Ajinkya Rahane’s spectacular display of batting cruised Rising Pune Supergiants to a thrilling win over Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets on Friday at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium in a league match of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Pune Supergiants won the toss and elected to field first. Delhi got off to a disastrous start and lost Rishabh Pant who was the hero of the last match against Gujarat Lions.
Karun Nair came and played quickfire 35-run stand with Samson on the other side.
Nair and Samson were looking threatening as they hammered the bowlers and at the end of the powerplay Delhi was at 48 runs. But soon Scot Boland dismissed Samson on the final ball of the powerplay that brought relief to Pune.
JP Duminy came to bat and added 17 runs along with Nair But soon the stay of Nair at the crease was cut by Rajat Bhatia. Sam Billings came and lived up to his image of a big hitter as he smashed 24 runs off 15 balls with one boundary and two big sixes.
Delhi was again back in the game and that led Pune to worry but skipper Dhoni decided to bring Bhatia back and once again he did wonder as he dismissed Billings and broke a 45 runs partnership of Billing and Duminy. Duminy was playing at 34 and he too was sent back by Ajinkya Rahane as he tried to attempt a big shot on a ball delivered by Boland.
Pawan Negi the Delhi’s most expensive buy came to bat and hit a quickfire as he made 19 runs off 12 balls and took Delhi to a challenging total. Delhi made 162 runs with the loss of seven wickets.
Chasing a total of 163 runs Pune had striking start as Rahane and Usman Khawaja laid a solid platform for Pune in the start. Rahane and Usman forged a brilliant partnership of 59 runs but Amit Mishra finally managed to dismiss Usman and put a break on this partnership.
Incoming batsman Saurabh Tiwari joined Rahane and scored 21 runs off 18 balls. Soon Delhi’s South African recruit Imran Tahir sent Saurabh Tiwari back to the pavilion.
Rahane was still smashing using his experience and patience. Pune needed 59 runs from 40 deliveries and Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni decided to come in the ground to bat. Rahane and Dhoni started smashing runs for Pune. Dhoni was playing destructive shots in his innings and the match was clearly skipping out of Delhi’s hands. Rahane and Dhoni made a spectacular 42 runs partnership for Pune but Tahir broke the partnership as he dismissed Dhoni at 27.
Pune needed 17 runs off 11 balls and Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera came to bat and joined Rahane. Perera played and smashing innings, Pune needed only 3 runs from the last over and Rahane hit a brilliant four to seal the game.
Rahane’s consistency and his smashing unbeaten innings of 63 runs off 48 balls led Pune to win over Delhi by seven wickets.
6 May, 2016
Avni S. Singh