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Match Report: M34 - RPS vs RCB

Dismal RCB batting hands RPS fifth win

Match Report RPS vs RCB.jpg

Rising Pune Supergiant posted their fifth win of VIVO IPL 2017 when they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 61 runs at the MCA Stadium in Pune. Put in to bat, RPS posted 157-3 riding on contributions from their top order, after which their bowlers strangled the visitors and restricted them to 96-9.

Though Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed for a single-digit score, RPS recovered pretty quickly through a 40-run partnership between Rahul Tripathi and Steven Smith. Even though Smith got of the mark with a first-ball boundary, he took backseat in the second wicket partnership as Tripathi dominated; the opening batsman contributed 26 runs in the partnership before he edged Pawan Negi to the wicket-keeper Kedar Jadhav. Tripathi made 37 from 28 balls – studded with four boundaries and a six that was tracked at 98m.

Manoj Tiwary, sent in to bat at number four, and Smith then continued to build the innings with a 50-run partnership. Though the pair did not show any urgency at the start, they stepped on the gas every now and then to ensure the opposition did not get on top. Smith hit Samuel Badree for a six and two fours in the twelfth over, while Tiwary collected a six off Yuzvendra Chahal in the thirteenth. In the fourteenth, Smith collected consecutive boundaries off Stuart Binny, before he top edged one and was caught at fine-leg; the RPS captain made 45 from 32 balls.

With a new batsman at the crease, RCB slipped in two quiet overs – conceding only 2 runs in the 15th and 4 runs in the 16th. But at the business end, the batsmen once again got going; Tiwary and MS Dhoni collected a boundary each in the seventeenth, and the latter hit Sreenath Arvind for a six down the ground. The pair added 18 runs in the final two overs to help their team to a below-par 157-3; Tiwary finished unbeaten on 44 from 35 balls (4 fours, 1 six), while Dhoni had made 21 from 17 balls.

On bowling front, the left-arm spinner Pawan Negi finished with the most-respectable figures; his four overs only cost him 18 runs. Binny and Badree were the other wicket-takers for RCB.

In the second-half, RCB never really showed up. If RPS’ innings was built on contributions all-round, the RCB chase had just one player scoring the runs; captain Virat Kohli held one end up and made 55, while his colleagues fell for single-digit scores at the other end. That Arvind’s 8 not out – batting at number 10 – was the second-highest score of the RCB innings illustrates how poor RCB were with the bat. RCB just about batted out their 20 overs and finished at 96-9.

For the home side, Lockie Ferguson was the best performer with the ball; the Kiwi quick dismissed AB de Villiers and Binny, and also played a part in the run-out of Kedar Jadhav. Ferguson finished with outstanding figures of 4-1-7-2 – the second-most economical bowling spell in the IPL. Imran Tahir picked up three wickets and climbed to second place in the season’s bowling charts, while Washington Sundar (1-7), Daniel Christian (1-25) and Jaydev Unadkat (1-19) chipped in with wickets. What RPS did excellently was to use change of pace and build pressure steadily; there was a period in the middle – between overs 10.4 and 16.2 – when RPS did not concede a boundary, and the hosts reaped the rewards of steadily building the pressure.

Brief Scores

Rising Pune Supergiant: 157-3 (Steven Smith 45, Manoj Tiwary 44*, Rahul Tripathi 37) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore: 96-9 (Virat Kohli 55, Imran Tahir 3-18, Lockie Ferguson 2-7) by 61 runs.

Man of the Match: Lockie Ferguson