Tripathi steals the show at Eden
Rising Pune Supergiant won the toss and elected to bowl first at Eden Gardens. We had to make one forced change as Robin Uthappa, who had a tight hamstring, had to sit out for the match. Suryakumar Yadav replaced the wicketkeeper-batsman.
Shaky start from the Knights:
Sunil Narine’s experiment of coming at the top did not work today as the batsman got out for zero giving Unadkat, a wicket-maiden to start the innings. Sheldon Jackson, who came next, looked good in his short stay but got hit-wicket for 10. Gambhir then, took the mantle of scoring the runs by himself as he struck some important boundaries. But the skipper holed out in the deep off Washington Sundar for 24. Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan looked settled on the Eden pitch but Imran Tahir removed Yusuf Pathan to give us another blow. Our scoreboard read 59/4 after 10 overs.
Middle-order cameos guide us to a challenging total:
Colin de Grandhomme was next at the crease and the New Zealand all-rounder opened his arms to hit some lusty blows. Along with Pandey, Grandhomme kept the scoreboard ticking as the run-rate increased. Pandey was looking well-set for a 50 but was caught in the deep off Christian. Grandhomme, along with Suryakumar Yadav continued playing the big shots as they took us towards a respectable total. Unadkat broke the partnership as he removed Grandhomme for a well-made 36 off just 19 balls. Chris Woakes and Nathan Coulter-Nile perished in the last overs with Suryakumar remaining unbeaten on 30 and we finished on 155/8.
RPS get off to a flyer:
Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi came on to the crease with a target of 159 to chase. While Rahane went back to the pavilion after making 11, his partner continued his good form in the tournament. He scored his first 32 runs in boundaries as he smashed our bowlers in the Powerplay. Smith departed early after making 9 off 9 balls. They were 74/2, out of which 47 were made by Tripathi as he went on to complete his 50 in just 23 balls. Meanwhile, Manoj Tiwary departed for just 8. Stokes joined after that and at the end of 10 overs, they were 96/3.
Tripathi guides Supergiant to win:
While Gambhir was trying various things, Tripathi was playing strong and hitting sixes at will. He hit Kuldeep for three consecutive sixes and made his intentions very clear. Stokes was caught and bowled by Narine but it was way too late. Dhoni could not contribute many as he departed for just 5. Tripathi finally fell for 93 off 52 as Woakes took his third of the night and 100th of his T20 career. Christian finished off things on the second ball of the 20th over as they won the game by 4 wickets. "Obviously, till the time you are not there in the playoffs you are not in the playoffs. We have three more games to go, and hopefully we can turn this around," said Gautam Gambhir in the presentation ceremony.