Imran Tahir took 1-27 as the Rising Pune Supergiant defeated the Royal Challengers Bangalore by 27 runs.
It’s not been a good start for RCB, who have now lost four of their first five matches, with injuries clearly affecting the side. With Lokesh Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan out for the whole tournament, and Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers missing the beginning of the tournament, along with Tymal Mills being ill for this clash, it’s been a frustrating period for them.
It was just Pune’s second victory of the tournament, in a match that belonged to the bowlers, especially Ben Stokes. The England all-rounder took 3-18 from his four overs as RCB finished on 134-9, in a match that was expected to see scores of 200-plus.
RPS posted 161-8 with the top-order doing their best to chip in. The top score was only 31 from Rahul Tripathi, but Ajinkya Rahane (30), Steve Smith (27) and MS Dhoni (28) all contributed, before Manoj Tiwary’s 11-ball 27 proved crucial.
Kohli was the only one who really showed impetus at the top of the order with his 28 off 19 balls, as the side were well placed on 40-1 from the first five overs. Kohli departed from there, and De Villiers was not his usual explosive self, as his 29 runs cost 30 balls. That proved to be a trend, with Kedhar Jadhav scoring 18 off 22, and Shane Watson 14 off 18, with too much needed at the end.
Imran Tahir was one of the bowlers to impress, claiming his eighth wicket of the tournament when De Villiers was caught out of his creases thanks to a star bit of work behind the stumps from Dhoni. The openers Jaydav Unadkat (2-25) and Shardul Thakur (3-35) took five wickets between them as RCB were constantly pegged back. In the end, Smith’s RPS secured a comfortable 27-run victory.
Photo: Ron Gaunt/IPL/Cricinfo