REPORT: Rising Pune Supergiant put an end to their three-match losing streak as Ben Stokes took 3-18 to defeat RCB by 27 runs on Sunday.
It was the first time in 10 attempts that RPS had set a target and successfully defended it, after they had been put into bat first by Virat Kohli.
Ajinkya Rahane, playing his 100th IPL match, combined with opening partner Rahul Tripathi to give RPS a strong platform as they raced to 50 in five overs.
Their 63-run partnership was ended by Samuel Badree in the eighth over when Rahane was bowled by a googly. Tripathi (31) fell victim to a blinding Kohli catch four balls later and Steven Smith and MS Dhoni then found scoring difficult.
When Dhoni reached 23, he took his career runs aggregate to 24,000, and the third wicket pair added 58, but then again both men fell in quick succession. Dhoni was bowled by Shane Watson, while Smith fell in the same fashion to Sreenath Aravind.
Their wickets sparked an RPS collapse as in nine balls they lost five wickets while adding a mere 3 runs to descend from 127 for two to 130 for seven. It took Manoj Tiwary, playing only his second match since the death of his father, to repair the damage. He struck 2 sixes and 3 fours in an 11-ball 27 as RPS took late momentum and reached 161 for eight.
For RCB, Adam Milne, playing his first game of the season, returned figures of 2-27, while Aravind also grabbed two scalps.
For RPS to then restrict RCB’s strong batting talent to a mere 134 for nine will give them heart going into the remainder of the group phase. Not only was it the first time that RPS had won after batting first, but they notched the lowest total successfully defended by any side against RCB at Bengaluru. The Kolkata Knight Riders had defended 165 in 2012 (winning by 42 runs).
ViratKohli (28) and AB de Villiers (29) threatened to get going but bother fell in the 11th over and the slow surface hampered RCB’s chances. The required run rate soared as Smith rang the changes well in the field.
Ben Stokes took the Man of the Match award for a career best 3-18, while teammate Shardul Thakur also set a career high with 3-35..
Rising Pune Supergiant: 161 for eight (Rahul Tripathi 31, AjinkyaRahane 30, Adam Milne 2-27, S Aravind 2-29)
Royal Challengers Bangalore: 134 for nine (AB de Villiers 29, ViratKohli 28, Shardul Thakur 3-35, Ben Stokes 3-18)
Man of the Match: Ben Stokes
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