Knight Riders Make Rising Pune Pay for Costly on and off the Field Errors and Coast to 7-wicket Win

Poor team selection and a failure to take the chances that came their way cost Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) dear against Kolkata Knight Riders, despite posting a formidable 182/5 batting first. This loss to KKR also meant that Pune Supergiant relinquished the chance they had of moving up to third on the IPL 2017 points table, at the end of the 30th match.

A 158-run second-wicket partnership between Gautam Gambhir, who himself scored a 46-ball 62, and Robin Uthappa helped Knight Riders win in a canter and reclaim first place. While Gambhir anchored the chase, Uthappa, who has ridden his luck a bit at times this season, was severe on the Rising Pune bowlers, who he negotiated with utter ease and disdain. His 47-ball 87 was a typical Uthappa innings: it had bludgeons down the ground, the deft touches behind the keeper and some eye-catching strokes on either side of the pitch.

Uthappa was awarded the man-of-the-match. In addition to his match-winning batting effort, the Karnataka batsman-wicketkeeper for KKR also created history on this night by becoming just the second wicketkeeper in IPL to inflict three stumpings (Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Manoj Tiwary) in a match. Kuldeep Yadav, the bowler, also became just the second in IPL to have two batsmen stumped in the same over.

Every run Uthappa scored after Jaydev Unadkat dropped him on 12 must have been gut-wrenching for the player and his team. The powerplay had been a satisfactory one for the hosts, who restricted KKR to just 45 runs and took the wicket of Sunil Narine as well. Uthappa was only starting his innings and Kolkata had not even reached 50 when this chance was offered in the seventh over, which was being bowled by Imran Tahir.

Unadkat, fielding at deep mid-wicket, was well inside the boundary rope and had reverse cupped his hands, which is not the traditional way of catching a ball. Not to forget, the Saurashtra seamer had gotten himself into an awkward position too, and so, he wasn’t poised or well-balanced at the time of trying to gather the ball. And, as we have seen on many occasions this season, the ball went through Unadkat’s palms, bounced once and went over the boundary cushions. Uthappa’s innings began here and in the next 35 balls he played, he scored 75 runs (5×4 and 6×6) and really paved the way for an easy KKR win.

By successfully chasing down 183, Kolkata have now won every one of the matches (4) in which they have chased. The ease with which they are chasing down totals must be scaring their opponents. 170 and 180+ totals haven’t fazed Gambhir’s men, who have a method to batting second and hunting down a target. Only Delhi made the men from the City of Joy sweat a bit in the 169-run chase. Otherwise, Gujarat Lions, Kings XI Punjab and Rising Pune Supergiant, who, to be fair, do not possess lethal bowling attacks, have all been easily swept aside in a chase.

Earlier in the piece, Gambhir won the toss and unsurprisingly chose to field first. Both teams made surprising changes to their playing XI, but the one made by RPS proved more damning than those made by their opposition. The man-of-the-match in the win over Mumbai Indians, Ben Stokes, was dropped and Faf du Plessis replaced him in the playing XI… ostensibly to add more firepower to the batting line-up. RPS not only lost Stokes’s wicket-taking ability and economical overs but du Plessis played no part, whatsoever, in this contest.

Batting first, Rising Pune produced a good batting performance to post 182/5. Rahane and Rahul Tripathi provided a third 50-run opening stand in four matches and the platform had been set for the middle order comprising Steve Smith, Dhoni and Tiwary to bat freely and take their team to a match-winning total. Despite the good start and having lost only two wickets, Pune struggled a little for momentum during the middle phase and looked like they might end up scoring only 170 or thereabouts. But a six-ball 16 from Daniel Christian late on, gave Pune the push and helped them reach a total that they will have been satisfied with at the midway point.

Rising Pune Supergiant v Kolkata Knight Riders, 30th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Pune: 1. Steve Smith, 2. Ajinkya Rahane, 3. Rahul Tripathi, 4. MS Dhoni, 5. Faf du Plessis, 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Shardul Thakur, 9. Jaydev Unadkat, 10. Imran Tahir, and 11. Washington Sundar

Kolkata: 1. Gautam Gambhir, 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Robin Uthappa, 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Piyush Chawla, 7. Chris Woakes, 8. Umesh Yadav, 9. Kuldeep Yadav, 10. Colin de Grandhomme, and 11. Darren Bravo


Pune: 182/5 (Smith 51* and Rahane 46; Kuldeep 2/31)
Kolkata: 184/3 (Uthappa 87 and Gambhir 62; Unadkat 1/26)

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) Innings (toss: Kolkata, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Ajinkya Rahane stumped Uthappa, bowled Narine 46 (41) 4 1 112.19
Rahul Tripathi bowled Chawla 38 (23) 7 0 165.21
Steve Smith not out 51 (37) 4 1 137.83
MS Dhoni stumped Uthappa, bowled Kuldeep 23 (11) 1 2 209.09
Manoj Tiwary stumped Uthappa, bowled Kuldeep 1 (2) 0 0 50.00
Daniel Christian caught Pandey, bowled Umesh 16 (6) 0 2 266.66
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Faf du Plessis, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, and Imran Tahir
Extras: 7 (6 wides and 1 leg bye)
RPS’s total: 182/5 in 20 overs, at 9.10 runs per over
RPS’s fall of wickets: 65/1 (Tripathi, 7.5), 112/2 (Rahane, 13.3), 148/3 (Dhoni, 17.2), 150/4 (Tiwary, 17.5), and 182/5 (Christian, 19.6)
Kolkata Knight Riders’s (KKR) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Umesh Yadav 3 8 28 1 9.33
Chris Woakes 3 3 38 0 12.66
Sunil Narine 4 6 34 1 8.50
Colin de Grandhomme 2 2 14 0 7.00
Piyush Chawla 4 6 36 1 9.00
Kuldeep Yadav 4 8 31 2 7.75
Kolkata Innings (target: 183 runs in 20 overs, at 9.15 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Sunil Narine run out Thakur 16 (11) 3 0 145.45
Gautam Gambhir caught Thakur, bowled Christian 62 (46) 6 1 134.78
Robin Uthappa caught Tripathi, bowled Unadkat 87 (47) 7 6 185.10
Darren Bravo not out 6 (5) 1 0 120.00
Manish Pandey not out 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Yusuf Pathan, Colin de Grandhomme, Piyush Chawla, Chris Woakes, Umesh Yadav, and Kuldeep Yadav
Extras: 13 (9 wides and 4 leg byes)
KKR’s total: 184/3 in 18.1 overs, at 10.12 runs per over
KKR’s fall of wickets: 20/1 (Narine, 2.4), 178/2 (Uthappa, 16.5) and 179/3 (Gambhir, 17.4)
Pune Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Jaydev Unadkat 3 6 26 1 8.66
Shardul Thakur 3.1 7 31 0 9.78
Washington Sundar 3 7 32 0 10.66
Daniel Christian 4 7 31 1 7.75
Imran Tahir 4 4 48 0 12.00
Rahul Tripathi 1 0 12 0 12.00

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