The Kolkata Knight Riders vs Rising Pune Supergiant match was a match were both teams were playing for the direct qualifier spot as a means to avoid the eliminator zone. With the top 4 of this IPL pretty much confirmed, the teams are now fighting for the top two spots.
With a win against the Knight Riders, the Pune Supergiants are now tied on points with Gambhir’s men. Batting first, Gambhir and co. could only reach a par score of 155, which was assailed by the Pune Supergiants, thanks to a match-winning innings from Rahul Tripathi.
Here are 5 memorable moments from the match that don't fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes.
Manish Pandey stabilises the innings
With the injury to Robin Uthappa, the Kolkata Knight Riders had lost their best batsman of this competition. His influence at the No. 3 position in the Knight Riders’ batting line-up is something that can’t be overstated.
However, in his absence, Manish Pandey did a decent job, albeit not as tormenting as Uthappa towards the bowlers.
After Sunil Narine and Sheldon Jackson fell cheaply, Pandey handled the KKR innings with great maturity. Although it could be argued that his 37 from 32 balls was a little too slow, it certainly helped the Knight Riders to build the innings.
KKR’s lower order saving them from embarrassment
Despite the fact that Manish Pandey cautiously built a platform for the team to lay their innings on, full advantage of it wasn’t taken. At 55 for 4 after 9.1 overs, it seemed as though KKR would fail to register a big score.
However, by the time the 20 overs were completed, the Knight Riders had crossed the 150 mark. The likes of Colin de Grandhomme and Suryakumar Yadav—Uthappa’s replacement—did a fine job in the end to take the score to a respectable zone.
A 19-ball 36 from the New Zealander and a 16-ball 30 from the Indian took the Knight Riders’ score to a decent total of 155. The reason why the usually strong KKR lineup couldn’t blaze their way to big target was…
The Knight Riders are among the most formidable batting units in the Indian Premier League. They are so good that, when batting first, a target of anything under 180 should be considered as a disappointment.
However, tonight, against Pune, they couldn’t play in the blistering fashion that they usually do. Indeed, they stuttered every now and then and could ultimately muster only 155 runs. One of the key reasons for that was Jaydev Unadkat’s spell.
Taking the wickets of Sunil Narine and Colin de Grandomme—two impact hitters—the young Indian halted the approach of his opponents. He also gave away only 28 runs in the process.
Chris Woakes’ hurrah
It is not that the Pune Supergiants absolutely dominated the Knight Riders to win this game. In fact, their batting, from a collective perspective, was a disappointment. They kept losing wickets at regular intervals and were pinned back against the wall.
And one of the key reasons for that is Chris Woakes.
The England international bowled a fine spell that left the Pune Supergiants bemused. He took the wickets of captain Steven Smith, Manoj Tiwary and Rahul Tripathi, and ended his night with enviable figures of 4-0-18-3.
Rahul Tripathi’s fine innings
If you take away the score of Rahul Tripathi, then the Pune Supergiants would have lost the match by a huge margin. The next best score after Tripathi’s match-winning 93 off just 52 balls was Ben Stokes’ 14. And then came Rahane’s 11.
The rest are scores in single digits as Pune’s batsmen really had a hard time to score off the KKR bowlers.
Tripathi, however, was in sublime touch. In his brilliant innings, he smashed 9 boundaries and hit 7 sixes to single-handedly carry his team to glory. In Pune’s last game, Ben Stokes played a similar inning—and tonight, it was Tripathi’s moment.