Gujarat Lions v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Rajkot April 15, 2017

Debutant Tye's five-for fashions Lions' first win


Gujarat Lions 172 for 3 (McCullum 49, Smith 47) beat Rising Pune Supergiant 171 for 8 (Smith 43, Tye 5-17) by seven wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Highlights - Tye's impressive hat-trick and Lions' rapid chase

Gujarat Lions had picked up only one wicket in two matches this season. But Andrew Tye took five times as many - including a hat-trick, the second of the day - to record the best figures by an IPL debutant. His 5 for 17 was then followed by a typically brutal display of batting from the top order to ensure a perfect record against Rising Pune Supergiant after three matches so far.

Good length = bad length

In the space of this past week, Lions have put on their two worst performances in the Poweplay. They leaked 73 runs in the season opener against Kolkata Knight Riders last Friday and now they gave up 64 to Rising Pune Supergiant. Their bowling attack largely consists of medium-pacers who, unless there is some sideways movement, can be lined up. All seven fours in the first six overs came off length balls. Two of the three sixes came off length balls. Praveen Kumar was carted for 25 runs in the fifth over. It had been 10 years since he had been that expensive in the IPL.

The change up

Pune had just recorded their fastest fifty of the tournament - in 27 balls. They had to be slowed down and so Lions turned to the bowler with the best slower ball. A batsman can read the offcutter when the bowler's wrist breaks. Ditto the legcutter. The back-of-the-hand slower ball is difficult largely because of the way it misbehaves off the pitch. But the knuckle ball is slightly different for much of its potency lies in making sure the batsman doesn't pick it.

As a batsman, 22 yards in front, it is hard to read the change in Tye's grip and he doesn't give anything away in his run up. He took four of his five wickets with that knuckle ball, including the one that sealed his second hat-trick of 2017.

Tye's introduction brought Lions back from the brink. They allowed only five of the 48 deliveries that followed the Powerplay to get to the boundary and in the 14th over the returning Ravindra Jadeja dismissed MS Dhoni for the second time in the IPL. The wicketkeeper-batsman fell for 5 off eight balls, his third successive innings at a strike-rate below 100.

From 120 for 5, even a solid partnership of 47 runs in 29 balls between Manoj Tiwary and Ankit Sharma - one of six changes to the XI - could only take Pune to 171.

The top-order threat

Lions' specialist openers made 762 runs in 2016 - that's 30% of the team's total runs. Stopping them had to be Pune's best chance to defend 171. But, on a slow pitch, they fed Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith with fast bowling. It proved a costly mistake. Both of them were set by the time Imran Tahir came on to bowl and the legspinnner was smashed for 15 runs in his first over. He would be hit for 10 boundaries in his spell - the most he has conceded in all the matches he has played in the IPL and for South Africa.

With the main threat decimated, all Lions had to do was trust in their batting depth. They had pushed Aaron Finch down the order because among their four overseas openers he handles spin best - averaging 27.73 and striking at 129. He and Raina, the first man to play 150 IPL games, saw this one through to the finish.

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • rob on April 15, 2017, 22:18 GMT

    @ OLDTIMER01: This isn't my fight, so please forgive me for charging in, but I think you're spot on re Dhoni's mindset about those whitewashes. To an outsider like myself it seems as though it went down exactly as you described. One of the worst things about it (imo) is that there's a perception that the Indians were only replying in kind. He did nothing to kill the myth that Eng & Oz presented India with extreme pitches when the truth is we did nothing of the sort. In both cases they were just normal test pitches with no added steroids. .. My abiding memory of Dhoni will forever be his press conferences though. More often than not they were a masterclass in avoiding the question. He would either answer with a question of his own or launch into a long winded, parable like story with only the vaguest relevance to a simple enquirey. Not particularly direct is Mr. Dhoni. Each to their own I guess.

  • Ant on April 15, 2017, 11:10 GMT

    Good to see Tahir getting tonked

  • J on April 15, 2017, 10:13 GMT

    We Indians are far too c sentimental and judge players like Dhoni very positively even at the end of their careers. Dhoni was very focused on overall numbers and as long as he won even one match more than he lost, he would highlight that instead of improving performance and focusing on how he could improve the overall win loss ratio. After whitewashed in england, Australia etc, Dhoni had said that 'we will see these teams when they come to india' . Instead of admitting to the teams weakness in foreign conditions and taking steps to overcome these, Dhoni instead just shrugged off those humiliating defeats and instead created a mindset where we had to win an home at all costs (leading to those under prepared pitches).

  • divynl6307086 on April 15, 2017, 9:54 GMT

    Contd. But I won't leave him out yet of any side. He has shown enough prowess in the int'l and domestic circuit to be given more chances, definitely a valuable player which he showed by scoring that hundred in Cuttack. (Detractors might say it was a flat wicket but a hundred is a hundred) So I would still have him in the ODI side and maybe he can relieve himself of the T20I duties because of the fact that it is a fast-paced game and the time he needs to get in might eat up 4-5 overs, moreover, he might not be able to compensate for it later by scoring 30 off his last 10 balls. ODIs are something which come more naturally to him. He is the master of that format and knows when to pace up or how to control the opposition.

    Yet, none of the T20 leagues matches the rigors of Int'l cricket (ctrl-F 'drop' or 'mis-field' for evidence), so he can stay on in IPL and by the very nature of this league, maybe he can score a good knock in this season to get his confidence back.

  • divynl6307086 on April 15, 2017, 9:41 GMT

    Well, Well, Well. Seems the cat is out of bag finally. My take on Dhoni's issues in IPL; this isn't anything new, in fact, one can only recount internationals from 2014 at least (NZ series in 2014, Eng T20 2014, Kanpur ODI vs SA, Zimbabwe T20 2016 and West Indies T20 in Florida). From the start, that NZ series of 2014 when India lost 4-0, it wasn't that Dhoni wasn't getting runs , it was how he was unable to rotate strike and get runs at the crucial stage. So by the time he would settle in the required rate would go up from 7 to around 8.5, and by then it was too late. Also it would pressure on the other batsman to take more initiative and Kohli lost his wickets on a couple of occasions due to this. Now it seems that he is taking note of his inability to clear the fence and trying the attack the bowlers in the earlier stages of the game, this too doesn't seem to have worked. Maybe, he needs an innings or two get himself in, something that ODIs allow you because of the time available.

  • Nish on April 15, 2017, 9:04 GMT

    When you start getting your selection right, it then makes a positive difference as GL found out yesterday! Showed how ridiculous it was to pick all batsmen for their four overseas players in their first two matches & leave their bowling very weak in the process. Hopefully Jadeja's return for them will also considerably strengthen their bowling unit too!

  •   Hari Haran on April 15, 2017, 8:32 GMT

    i think dhoni should retire from shorter formats. concentrate on one day format.he is not a younger anymore

  • Brishni on April 15, 2017, 8:08 GMT

    Shardul Thakur's bowling was a huge plus to emerge for Pune Supergiants. His bouncer at 143kmph followed by cutters at 120 kmph and variations of length against a rampaging Smith & McCullum were exemplary. For Gujarat it showed that Basil Thampi had improved from his previous outing. Perhaps they can also try Sangwan for his pace and bounce. He was clocking 148kmph constantly at the domestic tournament. Gony also with his pace and lower order hitting is an option. While these teams remain at the bottom of the table, it is because of inefficient use of players. Once they get the right combination they can be a threat. Overlooking in form domestic players like Sangwan Gony Ishan Kishan Shardul will not lead to any sustainable wins

  • Nish on April 15, 2017, 7:17 GMT

    BLAHBLAH1234567 Frankly it is not a question of being just erratic but if you reckon he is as good as you make him out to be, how come he is not regularly representing SA in Test cricket too? He has long since been discarded from the Test team & only played in his last Test series at the end of 2015 as SA were touring India. A Test bowling average of over 40 frankly even makes Ishant Sharma look good! Don't think you frankly really know that much about the game & that is why only pyjama bish-bash T20 cricket is suitable for blinkered & 'dense' people who haven't a clue as you!

  • woxusi0823340 on April 15, 2017, 7:04 GMT

    RPS is the most hollow side in this IPL and its boss is making castles in the air by hardping on the stats.

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