IPL 2017 RPS vs GL, Match 39: Pune won by five wickets and rides to the top four.
IPL 2017 is turning out to be one hell of a tournament and it’s that time when all the teams are looking to save their berth in the top four and qualify for the play-offs. However, with big targets comes big games and RPS vs GL was one of the most crucial games for both the teams.
While Rising Pune Supergiants was already standing in the top four, it was Gujarat Lions who desperately needed a win to keep their play-off dreams alive. However, a win for RPS also meant an almost certain qualification and due to all this, stakes were really high last night.
Rising Pune Supergiant won the toss and opt to bowl as they knew that the dew factor at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune will come handy during the chase and the kind of bowling attack they had, will definitely sum up in an easy victory over the visitors.
And that is what happened!!
Ishan Kishan (31 off 25) and Brendon McCullum (45 off 27) gave a steady start to Gujarat Lions’ innings, however, except Dinesh Kartik (29) and Ravindra Jadeja (19), the whole batting lineup went for cheap, resulting in the target of 162 runs that Lions had to defend against Rising Pune Supergiants.
In the very first over, RPS lost Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith, turning the tables on GL’s side, and by the end of sixth over, the host had lost four wickets with just 42 runs on the scoreboard.
MS Dhoni was there on the pitch and everybody was hoping the return of the best finisher in the world but then something really surprising happened.
Ben Stokes, who found himself on the 22-yard strip as early as in the second over, unleashed his wrath on Gujarat Lions after taking some time with Tripathi to settle.
MS Dhoni departed for a 33-ball 26, but Ben Stokes had a point to prove after being bought for INR 14.5 crore and the stage was set. With the help of seven boundaries and six sixes, he scored a mammoth 103 runs in just 63 balls and the kind of ‘Strokes That Stokes’ was playing, left the whole bowling attack dumbfounded.
What That Million Dollar Innings Here:
Ben Stokes was ruled out for the two previous IPL 2017 games due to a shoulder injury but after clearing the required test on the eve of Rising Pune Supergiants’ clash with Gujarat Lions, he has registered a comeback worth cherishing and finally, he was able to vindicate his controversial bidding price.
However, MS Dhoni too gave us a moment worth mentioning and that was his work behind the stumps. The wicket-keeper has a tendency to find the opposition napping and then hitting a bull’s eye. People have already started declassing the former Indian captain but moments like these happen to be the best reply to all his haters.
Watch MS Dhoni going at it once again.
As for the IPL 2017 tally, Rising Pune Supergiants (12) have almost entered the play-off and stands at the fourth position, accompanied by Mumbai Indians (16), Kolkata Knight Riders (14) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (13) in the top four. Kings XI Punjab (8) is the only team that might have the chance to qualify, other than that, we could be looking at the final four already.