The 2016 runners-up Royal Challengers Bangalore fell one more time on their home turf, losing to Rising Pune Supergiant by 27 runs on Sunday night. This was the Kohli-led team’s second consecutive defeat at home and they now stand at the bottom of the table. For the visitors, it was a much-needed victory after losing their last three matches. Neither Kohli nor de Villiers could contribute in RCB’s chase, with the Pune bowling department being at their best. Let’s take a look at the top 5 talking points of the game.
#1 Dhoni’s rooftop six
Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Sunday showed his brute power by hitting the biggest six of the 2017 season at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
The former Pune skipper was under pressure after a string of poor performances. However, the six last night proved that Dhoni still has enough cricket left in him. His six came in 14th over of the Rising Pune Supergiant innings, when Dhoni rocketed the ball off to the stadium roof.
The beautiful shot came off the last ball of the over Yuzvendra Chahal. Dhoni came down the pitch to loft the ball with such force that it remained hit. The former India captain went to score 28 off 25 balls, with the help of three fours and that mighty six.
#2 Pune’s top order helps middle order play freely
The visitors must have hoped to get close to 200, the average score at the Chinnaswamy since 2016. And openers Ajinkya Rahane (30) and Rahul Tripathi (31) began the innings well, scoring 17 runs off Adam Milne in the third over en route to a solid 63-run stand by the eighth over. Rahane was in sublime touch hitting five boundaries during his 25-ball stay. However, he was castled by Samuel Badree for 30.
Tripathi, meanwhile, managed to hit well, scoring 31 off 23 balls, but a great one-handed diving catch RCB skipper Virat Kohli reduced RPS to 68 for 2. Still, Steve Smith, followed by MS Dhoni freely went for their shots and took RPS to 127 by the 16th over.
#3 Ben Stokes proves his price tag
With 58 required off the last four overs, Stuart Binny kept RCB’s hopes alive with a six and a four off Dan Christian. His second fiddle Pawan Negi hit Thakur for a six. Negi then went for a slog, top-edging the ball high but Tripath pocketed a brilliant catch to remove the southpaw. A ball later, Binny heaved high and long towards long-on, but Ben Stokes took the catch right at the ropes and threw the ball inside while he fell over backwards.
In the same over, Thakur then removed Binny. Stokes then bowled the final over in which he gave away only three runs to seal the deal for Pune.
#4 Manoj Tiwary’s splendid cameo
The fact that Pune were able to reach 161 was because of Manoj Tiwary's brilliant cameo. He smashed six boundaries in the last two overs, scoring 27 of the last 30 runs at a strike-rate of 245.45. It helped that the Bengal batsman was in form and had scores of 40 not out and 31 in his two knocks thus far.
On a pitch where other established batsmen struggled for a strike rate above 120, Tiwary's cameo was special. He scored 27 off 11 and now has 98 runs off 61 balls this IPL season.
#5 RCB’s woes continue
Set to chase 162, not a daunting task on the M Chinnaswamy pitch in any way, the hosts never got going as Smith and his men put up an impressive bowling performance and dismantled Kohli-led RCB at 134/9. Both Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers failed to stay at the wicket long enough to contribute a substantial knock. Kohli looked good until he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane at 28 off Ben Stokes.
De Villiers was then gobbled up by Imran Tahir at 29, stumped. Pune bowlers gave nothing away, making it more and more desperate for RCB batsmen to get runs, but only to fall one after the other in attempt to hit big shots. RCB now stand at the bottom of the table.