Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) posted a respectable 157 for 3 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in Match 34 of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017. Playing at their home ground Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, the Supergiant did a commendable job on a slow and low track to get in the groove. For that matter, credit goes to the Royal Challengers for mixing up their pace and coupling it with timely yorkers. Above all, it was the left-arm orthodox Pawan Negi who eclipsed leg-spinners Samuel Badree and Yuzvendra Chahal, ending with figures of 1 for 18. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), IPL 2017, Match 34 at Pune
With two wins from nine games, the Royal Challengers were racing against time. They had to take stern measures to stay on course in the tournament. For that, they dropped the Caribbean marauder Chris Gayle who managed only 152 runs at 25.33 in 6 games. With Mandeep Singh out as well, it will be interesting to see as to who will partner Virat Kohli in the opening department. However, they yet again chose to bowl against the Supergiant who had defended 161 at M. Chinnaswamy this season. But the side will miss Man of the Match of that game, Ben Stokes in this game.
The Royal Challengers started off with a pace-spin pair in Adam Milne and Samuel Badree. They strangled the Supergiant openers with tight line and length, giving away no boundary in the first two over. But the man-in-form Tripathi was not the one to back down and choke. He picked up two boundaries off Milne, both on the leg-sides. Off the last ball, he pulled one again but found Kohli at mid-on. While moving to his left, he failed to pouch it cleanly and dropped a sitter, giving a lifeline to Tripathi. All the same, the Royal Challengers breathed a sigh as Badree got rid of Rahane in the very next over.
In came Steven Smith. Badree fired a flatter one on his legs, and Smith heaved it on to the square-leg boundary. Tripathi, in the next over, hit a massive six down town. Kohli made another bowling change. The result was the same. Tripathi accumulated two more boundaries off Yuzvendra Chahal. Smith, too, joined the carnage, collecting 26 runs in boundaries off Badree. Live cricket updates: RPS vs RCB, match 34
However, Pawan Negi and Stuart Binny pulled things back for the Royal Challengers and picked a wicket each, sending both set batsmen Tripathi (37) and Smith (45) back to the dugout.
Dhoni took the crease when the Supergiant 108 for 3 in 13.5 overs. He tried his best to heave but the ball bit the dust and did not come on to the bat well. However, he still managed 21 off 17 with the help of two boundaries.
Manoj Tiwary, who had come ahead of Dhoni, scored an unbeaten 44 off 35. He, though, was lucky in the end overs, picking two boundaries off the edges and taking the Supergiant to 157 for 3.
In other news, the Royal Challengers have not yet successfully chased down a target this season.
Rising Pune Supergiant 157 for 3 (Steven Smith 45, Manoj Tiwary 47*; Pawan Negi 1 for 18) vs Royal Challengers Bangalore.