Gujarat Lions and Rising Pune Supergiant made their debut in IPL 2016 but in the span of only two seasons, they have become immensely popular amongst the fans. Both teams play an exciting brand of cricket and are loaded with cricket stalwarts.
As a result, whenever both teams have squared off in the IPL, there has been plenty of action and every match has produced memorable events which will never fade away.
Once again tonight, both teams will lock horns and the venue for the encounter is Pune. RPS are yet to get the better of their upcoming opponents having lost all three previous encounters between the two. Here we present the top five moments which occurred during their past encounters.
#1 Jadeja stems the flow of runs (14th April 2016)
In the first encounter between Gujarat and Pune at Rajkot, Ravindra Jadeja’s impressive bowling spell went unnoticed but it was the most decisive performance of the game.
On a good batting wicket, Pune won the toss and elected to bat first. Faf du Plessis exploited the conditions and set a solid platform by scoring an impressive 69 from 43 balls. Ajinkya Rahane (21) and Kevin Pietersen (37) gave able company to du Plessis and after 16 overs, Pune were comfortably placed at 134 for 3.
With experienced finishers at the crease in the form of MS Dhoni and Steve Smith, Pune were eying a big flourish. But Ravindra Jadeja had other ideas. In his second spell in the 16th over, he got rid of Smith on the second ball. For the rest of the over, he kept Dhoni and Mitchell Marsh quiet, conceding only two runs out of which one was a leg bye.
In the 19th over, he choked Marsh by bowling a faster delivery wide outside off stump and then on the fourth ball, he castled the Australian all-rounder. The produced only two runs.
Thus from overs 16 to 20, Pune scored only 29 runs which was the turning point of the game as Lions chased the total in 18 overs. Aaron Finch was the man of the match for his vital 50 runs but the biggest impact was created by Jadeja who gave away only three runs in his final two overs to absorb the momentum. His overall figures for the match read, 4-0-18-2.
#2 Smith’s magical hundred (29 April 2016 )
When Steve Smith is at the crease, expect the unexpected as his style often upsets the bowlers.
Gujarat Lions found this the hard way when they faced Rising Supergiant Pune on 29 April 2016 at Pune. Smith came to bat in the third over and scored a boundary off his very first ball. One over later, he showed his extensive reach. First, he slapped a length ball over covers by dancing down the wicket and on the very next ball he shuffled across to glance a ball that was heading down the leg side. Both these shots earned him boundaries.
For the rest of the innings, Smith kept leaving the crease to loft sixes, and clobber fours. In between, he went on the back foot to play cut shots and pulls. And all this while nudging singles and running quickly between wickets.
It wasn’t an innings of absolute power hitting; it was a display of busy batting. His shot of the day came in the 19th over against Praveen Kumar. Smith moved across and Kumar followed the batsman by bowling a yorker. However, the Pune batsman showed incredible skills and flicked that ball through his legs to fine leg for a four.
Smith completed his hundred in the 20th over off 53 balls and was out on the very next delivery. RPS scored 195 runs in their 20 overs but Gujarat chased this target on the last ball of the 20th over to register a close win.
#3 Lions chase 196 on the last ball to clinch a thriller (29 April 2016)
The first half of the match played between Supergiant and Lions at Pune in 2016 was dominated by the home team courtesy of Steve Smith’s magical hundred. But, Gujrat’s brave batting spoiled the party for the home team as the visitors won the game on the last ball of the match.
Chasing a big total of 196 runs, Lions’ opening pair began the onslaught from the word go and added 93 runs for the first wicket. McCullum belted 43 runs off just 22 balls while Dwayne Smith scored 63 runs off 37 balls.
Courtesy of this strong start, Lions were at 166 after 16.1 overs and needed only 30 more runs from 22 balls. But then Dinda sent back Dinesh Karthik and Ashwin chipped in with a quiet over. With 20 needed from 12 balls, Dinda bowled a dramatic over that included two fours and two wickets.
Lions needed nine runs from the last over and Faulkner produced a four off Perera’s first ball. But on the third and fourth ball, Lions lost Raina and Kishan respectively. Raina was castled while Kishan was run out.
With three needed off two balls, Faulkner scored a double and then pulled the last ball for a single to put an end to the drama.
#4 When Raina produced a Jonty Rhodes moment (29 April 2016 )
The encounter between Pune and Gujarat at Pune in 2016 was full of sterling cricket moments. From Smith’s hundred to Lions’ last ball win, there were many talking points and one among them was the run out of Saurabh Tiwary by Suresh Raina.
On the third ball of the third over, Praveen Kumar got one to hit on Rahane’s pads. Both Rahane and Tiwary had a bit of hesitation but finally, both decided to go for a single. The ball hadn’t travelled any considerable distance and was lying little away from the stumps.
Suresh Raina ran in from backward point, dived to pick up the ball and crashed into the stumps. Tiwary was no match to Raina’s brilliance and quickness and was run out.
This tremendous run out by Suresh Raina is surely one his best fielding moments.
#5 Andrew Tye’s dream debut in IPL (14 April 2017)
In the match between Gujarat and Supergiants in 2017 at Rajkot, Andrew Tye claimed all the headlines.
What is the best debut for a bowler? A hat-trick or a five-wicket haul? Andrew Tye, the Australian pace bowler enjoyed dream debut in IPL as he achieved a hat-trick as well as a five-wicket haul.
Smith and Tripathi gave Pune a flying start after they lost Rahane in the first over.
In the sixth over, Raina brought the debutant Andrew Tye to stall the momentum. The quickie got rid of Tripathi on the fifth ball of the over with his trademark knuckleball. He then came back in the 13th over and produced another wicket on the first ball of the over. The Australian pacer yet again used the knuckleball to castle Ben Stokes.
Tye’s best moment in the IPL came in the last over of the innings. On the first ball, McCullum took an impressive catch to dismiss Ankit Sharma, while on the next ball, Manoj Tiwary’s mistimed flick shot was caught by Kishan on leg side fence.
For the hat-trick delivery, Tye bowled a quick yorker on the stumps which was enough to demolish Shardul Thakur’s stumps. With that, Tye became the first bowler in IPL history to pick up a five-wicket haul as well a hat-trick.
Courtesy of Tye’s bowling, Pune managed only 171 runs which Gujarat chased down in 18 overs.