Buoyed by the return of star all rounder Ravindra Jadeja, Gujarat Lions won the toss and opted to bowl first. Upon losing an early wicket, the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) batsmen launched an exhilarating counter-attack. However, they kept losing wickets at regular intervals and ended up at a lesser total than anticipated.
The hosts began their chase on a blazing note. Riding on the explosiveness of their openers, they carved away at the target with minimal effort. Despite experiencing a slight stutter, Gujarat wrapped up a comfortable seven-wicket victory. With this result, every team in the league has now completed at least one win.
Here’s how each player fared in the entertaining encounter at the SCA Stadium in Rajkot.
Andrew Tye – 9.5
With a sensational spell of 4-0-17-5, Tye registered the best figures by a bowler on IPL debut. Those five wickets included a hat trick which halted Pune’s progress in the final over. Having proved himself on maiden appearance in the tournament, the 30-year old is surely here to stay.
Dwayne Smith – 9
Operating from a short run-up and languid pace, Smith somehow managed to get rid of his namesake in the opposition team. His fiery 30-ball 47 ensured that Gujarat’s chase went up and running right from the outset.
Brendon McCullum – 9
Alongside Smith, McCullum laid into Pune’s bowlers with his belligerent batting. The former New Zealand captain rolled back the clock through some powerful pick-up shots. Even though he fell one run short of the fifty-mark, his knock had established an aggressive flow for the Lions.
Suresh Raina – 8.5
Playing his 150th IPL game, Raina pulled off an unbelievable catch at slip to kick start the proceedings. The left-hander also played a solid hand with the bat to propel Gujarat to a comprehensive triumph.
Aaron Finch – 8.5
As they got closer and closer to the target, the next objective for Gujarat was to go past the finishing line quickly to provide a significant boost to the net run-rate. Finch did just that by hammering 33 off only 19 balls.
Basil Thampi – 7
One of the most promising seamers in India’s domestic circuit, Basil bowled with considerable pace and managed to pose a challenge to Pune’s batsmen. The sharp bouncer to Smith got him smack on the rib-cage thus prompting the physiotherapist to rush into the middle.
Ravindra Jadeja – 5.5
Returning to action after a well-deserved break, Jadeja had a rather poor outing with the ball. Even though he dismissed MS Dhoni with a wily delivery, the left-arm spinner went at exactly ten runs per over.
Shadab Jakati – 5
Jakati sent down only a couple of overs but conceded 22 runs from them. He kept bowling short and expectedly copped a few blows from the Pune batsmen.
Dinesh Karthik – 4
Karthik was the only batsman from Gujarat Lions’ lineup to not make a mark in this game. Despite coming into bat at a not so tough situation, the wicket-keeper batsman could not continue his impressive recent form.
Praveen Kumar – 3
Praveen began his spell by picking up the early wicket of Rahane. However, he struggled for control later on and leaked runs aplenty. His last two overs alone cost a whopping 37 runs.
Ishan Kishan – N/A
Apart from pouching a catch, Ishan Kishan did not have much to do in this game. With the top-order making a mockery of the chase, he did not get a chance to bat.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Steven Smith – 9
As long as Smith was at the crease, Pune’s stocks appeared to be on the rise. The skipper complemented the boundaries with sharp singles to keep the scoreboard ticking. When it seemed like a big one was in the offing, he perished to Dwayne Smith for a well-made 28-ball 43.
Rahul Tripathi – 8
With the team management giving him a chance at the top of the order, Tripathi grabbed the opportunity by producing an eye-catching knock. He looked confident at the crease before Tye ended his 17-ball 33.
Ben Stokes – 8
The all rounder’s cameo with the bat helped sustain Pune’s momentum in the early part of the innings. However, he perished at the wrong time and left a fragile lower-order for the Gujarat bowlers to exploit. Even as the other bowlers were disappearing to all parts of the ground, Stokes sent down three decent overs.
Shardul Thakur – 8
On a surface wherein majority of the bowlers found the going tough, Thakur managed to give a good account of his skills with a commendable display. He conceded only 14 runs from his 3 overs and picked up Dwayne Smith’s wicket too.
Manoj Tiwary – 6.5
Tiwary came into the crease when the scoreboard read 89/3 in the tenth over. Even though he went to contribute 31 runs to the team’s cause, the right-hander’s strike-rate was a below-par 114.81.
Ankit Sharma – 6.5
Ankit’s game was a story of two distinct halves. His 15-ball 25 played a crucial role in Pune breaching the 170-run mark. However, his 16-run over made Gujarat’s task all the more easier.
Rahul Chahar – 6
Chahal might remember this game for a couple of things. Apart from outwitting Brendon McCullum with a clever change in length, the leg-spinner produced a moment of magic on the field. After being positioned at third man, he saw a scoop shot enter his vicinity.
Upon realizing that the inertia was going to propel him past the boundary, the 17-year old threw the ball back in play and landed on his feet in time. His stunning piece of fielding left Stokes in awe.
Lockie Ferguson – 5
The raw pace, which was the reason behind him getting labeled as a X-factor, proved to be his own undoing in this game. On a surface that did not offer any margin for error, Ferguson’s lengths were all over the place. As a consequence, the fast bowler went at 11 runs per over.
Imran Tahir – 4
The world’s top ranked bowler in both limited-overs formats suffered one of his worst outings with the ball. From 4 overs, he gave away as many as 53 runs and only managed to pick up a solitary scalp.
MS Dhoni – 3.5
Dhoni followed up his scores of 12*(12), 5(11), 11(14) with a 8-ball 5 in this game. Not looking comfortable at all against either seam or spin, the 35-year old’s painful stay at the crease was ended by a straighter delivery from Jadeja.
Ajinkya Rahane – 3
Although he was at the receiving end of Raina’s brilliance on the field, Rahane's shot in the first place was pretty ordinary. He was dismissed for a three-ball duck.