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IPL 9, Match 53: RPS v KXIP – 5 Talking Points

Murali Vijay vs Rising Pune Supergiants
Murali Vijay. (Photo Source: BCCI)

This was a clash between the no.7 positioned Rising Pune Supergiants (RPS) and no.8, Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Both the teams had no hopes of making it into the playoffs and it was a match they fought for pride.

After winning the toss, Punjab skipper Murali Vijay chose to bat first. They had a good start with Vijay and Hashim Amla playing with positive and aggressive intent. Towards the end, the captain and Gurkeerat Singh Mann concluded the inning on a high with half-centuries. Despite losing wickets towards the end, KXIP managed to score 172 runs. In reply, most of the RPS batsmen chipped in with small contributions. For most part of the second inning, Punjab had the match in their grasp, but MS Dhoni relishes to win the match for their side in the last match of this season and he finished it off in typical Dhoni style.

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How did the game pan out? – IPL 9, Match 53 Review: Dhoni special wins it for RPS

1. The Opening partnership:

Hashim Amla along with his skipper Murali Vijay gave a good start to the Kings XI Punjab inning. Amla, who has been in good form recently, started off well with two boundaries in the first over. He was particularly walking across the stumps and flicking it for runs.

Vijay anchored the inning and took charge against the spinners in the second part of his knock. He was severe especially against the most successful spinner of the opposition, Adam Zampa. Later on, Vijay was bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin, while attempting a slog-sweep. The duo added 60 runs for the first wicket, which is the highest partnership of the match.

2. Ravichandran Ashwin’s 4-wicket haul:

Ravi Ashwin hadn’t been at his best in this IPL, but he ended it well with a 4-wicket haul in the last match. He got them the breakthrough with the wicket of Amla with a slower loopy off-spinner which stuck in the slow wicket and ended up in the hands of George Bailey at short mid-wicket. He cleaned up Murali Vijay in his second to get Pune back in the game. Gurkeerat Singh, who was really looking dangerous, after hitting Ashwin for a six and four, top-edged him to deep mid-wicket. Two balls later, Ashwin fired in the slider to David Miller, who had no answers to it and was caught plumb in front. Ashwin returned with bowling figures of 4-0-34-4 his best in the season.

Stats and records from the match – IPL 9, Match 53: RPS v KXIP– Statistical Highlights

3. Right start to the chase:

Ajinkya Rahane and Usman Khawaja gave their side a decent enough start. The ball was coming off the middle of the bat for Khawaja but found it hard to get through the infield, whereas Rahane played a couple of leg-glances to get going.

The duo added a vital 36 runs for the first wicket. The right-hander was dismissed by Sandeep Sharma, as Rahane walks across to flick the incoming delivery, but doesn’t get as much bat and Saha dived to his left to collect a regulation catch.

4. Gurkeerat Singh’s crucial off-spin:

The part-time off-spin of Gurkeerat Singh came in handy today as he picked up 2 wickets from his two overs. Gurkeerat was brought into the attack with two left-handed batsmen at the crease – Saurabh Tiwary and Usman Khawaja.

In his second over he dismissed both the batsmen. Tiwary after hitting a six off the first ball of the over; stepped down for another biggie, but was deceived by the flight and ended up skewing it towards deep cover, where Farhaan Behardien completed a good low catch. Khawaja went for the slog sweep but found David Miller in the deep and Mann now had 2/15 in his two overs.

5. The Finisher – MS Dhoni:

The best finisher cricketing world had ever seen, MS Dhoni had reserved his best for the last match of the tournament.

Dhoni came to the crease after the dismissal of Tiwary in the 12th over and he was his calm self right through the chase. He worked around the singles and doubles to start with. The skipper had a brief partnership with Irfan Pathan, but after the left-hander got out MS Dhoni and Thisara Perera got together and added 58 runs for the 6th wicket. With 44 runs required from 18 balls, and after Perera lost his wicket on the first ball of the 19th, Kings XI Punjab looked well on their way to winning the match, but not with MS Dhoni at the crease.

RPS needed 23 runs off the last over, and it was a surprise when Murali Vijay brought the left-arm spinner Axar Patel to bowl the last over even though he had one over each from Kyle Abbott and Rishi Dhawan remaining. Patel fired a delivery onto middle-and-leg and Dhoni hit that straight to deep midwicket, but refused to run, since he didn’t want to give the strike to Ashwin. After a wide, Dhoni hit a six off a full delivery over long-on. On the next ball, Amla saved a certain boundary and the equation was down to 16 from 3. Dhoni flat batted one over cover for a boundary, one over deep midwicket for a six and the last ball over midwicket to finish the match off for his side. A magical innings of unbeaten 64 runs off 32 balls for the skipper, MS Dhoni, which includes 4 fours and 5 sixes saw the team home on the ultimate ball of the game.

Also check out – Twitter Reactions: Dhoni and Rising Pune Supergiants finish things off in style

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