Before entering this game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore, things looked utterly bleak for Steven Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant.

The Pune-based team had lost its previous couple of games and seemed completely directionless. Going into the game against the hosts, they were well considered to be the underdogs.

However, the side responded to the challenge in some style, as they ended up beating the hosts comprehensively to win the game by 27 runs. Despite their middle order fumbling, a fine cameo from Manoj Tiwary got them past a respectable total. The bowlers then responded, with all-rounder Ben Stokes picking up three wickets.

Post his side’s win, Smith admitted that this could well be the start of the team’s winning run.

“We were in a pretty good position at one point at 0 for 60. Then we lost our way in the middle, losing 5 for 3. But I thought Tiwary finished off well for us and I thought 160 was par on that wicket, it was slow and up and down,” Smith said.

“Bowling changes worked out well tonight, it’s nice when it works. Had a lot better energy and presence in the field today so it was nice to turn it around. We have some great characters and some really good players. Hopefully, this is the start of a little run for us,” the Supergiant captain added.

Ben Stokes was named the Man of the Match and he was delighted with his efforts.

Ben Stokes was named the Man of the Match and he was delighted with his efforts.

“I think we assessed the way the wicket turned when we were batting. So we went into the bowling innings with a better understanding and we executed our bowling plans really really well. We tried to stay away from full deliveries because those were the ones that were hit. Then we slowed it up and hit hard on a good length which was the hardest to hit,” said Stokes.

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