The Rising Pune Supergiant, riding on Ben Stokes’ heroics with the bat, beat the Gujarat Lions in a thriller at home. Batting first, Gujarat posted a total of 161/7 on the board as Brendon McCullum top scored with 45(27).
Pune got off to a horrific start losing four wickets for just 42 runs. However, it was Stokes and Dhoni who resurrected things with a 76-run stand for the fifth wicket. Although Dhoni departed in the death overs, Stokes continued his good work with the bat by bringing up a century.
It was Daniel Christian who hit the winning runs and remained unbeaten on 17(8). Stokes also remained unbeaten on 103 (63) and was adjudged the Man of the Match.
Let us now have a look at how the players fared in the match.
Rising Pune Supergiant
Ben Stokes – 9
Stokes may well have ended up with a rating of 3 or 4 considering his bowling figures of 4-0-36-0. However, he showed his class today with the bat as he powered his team to the doors of victory with an unbeaten knock of 103 (63). His innings will certainly go down as one of the best in IPL history and that is what compelled us to give him a rating of 9.
Imran Tahir – 8
He came on to bowl at a stage when Ishan Kishan and Brendon McCullum had got Gujarat off to a flying start. However, Tahir struck soon enough when he dismissed the young Kishan for 31. He followed it up with the wickets of Aaron Finch (13) and Dwayne Smith (0) off back to back deliveries in the 10th over. He couldn’t complete his hat-trick but ended up with superb bowling figures of 4-0-27-3.
Jaydev Unadkat – 8
Unadkat has been the spearhead of Pune’s pace bowling unit for the past few matches and the captain has shown a lot of faith in him by entrusting him with death bowling duties. He didn’t disappoint this time as well as he claimed three wickets in his final two overs and ended up with figures of 3.5-0-29-3.
Shardul Thakur – 8
Bowling figures of 3-0-25-1 deserve nothing more than a rating of 7. However, a bowler always deserves some extra credit when the only wicket that he claims is that of the swashbuckling Brendon McCullum.
McCullum seemed to be in sublime touch with the bat as he went about his business smashing of smashing bowlers to all parts of the field. However, he fell victim to a very good delivery from Thakur, giving away a simple catch to Ajinkya Rahane.
Thus, the Kiwi departed after smashing 45 runs off just 27 deliveries.
Daniel Christian – 7
In T20s it is often seen that the players with small contributions with the bat and the ball make the most impact. And today Christian proved that with his crucial bowling spell of 3-27-1 and quick fire 17* (8) with the bat.
MS Dhoni – 7
Dhoni walked out to bat at a time when Pune were tottering on a score of 42-4, chasing a target of 162 runs. And he provided Ben Stokes able support at the other end stitching together a partnership of 76 runs for the 5th wicket of which Dhoni contributed 26.
Washington Sundar – 6
Sundar took a vital catch of Ishan Kishan and bowled a tight couple of overs for just 12 runs. Enough to earn him a rating of 6!
Rahul Tripathi – 4
Tripathi was tasked with resurrecting Pune's innings after the loss of three early wickets. However, he fell victim to a superb throw from Aaron Finch and was eventually run out for 6 (7) leaving Pune in trouble at 42-4.
Ajinkya Rahane – 2
Rahane continued his poor form with the bat as he was dismissed in the very first over. He hit Sangwan for a beautiful boundary but was trapped in front of the stumps soon after on the 4th ball of the over. Thus he departed for just 4.
Steve Smith – 2
Smith started off his innings in style hitting a boundary off the very first ball he faced. However, he was out caught by Soni off the next delivery, thus giving Sangwan his second wicket of the over.
Manoj Tiwary – 1
Tiwary had been in decent touch with the bat prior to this match, however, he was dismissed for a duck today after facing just three deliveries as Basil Thampi trapped him plumb in front of the stumps. Thus, Pune found themselves in deep trouble, reduced to 10-3 in the second over.
Ishan Kishan – 8
Kishan got Gujarat off to a flying start with an exciting innings of 31 (24). He didn't offer any respite to any of the Pune bowlers as he smashed them all around the park.
Brendon McCullum – 8
McCullum looked set for a big one today as he smashed 45 off 27 deliveries. Wickets kept tumbling at one end but he kept smashing the bowlers at the other. Unfortunately, his innings was cut short by Shardul Thakur's bowling as he was out caught while attempting a big shot.
Pradeep Sangwan – 7
Sangwan made a bright start with the ball claiming the big wickets of Rahane and Smith in the very first over of Pune’s innings. However, he couldn't do much afterwards as Stokes got stuck into him. He ended up with bowling figures of 4-0-38-2.
Basil Thampi – 7
Thampi bowled very well once again today as he claimed the wickets of Manoj Tiwary and MS Dhoni. He was once again accurate with his execution of deliveries but was undone by the storm named Ben Stokes.
Ankit Soni – 6
Soni bowled four overs for just 16 runs amidst all that carnage from Stokes. That tells a lot about his temperament and ability.
Ravindra Jadeja – 5
Jadeja scored some vital runs with the bat – 19 off 12 deliveries – but turned out to be ineffective with the ball as he leaked 19 runs in his 2 overs without picking up any wicket.
Dinesh Karthik – 5
Karthik looked in good touch today with the bat as he resurrected the Gujarat innings. He made his way to 29 runs off 26 balls but fell victim to a superb run out by Dhoni.
Aaron Finch – 4
Finch started off his innings in a typically explosive manner scoring 13 runs in his first 5 deliveries. However, he was foxed by Tahir soon after and was dismissed caught and bowled. He did effect an important run out of the in-form Rahul Tripathi in the second innings, though.
Suresh Raina – 3
The Gujarat skipper's dismissal may well have been the turning point of the match. Rahane did a superb job to catch Raina short of his crease for 8.
James Faulkner – 3
Faulkner didn't have the best of days as he scored just 6 (7) with the bat and then went for 30 runs in 2.5 overs. It's certainly not something we expect from a player of his calibre at this stage of the tournament.
Dwayne Smith – 1
Smith had a horrible outing today being dismissed for a duck off the first ball and then leaking 26 runs with the ball in his three overs.