needed from 5. WIDE! WAY WIDE!
2329 hrs IST: 9 needed from 6. Perera bowling the final over, Faulkner on strike. Smashed away by Faulkner with a poor full toss on the leg side. FOUR!
2329 hrs IST: 11 needed from 7. Nicely played by Raina into the gap but just the two.
2327 hrs IST: 15 needed from 8. Dinda tries to follow a moving Raina and the leftie plays it behind for a four!
2326 hrs IST: 16 needed from 9. Well bowled by Dinda. Low and full and just a single for new man in Faulkner.
2324 hrs IST: 16 needed from 10. Jadeja tries to steal a run but Raina doesn’t move at the non-strikers end. MS runs forward and runs him out!
2322 hrs IST: GONE! Once again it is way outside off and Bravo tries to replicate the result but only edges it behind to Dhoni. GL are 180/4
2321 hrs IST: FOUR! It is bowled way too wide by Dinda and Bravo takes the chance to get the bat on it and goes running to the boundary!
2318 hrs IST: Raina skies it! Not middled and a very odd shot really. Rahane comes running in from the ropes but can’t get there. 2 runs from it.
2316 hrs IST: A nice bouncer to end the 17th over. GL need 24 runs from 18 balls.
2311 hrs IST: WICKET! Karthik doesn’t get the distance and holes out to Rahane at long on!
2310 hrs IST: Nicely played by Karthik by going on one knee and tucking it away for a four!
2309 hrs IST: Ashok Dinda returns. And starts with a wide ball.
2306 hrs IST: Another slow ball and Raina this time converts it into a full toss to find the gap for another four. Good over for the GL – 14 runs from it.
2303 hrs IST: A little width for Karthik and makes most of it. A wee slower by Perera and Karthik goes on the back foot to place it for a four.
2257 hrs IST: And they get that. Slow and short and hit straight down for a four! 49 needed from 30 balls.
2255 hrs IST: GL getting the 2’s but they need boundaries at this juncture.
2253 hrs IST: Boundary finally for GL. A reverse sweep by Karthik and a glare by Ashwin as the ball races to the ropes.
2251 hrs IST: Raina and Karthik need a move on anytime now. No boundaries for three overs now…
2246 hrs IST: 75 needed from 48 balls for Gujarat.
2242 hrs IST: Wow that’s a tough call for the third umpire. Raina dives as does Perera. Diving throw at the stumps and it is very, very close. And the third umpire says not out!
2239 hrs IST: BOWLED! Perera hits the block goal and castles Smith! Smith departs for 63 from 37 balls.
2234 hrs IST: Smith is relentlessly going after the RPS bowling. Picks the gap with utmost ease and keeps the scoreboard ticking. Same result the next ball, a little squarer this time.
2232 hrs IST: Big run chases:
Quality batting is making run chasing a child’s play in IPL.Shot selection,controlling nerves & reading field are the key to it Great stuff!
— Ramiz Raja (@iramizraja) April 29, 2016
2230 hrs IST: FIFTY FOR SMITH! 50 from 28 balls – seven fours and a six!
2228 hrs IST: WICKET! Rajat with the breakthrough for RPS. McCullum top edges it and Morkel takes it cleanly. Baz departs for 43 (22).
2226 hrs IST: M Ashwin also gets the treatment early on. Its in hitting zone for McCullum and he smashes it over extra cover for a SIX!
2221 hrs IST: Next ball almost goes to the boundary but for a diving effort on the ropes. 3 runs though.
2220 hrs IST: No halting Smith! Rajat Bhatia opens his bowling account with a thumping SIX over wide long-on!
2218 hrs IST: GL are 72/0 after the Powerplay overs.
2216 hrs IST: CHANCE! Smith belts it and Perera, at midwicket, dives full length but can’t hold on.
2214 hrs IST: Second ball is thumped towards cow corner for another four!
2214 hrs IST: R Ashwin comes on and he’s bowling round the wicket. Smith plays a fine reverse sweep off the first ball and it’s a four.
2211 hrs IST: A little slower by Perera this time and it doesn’t unsettle Smith who smacks it away for a four.
2209 hrs IST: McCullum pulls it to bring up another boundary and 50 for GL. Next ball, is slashed towards the off side after he creates a little bit of room.
2207 hrs IST: Played on the up by Smith to finish the fifth over and it beats the mid off fielder. Races to the ropes! 15 runs off the over. 39 runs from the last two. GL are 48/0 after 4.
2204 hrs IST: Dwayne Smith joins in the runs. Striding on the pads by Dinda and played easily off the hips for a four.
2202 hrs IST: Full toss on the last ball and McCullum smacks it straight down for a four! 24 runs from the over.
2201 hrs IST: Baz in superb flow. Pounces on a short delivery for a SIX!
2156 hrs IST: Beautiful bit of bowling by Ashok Dinda! Lovely swing bowling and hitting the right areas.
2151 hrs IST: Width on the final delivery and it’s cut away for a four by Smith. 6/0 after 1.
2148 hrs IST: Good start with the first two balls. A little bit outside off and swings away from the right handed batsman.
2147 hrs IST: And we’re go in the chase. Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum at the front with Albie Morkel bowling the first over.
2129 hrs IST: Pune post 195/3 against Gujarat. (Smith 100, Rahane 53; Bravo 1/40)
2126 hrs IST: WICKET! and is out next ball as Bravo castles the centurion for 100. RPS 188/3
2125 hrs IST: SMITH brings up his MAIDEN T20 HUNDRED, off only 53 balls
2122 hrs IST: Super Steve ends the over with a boundary and moves three close to his maiden hundred in this format
2120 hrs IST: Smith chips it over covers for a couple and moves seven short of HUNDRED
2115 hrs IST: Smith waits for the Bravo slower one and smashes it over mid-off for a maximum. He is just 13 shy of hundred now
2112 hrs IST: Three to play, RPS 160/2. They are looking good for even 190 now
2111 hrs IST: Flat and big from Dhoni. MSD special. And he follows it up with another one. Consecutive sixes off Jadeja
2108 hrs IST: Not a good outing for the debutant Kaushik so far. Pitched up, and Smith hits it all the way for another maximum
2100 hrs IST: WICKET! And, we have the second run-out of the day. Rahane falls shortly after completing his FIFTY. Out for 53
2048 hrs IST: Rahane guides one to the ropes and brings up the 100 for RPS in the 12th over of the innings
2046 hrs IST: FIFTY for Steve Smith, off only 29 balls. RPS are heading towards good total in Pune
2042 hrs IST: We are into the last ten overs, and it’s Faulkner with the ball for Gujarat Lions
2041 hrs IST: Smith makes most of the free-hit and hits it all the way for a maximum
2040 hrs IST: Smith drags a Kaushik delivery back on to his stumps but the bowler oversteps. The debutant will have to wait for his first wicket
2035 hrs IST: Strategic timeout and RPS are 70/1 after nine overs
2030 hrs IST: FIFTY-run partnership between Smith and Rahane comes up. End of the over for Kaushik, concedes eight from his first
2027 hrs IST: Shivil Kaushik into the attack and he has a very unusual action
2025 hrs IST: FIFTY up for RPS in the seventh over of the innings. Smith 24*, Rahane 24*
2022 hrs IST: That’s the end of the powerplay. RPS 48/1. Smith and Rahane doing a fine job for the hosts
2020 hrs IST: 13 coming from the P Kumar over. RPS 35/1 after five overs
2015 hrs IST: Smith charges down the ground and creams the P Kumar delivery through covers for a boundary – his second of the day
2013 hrs IST: Onus now on Smith and Rahane to steady the ship and lay a platform for the middle-order to capitalise on
2012 hrs IST: Pune are without the services of Pieteresen and Faf for the remainder of the tournament. Important they don’t lose way after getting a win in their last game
2010 hrs IST: Smith is the new man in, and he’s away with a boundary. Shuffles across and clips it fine
2008 hrs IST: WICKET! Tiwary experiment doesn’t work for RPS as he’s run-out for just one. Brilliant effort by Raina, who hurts himself in the process
— The Gujarat Lions (@TheGujaratLions) 29 April 2016
2003 hrs IST: Pitched up, and Rahane times it straight down the ground for his second boundary
2001 hrs IST: Kulkarni to share the new ball with P Kumar. Two genuine swing bowlers from both ends for GL
2000 hrs IST: Interesting call to promote Tiwary up the order. RPS looking to cash in on the circle
1958 hrs IST: Rahane with early demo of his sublime form. Second ball, goes on backfoot and and slashes for a four
1958 hrs IST: Ajinkya Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary in the middle. Praveen Kumar with the bowl
1942 hrs IST: Last time the two teams met, Raina’s XI had the result in their favour. Can Dhoni and his men settle scores today? Stay tuned!
1940 hrs IST: Gujarat lead the standings with ten points while Pune are sixth with just four points
1937 hrs IST: The teamsheets are out, here’s a look at the two XIs
RPS XI: A Rahane, S Tiwary, S Smith, MS Dhoni, T Perera, P Handscomb, A Morkel, R Bhatia, R Ashwin, A Dinda, M Ashwin
GL XI: DR Smith, B McCullum, S Raina, D Karthik, R Jadeja, I Kishan, DJ Bravo, J Faulkner, P Kumar, D Kulkarni, S Kaushik
1932 hrs IST: Gujarat Lions have handed IPL 2016 debut to Shivil Kaushik. The youngster bowls left-arm spin
1931 hrs IST: TOSS! Pune asked to bat by Gujarat. Dhoni makes two changes for this game – Handscomb, Albie Morkel included in the XI. Injured Tambe misses out for Gujarat
1930 hrs IST: The pitch has a lot of grass. Weather, Sunil Gavaskar feels, is brilliant for cricket today. There’s a steady breeze blowing
On paper, it’s going to be a toss-up between IPL’s two new franchises. Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions have so far enjoyed contrasting fortunes. After an emphatic win over defending champions Mumbai Indians in the tournament opener, MS Dhoni’s side suffered four losses on a trot, before finally running into some good form with a win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their last match. They will have their task cut out against Gujarat who have registered five wins in their six games, one of those came against Pune in Rajkot.
Among the things that fascinates me the most about the IPL, it was true in IPL-1 that I saw from close quarters and is true eight years later, is how teams assimilate players from all over and try to form a cohesive unit. It is not easy and that is why, in football leagues and in the IPL, leadership is so important.
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