Gujarat Lions belittles Supergiant with easy seven-wicket win

Gujarat Lions chased down 171 in 18 overs with seven wickets in hand after fast bowler Andrew Tye’s last over hat-trick put paid to RPS’ hopes of late assault.

Opener Brendon McCullum scored a quick 49 to set things up for Gujarat Lions   -  PTI

 

Gujarat Lions roared to a seven-wicket victory by outplaying Rising Pune Supergiant in all departments. The struggle and self-doubt in two IPL 2017 matches so far were replaced by confidence as the team surpassed the target of 171 with ease. Suresh Raina (35 n.o.) and Aaron Finch (33 n.o.) helped the local side cross the line in 18 overs. The spring in their steps and all-round excellence coincided with Ravindra Jadeja’s return from injury.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The talismanic India left-arm spinner and local hero played a small part in victory — deceiving M S Dhoni at the crease — but his presence appeared to instil self-belief in the team at the SCA stadium. Fast bowler Andrew Tye chipped in with five wickets, openers Dwayne Smith (47 off 30 balls), Brendon McCullum (49 off 32 balls) kept the show going and left the finishing part to their skipper.

Raina found the pieces falling into place in Gujarat Lions’ third match. The captain chose to chase after winning the toss and also set an example on the field with a stunning reflex slip catch using his left hand. Ajinkya Rahane was dismissed in the third ball of the match but RPS finished with a respectable score of 171-8 in the face of crafty bowling.

Tye (5-17) was the pick of the bowlers, getting a hat-trick in the first three balls of the 20th over. The lanky Aussie hustled top-order batsmen Rahul Tripathi, Ben Stokes and Manoj Tiwary with bounce and pace, nailed Shardul Thakur with a slow yorker. Ankit Sharma was his fifth victim. GL’s catching on the ropes was top-class, especially by Brendon McCullum and Ishan Krishan when the batsmen went for broke.

Earlier, a stroke-filled 43 by Steve Smith, supported by brisk knocks from Tripathi (33 off 17 balls) and Stokes (25 off 18 balls) set the stage for slogging in the death overs. Tye (4-0-17-5) deflated RPS hopes with a three-wicket burst (Sharma, Tiwary and Thakur dismissed off consecutive balls) amidst celebrations in the stands. For a change, a bowler grabbed the attention in a T20 tie this time.

Smith, returning to action after missing the previous game, and new opener Tripathi flexed arms to steal 50 runs in 24 balls. Raina shuffled his attack in a bid to catch the batsmen off guard. Dwayne Smith, the sixth bowler used in 10 overs, brought joy to GL by sending back the RPS captain (43 off 28 balls). Tye broke through the defence of Stokes as the home team hopes soared.

M.S. Dhoni walked in when RPS was in a mini-crisis — four wickets had fallen for 106 and seven overs remained. He was involved in a battle of wits with ex-Chennai Super Kings team-mates Shadab Jakati and Jadeja, and the pressure of a dipping run-rate demanded drastic action. On Jadeja’s bowling, Dhoni went for a heave against the turn and missed, and was trapped on the backfoot. He walked back disappointed, RPS had nothing much to remember from that moment on.