Two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders took on the Rising Pune Supergiant at the latter’s backyard for the 30th game of VIVO IPL 2017. KKR looked confident on the back of their dramatic win over RCB in their last game, when they bowled out the best batting line-up of this season for 49 runs.
Pune, however, failed to continue their winning streak as their bowlers could not defend the target of 183. KKR’s batting attack was led by Gautam Gambhir (62 from 46) and Robin Uthappa (87 from 47) as they trumped RPS by 7 wickets to regain the No. 1 position on the points table.
Here are 5 memorable moments from the match that don't fade away, quite like the Axe Signature range of body perfumes.
#1 Brisk start by the hosts
Rahul Tripathi and Ajinkya Rahane were involved in yet another 50+ stand, the partnership which set the platform for Dhoni and Co. Tripathi has been the most consistent performer for the Pune team this year, with significant scores in all games. Playing in his first IPL, the youngster has shown great promise.
Rahane narrowly missed out on his half-century, getting dismissed on 46, but skipper Steve Smith reached his half-century in the final over of the innings. He smashed four 4s and one 6 to make a 37-ball 51. MS Dhoni and Daniel Christian provided the impetus in the end with an 11-ball 23 and 6-ball 16 respectively.
#2 Double delight for Kuldeep Yadav
MS Dhoni looked in sublime touch. He hit two helicopter sixes and one four before KKR’s chinaman Kuldeep Yadav sent him back on 23. The 22-year-old outfoxed the master finisher with a googly that was short in length; Dhoni ran down the wicket and was beaten by the turn, failing to get his body behind the line as Robin Uthappa whipped the bails off in a flash.
Manoj Tiwary, who is enjoying a dream IPL season, fell to Kuldeep in a similar fashion three balls later. Kuldeep’s wrong one bamboozled Tiwary, who was stumped by Uthappa. Two big wickets in the same over broke Pune’s momentum, who could have scored at least 20 runs more had these two stayed.
#3 Dhoni pulls off a characteristic run-out
Sunil Narine, widely recognised as a bowler, has been one of the best batsmen for KKR this season. However, it must be admitted that he is not as good when it comes to running between the wickets. His opening partner Gautam Gambhir, aware of this, should not have opted to go for a single.
However, he tickled the ball to short fine and rushed for a quick single. Narine had no choice but to make a run for it. Thakur underarmed the throw and then came the MS special. Dhoni deflected the ball onto the stumps without catching it ensuring Narine had to make his way back to the pavilion. The way with which Dhoni completed the run out was a sight to behold for all MSD fans.
#4 Jaydev Unadkat’s dropped catch
Jaydev Unadkat dropped a catch off Robin Uthappa, who had attempted a wild cross bat swing. However, Unadkat, who looked uncomfortable under the ball, landed awkwardly on his back and bumped his head onto the ground in an attempt to hold on to the ball. To make matters worse, it dribbled away to the boundary ropes. This dropped catch proved costly as Uthappa went on to score 87.
#5 Gambhir–Uthappa partnership
KKR are the only IPL team whose two Indian batsmen – Gautam Gambhir and Robin Uthappa – form a devastating partnership up the order. Although they haven’t been opening together this year, their good understanding was evident once again as the duo stitched together 158 runs.
The Gambhir-Uthappa pair scored the majority of the runs for KKR in 2012 and 2014, when the SRK co-owned franchise lifted the IPL trophy. Tonight, they showed that they can make it three as Uthappa scored a brilliant 87 from 47 balls, while Gambhir finished with 62 runs from 46 balls.