The Indian Premier League this season has seen two new franchises take part in the competition and today, the two new teams took on each other in a crunch encounter at the Saurashtra Cricket Association stadium in Rajkot.
The Rising Pune Supergiants won the toss and chose to bat but failed to make the most of the conditions as they managed just 163/5 in their 20 overs. Faf du Plessis was the stand-out batsmen as he scored 69 runs and with a cameo late on from Dhoni, the Supergiants reached a respected total.
But the Gujarat Lions just swept past the total with 2 overs to go thanks to Finch and McCullum who scored 99 runs between them.
Here are the turning points from this game at Rajkot:
- Jadeja calms things down:
The left arm orthodox was in good mood on the night as he kept it simple and made it hard for the Supergiants to score freely. He came on at a time when the batsmen were looking to settle down and also helped his team in the final overs. He ended up with figures of 2 for 18 of his 4 overs and helped his team keep the Lions down to a chase-able target in the first innings.
- Cameo from MSD gives Supergiants something to defend:
The skipper of the Supergiants, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was also on song and looked dangerous the 10 balls he was on the crease. He scored 22 runs with 2 4’s and a 6 as he took 20 runs from the final over to lift his team’s score to above the 160-mark and gave his bowlers something to work with at the end. Though the target was not enough, Dhoni’s innings atleast gave the Supergiants a chance in the second innings.
- Finch throws caution to the wind:
After a relatively good start, Aaron Finch turned up the music in the middle in the last over of the power-play. The Lions were going at just around 10 an over but the strong Aussie opener took 20 from the 6th over and another 13 from the next taking his team’s score to 75 at the end of the 7th over. This onslaught helped the Lions reach the target with minimal fuzz.
- Dhoni misses a stumping:
Just as the required rate was down to under 7, the fielding team skipper MS Dhoni spilled a great chance to get into the game. Brendon McCullum who was batting confidently on 46 off just 26 balls walked past a ball from Ashwin but the skipper failed to collect the ball and let the New Zealand player live longer. Though it did not effect the game as a whole, a wicket at that moment would have put some breaks on the scoring rate.
- Bravo comes to the party:
The dismissals of McCullum and Raina were both timed very poorly in a chase for the Lions. Both batsmen lost their wickets to allow the scoring rate to slightly increase building up the pressure on the batting side. But one Dwayne Bravo had other plans. He came in, smoked 22 off just 10 balls with 3 boundaries and 1 six that bought down the score to just a run in 2 overs. Surely his cameo helped his side end the game in style.
This victory takes the Lions to the top of the points table in the IPL.