Kolkata Knight Riders v Rising Pune Supergiants, IPL 2016, Kolkata May 14, 2016

Supergiants dumped out in rain-hit game

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Kolkata Knight Riders 66 for 2 (Yusuf 37*, R Ashwin 2-30) beat Rising Pune Supergiants 103 for 6 (Bailey 33, Chawla 2-21) by eight wickets (D/L method)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Cullinan: Dhoni's pace of scoring cost Supergiants

A sharp bowling performance from Kolkata Knight Riders followed by Yusuf Pathan's blazing cameo ensured Rising Pune Supergiants, in their debut season, were the first team to be knocked out of IPL 2016. The eight-wicket victory, in a rain-hit game at Eden Gardens, meant that Knight Riders moved to second place on the points table.

It was a clinical performance from the hosts. Andre Russell and Morne Morkel thrived in the Powerplay, while the amount of turn Piyush Chawla and Sunil Narine got left the Supergiants batsmen dizzy in the middle overs. Heavy rain interrupted the game with MS Dhoni on 8 off 22 balls and his team at 103 for 6 in 17.4 overs.

More than two hours of play were lost, putting an end to the first innings and handing Knight Riders a target of 66 in nine overs. R Ashwin struck twice in the first over to give Supergiants a sliver of hope, but Yusuf muscled an unbeaten 37 off 18 balls to close the match out and set off on a celebratory sprint as purple balloons were sent into the sky. His job, though, was made considerably simpler by the Knight Riders bowlers.

After Supergiants had opted to bat, Russell struck in his second over, when he bowled Ajinkya Rahane off the inside edge for 2. It was his eighth wicket in Powerplays this season, which is only one shy of Dhawal Kulkarni and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who top that list.

Morkel was impressive as well. He was able to generate extra bounce and should have had Usman Khawaja caught behind, but umpire Bruce Oxenford did not spot the nick. Khawaja could not make much of his reprieve though and fell to Shakib Al Hasan for 21.

George Bailey hinted at a revival when he punched Morkel through extra cover and lofted Shakib over the same region. The second hit helped Supergiants end the Powerplay at 45 for 2. With the field restrictions done, Knight Riders went to their spinners and a biting legbreak from Chawla had Bailey stumped for 33 off 27 balls. Chawla finished with 2 for 21 in four overs.

With the score at 74 for 4 in the 11th over, Supergiants were reliant on their captain for a strong finish and Gambhir gave Dhoni a very cold welcome from very close quarters. The Knight Riders captain placed himself at silly point, and added two slips and a short leg to pile on the pressure. By the end of his innings, Dhoni had been involved in a mix-up that cost Irfan Pathan his wicket and his strike-rate of 36.36 was the lowest by a batsman who had faced more than 20 balls in all IPLs.

Thisara Perera struck Chawla for a straight six in the 17th over to break a spell of 48 balls without a boundary, but was caught at long-off the very next ball. By the time Sunil Narine, who returned from a finger injury, came on to bowl the 18th, a drizzle had begun and its persistence had Knight Riders worried. They needed a win today to strengthen their chances of staying in the top four and rain had not been their friend in the past.

Both Gambhir and the head coach Jacques Kallis had recounted their trouble with wet weather in 2015, when one of their home matches was abandoned, which in turn contributed to their failure to make the playoffs.

However, the match resumed at 11.45 pm and offspinner R Ashwin found big turn even with the new ball. His second ball pitched on off stump, beat Robin Uthappa in flight, and had him stumped. Two balls later, Gambhir was trapped in front for a duck.

Yusuf turned the chase in the third over, the last one of the revised Powerplay. He clubbed R Ashwin for a brace of fours and sixes before targetting the other Ashwin. Yusuf drove M Ashwin over the covers and followed it with a powerful hit over long-off. By then, the equation was simple: 9 off 30. Knight Riders romped home with 24 balls to spare and Dhoni, for the first time in nine years of IPL, will not be involved in the knockouts.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Krishen on May 16, 2016, 5:14 GMT

    It is not surprising to find comments from some expressing disappointment with non-selection of their favourite players. Cricket is a team sport and team goals have to be achieved and not that individual players. Victories in cricket are secured by a team with a superior collective batting, bowling & fielding performance with minimal errors over the opponents. Cricket rewards players with continued success based on attributes of discipline, dedication, determination & skills in batting (also running between wickets), bowling, fielding (success rate in catching, ground fielding, throwing accuracy for securing run outs, ability to chase ball for saving runs), physical fitness, mental toughness, ability to play under pressure, match situation awareness etc. It is therefore not a surprise that some players who lack in some of these attributes miss out not only in domestic games but also in IPL & international games.

  • J on May 15, 2016, 15:23 GMT

    Earlier Dhoni usually favoured his chennai colleagues whem it came to team selection I wonder if he will do the samer for his pune teammates.

  • Krishen on May 15, 2016, 12:34 GMT

    There is no merit in the arguments made by some against MSD. MSD's comments were spot on. RPS has had spate of injuries to key players (including 1 mid match), missed opportunities of 5 wins in games v RCB (2),KKR, GL, SRH through run outs in power plays, below potential performance of replacement players etc. prior to match 2 v KKR. In match v KKR, RPS after a poor start with loss of early wickets in power play it was time to consolidate & go for score maximisation in last 2/3 overs. But that was not to be due to rains. Suddenly the opposition were handed over an easy run chase due to anomalies in D/L method. Excellent start by talented R Ashwin resulted in 2 quick wickets but the LBW appeal against Pathan (was plumb) was turned down by umpire. MSD's match situation awareness based approach to batting & captaincy has left some critics confused. As a wicket keeper batsman he has performed effectively over last 3 yrs as well with 200+ innings in tests & many good innings in ODIs/T20s.

  • Selva on May 15, 2016, 10:34 GMT

    Dhoni thought that it was test match.

  • manan on May 15, 2016, 9:39 GMT

    Ms. Dhoni thought he was Rahul Dravid

  • RAVINDER on May 15, 2016, 8:25 GMT

    8 runs off 22 and yelling at your own batting colleague when it was your own fault, this clearly shows his current state of mind. If I'm RPG owner, then I will immediately relase MSD. He had shown his displeasure before too being captain of this team. May be he is unhappy that his boss Srini is no longer has powers he can see already see writings on the wall.

  • raj on May 15, 2016, 7:21 GMT

    Dhoni continues his rubbish performance by consuming too many dot balls. Better to retire or go the same way like sachin who was literary pushed out of the team

  • J on May 15, 2016, 7:15 GMT

    Some people feel that indian fans are asking for dhoni to be dropped only because of yesterdays game. That is not correct. Dhonis performance has been far below average for the last 2-3 years and performances like in yesterdays match only show how bad his batting has become. Dhoni was never a great captain and it was his exceptional batting that won matches earlier. Bit with his batting deteriorating in the last few years, he does not have a lot to offer to the team. Even earlier, when he was batting well, he ideally ought to have been selected as a player only but was made the captain only because there were no suitable alternatives available. Dhoni cant even recognise talent. A guy who can give dhawan such an extended run and call dhawan a impact player even after years of consistent failure should be asked why he gives chances only to certain players and ignores more promising players with better records.

  • Baundule on May 15, 2016, 7:09 GMT

    I like the way Dhoni used Ashwin in this match. Usually Ashwin is called to bowl one over after the 15th over. But in this shortened match, he was asked to bowl 2 out of 3 powerplay overs. As expected, Ashwin became expensive. Genius move by Dhoni.

  • Cricinfouser on May 15, 2016, 6:19 GMT

    I didn't think it was ms dhoni

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