Kolkata Knight Riders seem to have the winning formula to defeat Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL, as they beat RPS for the third time in the cash-rich event. KKR proved to be too good against RPS as they emerged victorious by seven wickets on Wednesday.
With this win, KKR have reclaimed top spot in the IPL 2017 points tally.
RPS looked good with the bat, scoring an impressive 182 runs in the first innings, but it was the brilliance of Robin Uthappa and Gautam Gambhir, which took the game away from RPS.
Chasing a stiff target, KKR were looking for Sunil Narine to fire big in the first six overs. He did start brightly, but the left-hander was sent back in the third over. Narine was run out, and it was Dhoni's smartness, where he deflected the ball towards the stumps to get rid of the West Indian.
The onus was then relayed to Gambhir (62, 46b, 6x4, 1x6) and Uthappa (87, 47b, 7x4, 6x6) to score some quick runs in the Powerplay. They did so at a decent rate, as KKR compiled 45 runs in six overs. Uthappa was lucky in the next over as the wicket-keeper was dropped on 12 by Jaydev Unadkat in the deep.
That drop proved to be costly as Uthappa took the attack to the opposition, and scored runs in boundaries. Uthappa did not spare any RPS bowler. He destroyed the seamers as well as the pacers. With Uthappa in great mood, Gambhir was playing second fiddle and allowing his partner to score.
The RPS fielders were poor, as they dropped Gambhir too in the 11th over as well.
With Gambhir and Uthappa going strong, they had the game in their bag. They just required 48 runs from 42 balls, and the duo wanted to finish the game early, especially Uthappa, who was looking for boundaries only.
Uthappa and Gambhir were was dismissed for 87 and 62 runs respectively, but they had done their job with the bat. DM Bravo hit the winning runs to clinch the match by seven wickets.
Earlier, RPS openers, Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathy scoring quick runs, playing some wonderful shots. They were dealing In boundaries, and provided a perfect base for the rest of the batsmen to follow.
They were playing the spinners and seamers at ease, crossing the fifty-run mark without losing a single wicket. But, the brilliance of Piyush Chawla led to the dismissal of Tripathy. Steve Smith (51, 37b, 6x4, 1x6) and Rahane were looking decent, hitting some boundaries as well as running brilliantly between the wickets.
Rahane (46, 41b, 4x4, 1x6) and Smith played an important role in crossing the 100 run mark in the 13th over, but the Indian was out in the next over. MS Dhoni walked into the middle, and he was a man on a mission. The former skipper played a cameo of 23 runs.
Dhoni build some great momentum, and it was finished off brilliantly in the final two overs of the first innings with Smith and Dan Christian hitting some lusty blows to power them to 182 runs, which did not prove to be enough for the home team.
RPS: 182/5 in 20 overs.
KKR: 184/3 in 18.1 overs
Result: KKR won by 7 wickets
Bowling: KKR: Umesh Yadav 3-0-28-1; Chris Woakes 3-0-38-0; Sunil Narine 4-0-34-1; Colin De Grandhomme 1-0-14-0; Piyush Chawla 4-0-36-1; Kuldeep Yadav 4-0-31-2.
RPS: Jaydev Unadkat 3-0-26-1; Shardul Thakur 3.1-0-31--0: Washington Sundar 3-0-32-0; Dan Christian 4-0-31-1; Imran Tahir 4-0-48-1. Rahul Tripathi 1-0-12-0;
Fall of wickets: RPS: 1-65, Tripathi (7.5 ov), 2-112, Rahane (13.3 ov), 3-148, Dhoni (17.2 ov), 4-150, Tiwary (17.5 ov), 5-182 Christian (19.6 ov)
KKR : 1-20, Narine (2.4 ov), 2-178, Uthappa(16.5.3 ov), 3-179,Uthappa (17.4 ov),