5 wickets in 9 deliveries and Royal Challengers Bangalore had Rising Pune Supergiant fans getting nervous in the stands. Some big hitting from Manoj Pandey towards the end and the visiting team in Bangalore posted 161 in their 20 overs.
165 had been the lowest total successfully defended by a team at the venue against RCB.
But Ben Stokes isn't the big-ticket star of this IPL without reason. Along with the rest of the Pune bowlers, the Englishman managed to get Steve Smith’s team across the finish line. A 27-run victory. The lowest total successfully defended at this ground.
By virtue of this victory, Pune now have four points from five games while RCB are in a spot with only a single win from five games.
For full coverage of the IPL, click here.
First Innings: Pune Post 161
Pune started the innings well with Ajinkya Rahane (30 off 25 balls) and Rahul Tripathi (31 off 23 balls) adding 63 for the opening stand.
Rahane hit a flurry of boundaries off the pacers Adam Milne (2/27) and Watson before a googly from Samuel Badree cleaned him up. Tripathi was gone when drove uppishly with skipper Kohli pulling off an absolute stunner at short extra cover.
It was a below-par score by Pune as they were cruising along at 127 for 2 courtesy 58-run stand between skipper Steve Smith (27) and Dhoni (28) before wickets fell in a clutch. With addition of only three runs, Pune lost five wickets in a space of nine deliveries with most of the batsmen falling prey to the slowish nature of the track committing to their shots too early.
Dhoni and Smith were bowled off successive deliveries while Ben Stokes was also cleaned up.
Tottering at 130 for 7, Tiwary played an absolute cameo scoring 27 off 11 balls including a 19-run penultimate over off Shane Watson that had three boundaries and a straight six into the sight screen.
Virat Kohli started with a flicked six off Jaydev Unadkat and a four off Shardul Thakur. But he had a reprieve when Manoj Tiwary dropped a regulation catch at first slip off Thakur. Thakur however had some consolation as he dismissed an out-of-form Mandeep Singh (0) soon after.
Kohli hit two more boundaries off Thakur before a delivery from Ben Stokes climbed big on the skipper. The skier was neatly pouched by Ajinkya Rahane standing a few yards at sweeper boundary.
De Villiers, who started with a six off Unadkat then became a bit cautious as third seamer Dan Christian bowled tight lines in his first two overs.
The first 10 produced 66 for RCB with 95 required off back 10.
But De Villiers, who had gone into a shell was beaten by a sharp leg-break from Tahir (1/27) as Dhoni whipped the bails off in a flash.
Just like Pune's middle-order collapse, RCB's batsmen also found that ball wasn't coming onto the bat. Jaydev Unadkat's slower delivery saw Kedar Jadhav rushing out only to be played on. Shane Watson (14) was always struggling before being cleaned up by Ben Stokes. It was all over for RCB by then.
Pune winning the match by 27 runs.