Rising Pune Supergiant are in good form, playing some good cricket in IPL 2017. The same can be said for Kolkata Knight Riders, who are second in the points table. Expect a feisty encounter when these two teams meet at MCA Stadium in Pune on Wednesday.
Here is how the match could go in Pune
If RPS bat first
Ajinkya Rahane fails to even get off the mark. He is out in the first over. Steve Smith and Rahul Tripathi score runs at a brisk rate. They are 49 in the first six overs, and Tripathi is playing his shots, and impressing with the bat once again, scoring 42 runs before being dismissed in the 9th over.
Smith takes charge as MS Dhoni settles in. The Australian is looking at his menacing best, playing shots all-around the wicket. With Dhoni also getting involved with some good boundaries, they reach 120 runs with five overs reaming. Smith falls while trying to up the ante.
Ben Stokes once again fails with the bat, but Manoj Tiwary and Dhoni unleash some big boundaries in the final few overs. It is Tiwary in great mood, strikes three fours on a trot to get past 170 runs in the 20th over. They score 176 runs in 20 overs.
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Once again, Gautam Gambhir opens with Sunil Narine, who gets going from the first ball of the innings. He hits the first ball of the over for once-bounce four, and the next ball is driven towards the cover region for a boundary. His stay at the crease is short-lived as he is out for 8 runs in the first over itself.
Gambhir plays his shots, and so does Robin Uthappa, but they both falter in the first six overs. With their top order gone, all eyes are on Yusuf Pathan and Manish Pandey, the duo score runs at a decent rate, but the required run rate is going up. Pathan mistimes a shot. He is caught in the deep and they are 85 for 4.
With Pandey being the main man, KKR cannot really get going as the right-hander also top edges the ball under pressure and is caught by the bolwer. KKR's lower order fails to make any impact as they are all out for 135 runs.
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If KKR bat first
It is Narine's show at the middle, and KKR are off to another flyer, scoring 68 in the first six overs, but the West Indian is gone in the seventh over. With Uthappa and Gambhir, KKR have a solid platform, and can eye a big total.
Dan Christian is mixing his deliveries well, and the Indian duo is not able to strike it well. Gambhir is gone in the tenth over, and Uthappa also follows his skipper to the dugout in the next couple of overs. Pandey, KKR's in-form star, is playing really well, and Pathan also joins in the act.
Pandey and Pathan strike some lusty blows at the end to score 182 runs from 20 overs.
Rahane shows his class, and Tripathy, who has been a good player for RPS in IPL 2017, does not need any license to take on the KKR bowlers. He just loves playing his attacking shots. And there you go, Tripathy is troubling the KKR captain, who loosk helpless.
Despite Rahane's wicket in the fifth over, Tripathi is enjoying his time, hitting boundaries after boundaries even after the field restrictions are over. Along with Smith, who is playing second fiddle, Tripathi completes his half-cenury from just 31 balls, but fails to carry on.
With Tripathi having provided a solid base, RPS are on course for win. Wait. There is no Dhoni at number 4. In-form Tiwary is promoted up the order. The Indian player is striking it clean like a whistle, and plays a cameo, 18-ball 40 to inch closer towards the target.
Smith is still there, and with Dhoni, the two combine well to reach the target in the 19th over. For a change, Dhoni does not take the match to the final over, seals the game with a six in the last ball of the 19th over.
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