KKR v RPS Player of the Match: Rahul Tripathi

By collecting 78 runs in boundaries, in his knock of 93, Rising Pune Supergiant’s Rahul Tripathi almost single-handedly steered his team to its seventh win this season.

Rahul Tripathi (left) set the tone early and ran with it for the rest of his knock.   -  PTI

By his own admission, the mantra of ‘see ball, hit ball’ was followed by Rahul Tripathi in his match-winning blitz of 93 on Wednesday night. He executed his game-plan pretty well, helping himself to boundaries all around the wicket, but mostly collected through cow corner, fine leg and square on the off side. Eighty four percent of his runs were scored in boundaries - 78 - as he almost single-handedly took Rising Pune Supergiant to its seventh win in the competition.

Chasing 156 to defeat an in-form Kolkata Knight Riders at home, Supergiant started shakily, losing Ajinkya Rahane in the second over. Tripathi set the tone for what was to follow, however, as he went ballistic off Nathan Coulter-Nile, even running down the wicket to the fast bowler; he took three fours and a six as the third over conceded 19 runs.

The mayhem was persisted with against Umesh Yadav and Chris Woakes as well, as Supergiant raced to 74 for 2 in six overs. The lull in the middle overs was brought to an end by three sixes in a row off Ben Stokes in the 13th over. Although Knight Riders took the game down to the final over, Tripathi’s onslaught had by 13 overs seemingly ended the contest; 26 were needed off 42 balls and more importantly, no bowler seemed to have any answer to Tripathi’s belligerence.

The innings exuded enjoyment and freedom, which was evident with Tripathi’s flexibility to try out different strokes. He even attempted the sweeps and scoops.

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