IPL 10, Match 39, RPS vs GL Review: Ben Stokes steals the show as Pune continue winning run
On the penultimate delivery of the last over Daniel Christian hit a boundary to take RPS home with 5 wickets in hand.
Updated - May 2, 2017 1:25 am
Rising Pune Supergiant were on song. They have won 4 out of last 5 games and are taking big strides towards the playoffs. For their opponents, Gujarat Lions, it was almost a do or die match. On paper, Gujarat were the better side with heavy artillery in their batting but Pune were flexible and batted deep.
GL were put into bat by Steve Smith after winning the toss. Ishan Kishan and Brendon McCullum were not holding back anything as they started off extremely well. The young Indian was stroking the ball very nicely as the pair added 55 runs for the 1st wicket before Imran Tahir provided the breakthrough for Pune.
The run rate did not dip even after Raina disappeared because of some brilliant fielding from Rahane. McCullum continued to hit the odd ball for a boundary as the visitors reached 94 for 2 in just 9 overs. Just when you thought that 200 was on the cards, a flurry of wickets saw the momentum shift towards the home team.
Tahir chipped in with two wickets in as many balls as he dismissed Aaron Finch and Dwayne Smith. This changed the look of the game as Gujarat had to build their innings again but in the process, they lost McCullum and Ravindra Jadeja. The team then had a serious task on their hands to get to a better total as they had lost too many wickets in too little time.
However, that did not happen as they were bowled out for 161 in the last over. At the half time, everything looked good for RPS as their bowlers, especially Tahir and Unadkat had done their job. Both the bowlers took 3 wickets each to restrict the visitors to a gettable total.
Pune, anyhow, got off to the worse start possible. They lost Rahane and Smith in the first over itself as Pradeep Sangwan who was brought in place of Irfan Pathan bowled two very good deliveries to get rid of them. The misery further piled on as Manoj Tiwary was trapped in front and Rahul Tripathi ran himself out. Pune were struggling at 10 for 3 and then 42 for 4, when MS Dhoni and Stokes decided to dig in.
Two of the most dangerous batters in the world were playing it safe. This is what Gujarat needed to do but failed as Dhoni and Stokes webbed a wonderful 78-run partnership in 60 odd deliveries out of which 52 runs were scored by the allrounder.
The equation was 24 balls 44 when Dhoni decided to break the shackles but hit it straight down the throat of Brendon McCullum at long-off. Stokes at the other end was still there with a score of 72 of just 49 deliveries. After getting Dhoni, Gujarat were buoyed but little did they know that the day belonged to the millionaire Englishman.
Stokes played an absolute peach of an inning while struggling with cramps and absolutely hopping for singles he showed the world how good he actually is. He came in when Pune were struggling at 10 for 3 and then from there scored a century of 60 deliveries. This knock will go down in the history books of IPL as Stokes won the game for his team with a ball to spare.
At one point it all looked glum and done for Pune but this man just smashed them home. He scored 103 of 63 deliveries hitting 7 boundaries and 6 sixes in the process. This win increased the gap between the fourth and the fifth placed team as we might have just got our top four for IPL 2017.
Brief Scores –
RPS vs GL – RPS won by 5 wickets
Gujarat Lions – 161/10 19.5 Overs (McCullum 45, Tahir 3/27, Unadkat 3/29)
Rising Pune Supergiant – 167/5 19.5 Overs (Stokes 103, Dhoni 26, Thampi 2/35)
Check out Full scorecard here
Check out Points table here