After suffering failures at the start of IPL 2017, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) have got themselves going beautifully and have kept getting better with every game. Carrying on their good form, RPS beat Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in Kolkata in the 41st first match of this season.
After winning an important toss, the visitors chose to field first and did a great job with the ball as they restricted an Uthappa-less KKR batting unit to 155 runs.
Jaydev Unadkat continued to impress as he swung the new ball and mixed his pace beautifully to keep the KKR batsmen at bay. While the start wasn’t the greatest, KKR didn’t help themselves by losing wickets at regular interval. However, Suryakumar Yadav played a brilliant cameo, a 16-ball 30, to propel his team to a respectable score of 155.
KKR had to get early wickets to keep themselves in the game. But, Rahul Tripathi had other ideas. The attacking opener was simply outstanding on the night. While the rest of the batsmen struggled to get going, Tripathi continued his great run of form and took all the bowlers to the cleaners in his match-winning knock of 93 runs.
After a brief scare in the end, RPS won the game by four wickets and now sit at the third position in the points table.
Let us take a look at how all the players performed in today’s game. All the ratings have been calibrated on a scale of ten.
Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS)
Ajinkya Rahane – 3/10
It was yet another failure for Rahane and has struggled in this edition so far. The stage was set for him to play an innings of impact. RPS were chasing just 155 runs and he could have taken his time and played an anchor role. But, he departed in just the second over after scoring 11 runs.
Rahul Tripathi – 9.5/10
While all the other batsmen struggled, Tripathi, who was the top-scorer, played a brilliant innings for RPS. He took on all the bowlers, but took a liking it to Kuldeep Yadav as he smashed him for three sixes in a row.
Steve Smith - 3/10
The RPS skipper looked good in his brief stay, but couldn’t get a big score. He misjudged an inswinger from Chris Woakes and got out bowled looking to play on the rise. He scored only 9 runs in 9 balls.
Manoj Tiwary – 3/10
Tiwary couldn’t make a significant contribution as he scored just 8 runs. Coming in to bat after the dismissal of Smith, Tiwary couldn’t get going at all and was cleaned up by Woakes in the 9th over.
Ben Stokes – 8/10
Although he didn’t have a great day with the bat, Stokes was brilliant with the bowl. The right-armer bowled four overs and conceded just 24 runs, and also picked up the wicket of Nathan Coulter-Nile.
MS Dhoni – 2/10
MS Dhoni had yet another failure with the bat against KKR tonight. Coming into bat at a stage when Tripathi was batting beautifully, Dhoni couldn’t rotate the strike as much. And he got out to Kuldeep Yadav for the second time in the competition.
Daniel Christian – 7/10
The Australian all-rounder was good with the ball and bowled three decent overs and maintained the pressure created by others. He scored ten runs and also hit the winning runs for RPS.
Washington Sundar – 7.5/10
The teenager was once again very good with the ball. Though he went for runs, he took two crucial wickets at the top. The off-spinner dismissed Gautam Gambhir which gave RPS the upper hand in the match, and was also got the wicket of Sheldon Jackson, who was out hit-wicket.
Imran Tahir – 6/10
The leg-spinner had a decent outing with the ball, conceding 36 runs in his four overs. Although he was expensive, he took the important wicket of Yusuf Pathan and exposed the KKR middle-order.
Jaydev Unadkat – 8.5/10
Unadkat was brilliant once again and bowled tight lines up front. He dismissed Sunil Narine in the very first over, and apart from his last over, where he went for runs, he had a great day with the ball.
Shardul Thakur – 8/10
The right-arm pacer was good with the new ball and contained run flow at one end which built pressure on the KKR batsmen. He conceded just 21 runs in his three overs.
Kolkata Knight Riders
Gautam Gambhir – 6/10
After losing Sunil Narine in the first over, the KKR skipper played sensibly. But, the RPS bowlers built pressure with dot balls and Gambhir got out looking to break the shackles. His dismissal put KKR under pressure and they never quite got going after that.
Sunil Narine – 7/10
It wasn’t his day with the bat as the left-hander got out for a duck after a brilliant over from Unadkat. But he was good with the ball, conceding 28 runs in the four overs he bowled and took the wicket of Ben Stokes.
Sheldon Jackson – 5/10
The wicket-keeper batsman walked in to bat at No. 3 in the absence of Robin Uthappa and looked good while but was unfortunate to get out hit-wicket. He scored 10 runs in 9 ball, which included two boundaries.
Manish Pandey – 7.5/10
Pandey walked into bat in a tricky situation as KKR had lost three quick wickets. He steadied the ship as played a good hand of 32-ball 37 runs. But he got out in the wrong time for KKR, and they couldn’t get a big score.
Yusuf Pathan – 3/10
As KKR kept losing wickets regularly, Pathan couldn’t play his natural attacking game. He tried to string a partnership with Manish Pandey in the middle overs but was outsmarted by a googly from Imran Tahir.
Colin de Grandhomme – 8/10
The Kiwi all-rounder looked in good in the middle and played a few eye-catching strokes in his 19-ball 36 runs. But he too got out when looking to up the ante. He was handed the job of defending five runs in the last over with the ball but an attempted slower ball landed over the boundary ropes.
Suryakumar Yadav – 8.5/10
If it wasn’t for Yadav’s flourish at the end, KKR would probably have ended up with a score of under 140. The attacking batsman made his presence felt as he scored 30 runs for his team. But it wasn’t enough in the end as a rampaging Rahul Tripathi won the game for RPS single-handedly.
Chris Woakes – 9/10
Woakes was the pick of the bowlers for KKR. Amidst the Tripathi-storm, the Englishman bowled with courage and kept KKR in the game. He troubled all the batsmen with swing and his variations, and returned with figures of 18 for three in four overs.
Umesh Yadav – 8.5/10
The pacer had a great day with the ball once again, but was unfortunate that he ended up on the losing side. His last over where he gave away just two runs gave KKR a sniff at a possible win.
Kuldeep Yadav – 7/10
If he hadn’t conceded three consecutive sixes, Kuldeep probably would have ended with better figures than what he actually did. Apart from that one over, the leggie bowled good lines. To win this game, KKR needed wickets in the middle overs but Kuldeep couldn’t provide breakthroughs.