Steve Smith’s brilliant knock of 101 went in vain as table-toppers Gujarat Lions defeated Rising Pune Supergiants by 3 wickets to consolidate their position at the top.
The first T20 century from the Australian skipper helped Rising Pune Supergiants post a huge target of 195 but all those efforts counted for little as the Lions held their nerve to clinch a last-ball victory.
A visibly disappointed Steven Smith was left to rue the dismal bowling performance as Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith provided a blazing start in the batting powerplay, when they thrashed the RPS bowlers all around the park to smash 72 runs.
“I thought 195 was a pretty good score and I think that the first six overs of their batting (made the difference). They came out and played their shots, got off to an absolute flier,” Smith said in a post-match presentation.
“I thought we were a bit disappointing with the way we bowled. I think we chopped and changed a little bit too much, rather than being nice and patient, bowling good balls and making them go after the good balls. Any time you do that your chances of taking a wicket (increase) and if you take a wicket up top, when you’re chasing 195, it makes things very difficult,” he added.
The defeat was Pune’s third defeat in as many matches played in Pune but Smith said that they are not worried about failing to take the home advantage.
However, the right-hander said that he is more concerned about their position in the table. A fifth defeat in seven matches saw RPS lying in the
sixth position in the table.
“In a tournament like this, it doesn’t really matter where you play. It’s about going out there on any given day, giving it your all. Some days you’re going to lose games of cricket in IPL, that’s part and parcel of it, it’s all obviously about winning more to get yourself into that top four and at the moment we’re not doing that and we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
With one more game remaining for them at home, against Mumbai Indians, Smith is hopeful that the Pune can build some momentum, to have a real chance of qualifying for the playoffs.
“It’s obviously a very important one for us to win. We pretty much have to win most of our games from here on in, so hopefully, we can turn the momentum around, get a few wins on the board in a streak and hopefully we’ll go from there,”he concluded.