Tripathi’s Belligerent 93 off 52 Balls Delivers Rising Pune’s First-ever Win over Knight Riders

Match report

Yet another masterclass of clean-hitting from Rahul Tripathi took Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) to a four-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the 41st match of IPL 2017, at the Eden Gardens. Opening the innings for Rising Pune, who had been set a below-par target of 156, Tripathi played the innings of his life in front of over 50,000 people and handed KKR a morale-denting defeat. Tripathi scored 93 runs off 52 balls and one has to say that he decided the result of this match.

Ajinkya Rahane fell early, in the second over of the Pune innings, but losing his opening partner did not deter Tripathi from playing according to his role in the side. He began the onslaught in the third over, which was bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile, who he struck for three fours and a six to get his and his team’s innings started.

The Maharashtra batsman continued to deal in boundaries and his inherent boundary-hitting ability took Rising Pune to their highest powerplay score (74/2). Such an explosive start made life easier for Tripathi and his batting partners, none of whom, though, offered much support. The conspicuous aspects of Tripathi’s innings were the fluency and ease with which he garnered his runs. He played plenty of bottom-hand strokes, cutting and pulling the KKR bowlers square of the wicket on either side, but the 26-year-old right-hander showed that he is not a pinch-hitter by stroking a couple of crisp drives down the ground.

The significance of Tripathi’s knock can be understood by the fact that the second-highest score for Pune Supergiant was 14, by Ben Stokes. So, had Tripathi not played like he did, the tale of the 41st match might well have been different. With his spending a lot of time away from the strike after Stokes fell in the 14th over, KKR were able to take the match into the final over and cause a bit of a doubt about the outcome. But Daniel Christian struck a flat six off Colin de Grandhomme in the final over to seal the win and register Pune’s first-ever win over Knight Riders. By way of this win, Rising Pune overtook Sunrisers Hyderabad and moved into third place on the latest points table.

Amid Tripathi’s show, Chris Woakes, who had been expensive in almost every one of KKR’s matches before tonight, bowled a superb spell in which he choked up the runs and also took wickets whenever he was brought into the attack. The England seamer finished with figures of 4-14 dots-18-3.

A troika of 30s from Manish Pandey (37), Colin de Grandhomme (36) and Suryakumar Yadav (30*) lifted Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), who were without Robin Uthappa, to 155/8 after they had made an unenviable start to their innings, losing three wickets and scoring just 41 runs in the powerplay.

Sunil Narine the batsman failed for the third time in succession, being caught and bowled by Jaydev Unadkat for a nought. Dismissing the West Indian left-hander in the first over of the innings allowed Rising Pune to gain early control of the proceedings, with Unadkat, Ben Stokes and Washington Sundar bowling accurate lines and lengths and denying the likes of Gautam Gambhir room to free his arms.

Gambhir, in trying to get a move on, holed out to deep mid-wicket against Sundar, who once again excelled with the ball, taking 2/18 in two overs. The young off-spinner from Tamilnadu became the eighth bowler in the history of the IPL to dismiss a batsman hit-wicket when Sheldon Jackson, batting at No. 3 in Uthappa’s absence, stepped on the stumps with his heels while playing a back-foot punch to short mid-wicket.

Pandey forged a good partnership with Colin de Grandhomme for the fifth wicket. And for a while, this duo looked like they might get the KKR innings back on track. But with 48 runs having been added, Pandey was caught at deep mid-wicket in the 15th over and the team’s score at 103. This was a significant blow, both in terms of the calibre of the batsman dismissed and the timing of his dismissal.

Suryakumar, batting at No. 7 as usual, played a significant role with the bat in dragging the hosts past 150. But having won the toss and chosen to field first, Pune will have been mighty pleased with the work their bowlers had done in keeping one of powerful batting line-ups in the league to a paltry total.

Tripathi was awarded the man-of-the-match for his 93 (52), an innings in which he struck nine fours and seven massive sixes.

Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant, 41st Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Kolkata: 1. Gautam Gambhir (c), 2. Sunil Narine, 3. Suryakumar Yadav (wk), 4. Manish Pandey, 5. Yusuf Pathan, 6. Sheldon Jackson, 7. Colin de Grandhomme, 8. Chris Woakes, 9. Nathan Coulter-Nile, 10. Umesh Yadav, and 11. Kuldeep Yadav

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


Knight Riders: 155/8 (Pandey 37 and de Grandhomme 36; Sundar 2/18 and Unadkat 2/28)
Supergiant: 158/6 (Tripathi 93; Woakes 3/18)

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) innings (toss: Pune, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Sunil Narine caught and bowled Unadkat 0 (6) 0 0 0.00
Gautam Gambhir caught Rahane, bowled Sundar 24 (19) 3 1 126.31
Sheldon Jackson hit wicket, bowled Sundar 10 (9) 2 0 111.11
Manish Pandey caught Rahane, bowled Christian 37 (32) 4 1 115.62
Yusuf Pathan leg before wicket Tahir 4 (9) 0 0 44.44
Colin de Grandhomme caught Sundar, bowled Unadkat 36 (19) 3 2 189.47
Suryakumar Yadav not out 30 (16) 2 2 187.50
Chris Woakes run out Smith/Christian 1 (3) 0 0 33.33
Nathan Coulter-Nile caught Sundar, bowled Stokes 6 (5) 0 1 120.00
Umesh Yadav not out 2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Batsman who didn’t bat: Kuldeep Yadav
Extras: 5 (5 leg byes)
KKR’s total: 155/8 in 20 overs, at 7.75 runs per over
KKR’s fall of wickets: 0/1 (Narine, 0.6), 19/2 (Jackson, 3.6), 40/3 (Gambhir, 5.5), 55/4 (Yusuf, 9.1), 103/5 (Pandey, 14.1), 119/6 (de Grandhomme, 16.2), 129/7 (Woakes, 17.4), and 152/8 (Coulter-Nile, 19.3)
Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Jaydev Unadkat 4 15 28 2 7.00
Ben Stokes 4 10 24 1 6.00
Washington Sundar 2 6 18 2 9.00
Shardul Thakur 3 6 21 0 7.00
Imran Tahir 4 6 36 1 9.00
Daniel Christian 3 6 23 1 7.66
Pune innings (target: 156 runs in 20 overs, at 7.80 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Ajinkya Rahane caught Jackson, bowled Umesh 11 (9) 2 0 122.22
Rahul Tripathi caught Powell (sub), bowled Woakes 93 (52) 9 7 178.84
Steve Smith bowled Woakes 9 (9) 0 1 100.00
Manoj Tiwary bowled Woakes 8 (9) 1 0 88.88
Ben Stokes caught and bowled Narine 14 (15) 1 0 93.33
MS Dhoni caught Jackson, bowled Kuldeep 5 (9) 0 0 55.55
Daniel Christian not out 9 (10) 0 1 90.00
Washington Sundar not out 1 (3) 0 0 33.33
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat and Imran Tahir
Extras: 8 (2 wides, 4 byes and 2 leg byes)
RPS’s total: 158/6 in 19.2 overs, at 8.17 runs per over
RPS’s fall of wickets: 11/1 (Rahane, 1.4), 59/2 (Smith, 4.6), 88/3 (Tiwary, 8.2), 131/4 (Stokes, 13.3), 139/5 (Dhoni, 16.1), and 150/6 (Tripathi, 18.4)
Kolkata bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 8 41 0 13.66
Umesh Yadav 4 12 23 1 5.75
Chris Woakes 4 14 18 3 4.50
Sunil Narine 4 9 28 1 7.00
Kuldeep Yadav 4 10 35 1 8.75
Colin de Grandhomme 0.2 0 7 0 21.00

Your opinion...