Royal Challengers Bangalore v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Bengaluru April 16, 2017

Pune quicks defend 161 against RCB

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Rising Pune Supergiant 161 for 8 (Tripathi 31, Milne 2-27, Aravind 2-29) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 134 for 9 (Stokes 3-18, Thakur 3-35) by 27 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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Highlights: Pune quicks crash RCB's party

Rising Pune Supergiant's middle order froze on a sluggish Chinnaswamy surface, losing five wickets for three runs, but their bowlers bailed them out of trouble in emphatic fashion. Their combined effort set a new record for the lowest total defended by a visiting team at this venue in the IPL - 161 - as Royal Challengers Bangalore crumbled to 134 for 9 on a pitch they thought was a belter. But it really wasn't.

Pune understood the surface had become quite slow midway through the first innings. Ben Stokes, who took 3 for 18, said they took that into consideration, concentrated on their changes of pace, and stuck to a good length which was the hardest to hit. All of that contributed to Pune winning their first IPL game after batting first.

Help yourself

The ball came onto the bat nicely in the early exchanges, and Pune sprinted to 50 for 0 in five overs. Rahul Tripathi regularly hit over the top, while Ajinkya Rahane used the pace and worked the ball square or behind square on both sides of the wicket. For the first time this season, Pune did not lose a wicket in the Powerplay.

Dhoni, Smith don't help themselves

While Rahane and Tripathi enjoyed themselves, Steven Smith and MS Dhoni couldn't. They faced a total of 49 deliveries out of which 22 were dots. The only notable moment in their partnership was Dhoni's six that hit the roof of the stadium. And when it was broken, Pune went from 127 for 2 to 130 for 7.

Smith, struggling to both rotate strike and hit the boundaries, slogged across the line and was bowled. Dhoni fell in much the same way and now he has the lowest strike-rate (87.14) among all batsmen who have faced a minimum of 70 balls this IPL.

Then Adam Milne, playing his first T20 in over a year, took two wickets in two balls and ended with 2 for 27.

Tiwary cleans up the mess

That Pune mustered 161 was down to Tiwary's sparkling cameo. He smashed six boundaries in the last two overs, hitting through the line over the off side as opposed to across the line over the leg side. He scored 27 of the last 30 runs and his strike-rate of 245.45 was his highest in an IPL innings of 10 or more balls.

Pune rise again

Shardul Thakur struck in his first over, having Mandeep Singh caught behind for a duck. He found Virat Kohli's edge as well but Tiwary shelled a regulation catch at slip. The RCB captain, however, could not capitalise and was dismissed by a Stokes bouncer that got stuck in the surface.

Stokes played a vital role in AB de Villiers' downfall as well. He along with Dan Christian bowled 15 balls at de Villiers for only six runs, denying the batsman any room to hit through the off side. Perhaps realising he had to get his runs elsewhere, de Villiers tried to target Tahir and was stumped for 29 off 30 balls.

Taking the pace off

Christian, Stokes, Thakur and Jaydev Unadkat all bowled an assortment of slower balls, but the key was their lengths. They tried not to pitch the ball up too much and instead hit the deck as often as they could to exploit natural variation - some balls were misbehaving by keeping low.

Pune also did well by not giving the batsmen any room to work with. When RCB got desperate for runs, and began swinging wildly, the wickets came. Five out of nine RCB batsmen were bowled going for the slog.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Tahir on April 17, 2017, 15:53 GMT

    Poor performance by RCB in the Kohli come back game. Things are piling up for Indian Captain right before the champions trophy as many other batting prospects are propping on daily basis. On traditionally batting friendly conditions in IPL Kohli missed out again. He almost got out in the similar fashion like the Aussie tests when he was dropped in the slips. He was given to open in place of Gayle with only a handful of runs to score and this number of runs have been easily chased this IPL. India won the champions trophy right after the IPL and in from players from that IPL did the trick. So, Kohli, please be cautious.

  • persev1507162 on April 17, 2017, 14:20 GMT

    PITCH_CURATOR, perfectly summed up my thoughts there. Only one small change, not sure of Harshal Patel. He did not do a good job for RCB last year, and i am not sure how his domestic record has been since, so I would float between Aravind and Harshal, depending on performance, since both are similar bowlers (though one is rightie and other a leftie), neither can deliver yorkers consistently, and hence will go for runs on flat pitches.

    The 2016 ploy of playing best batsmen at top might not work on two-paced surfaces, but it is worth trying on flat pitches.

    Aniket needs to be groomed, so that he gets confidence. Right now he is hitting 135-140kmph bowling within himself due to lack of confidence. I am sure with some encouragement, he can even touch 145kmph, and with his height that can generate some disconcerting bounce.

    Dear management, please play one dedicated keeper. Jadhav as keeper is not going to get you far. Get Vinod into the team, NOW.

  •   Abdul Rahim on April 17, 2017, 12:30 GMT

    RCB next play Gujarat in Rajkot where the pitch will definitely favour batting. The two games played there in this IPL season has had scores of 170 plus made and chased easily in the second innings. For this Gayle has to come back in and i know too much chopping and changing isn't too good but Gayle is more likely to win you a match then Watson is on this kind of pitch where it comes on nicely. XI should be... Gayle,Kohli,ABD,Jadhav,Mandeep,Binny,Negi,Aravind,Mills,Badree,Chahal. Win the toss bowl first and RCB will definitely win especially with GL's bowling line up.

  • Kiran on April 17, 2017, 10:24 GMT

    @ DIESEL_LOCO_WDP4 - IMO RCB need to give 3 continuous chances to Aniket, Vishnu and Mandeep - IN THE SAME SLOT. Get rid of Gayle, Binny, Negi and Watson for the entire season. They have done nothing will do nothing. And the reason why I have come to this conclusion is that they have done nothing domestically in the last one year. I would say open with Vishnu and Mandeep, move Kohli to # 3, AB to # 4, Head to 5 and Kedar to 6. Play Badree, Chahal, Aniket, Milne/English quickie and Harshal patel as bowlers. Kedar and Head are part time bowlers. There is no point in asking youngsters without experience to bat at 5, 6, 7 and ask them slog from ball 1. It aint goin to happen as the opposition has world class bowlers bowling at the death. With the current line up, Kohli, ABD and Jadav are playing up front and are also expected to stay in at the death. Everyone knows Kohli and ABD are the best in the world but you cant expect the pair to bat 18/20 overs in 10+ matches out of 14.

  • bhanu67325088 on April 17, 2017, 9:36 GMT

    RCB is clearly done in by its batting woes.They depend heavily on Virat and ABD.Gayle and Watson are not consistent and the performances of the other batsmen do not inspire any confidence.One thought RCB had grip on Mumbai Indians and Pune but lost out for no apparent reason. Virat minced no words in the post match interview when he made it clear that he expected better performances from his team. RCB cup of woes seem to be full and certainly need to shift gears from now on.

  • Sarath on April 17, 2017, 8:23 GMT

    Dropping Shane watson is no brainer, yet RCB is reluctant to do that. Replacing Watson with Gayle or Tymal mills would bolster either of the units - Batting/Bowling.

  • Sankar on April 17, 2017, 7:39 GMT

    Virat Kohli must need to DROP S Watson & Mandeep Singh & bring in C Gayle & Sachin Baby respectively !! Playing XI will be V Kohli, Sachin Baby, CH Gayle, K Jadhav, AB de Villiers, STR Binny, P Negi, S Badree, AF Milne,S Aravind,YS Chahal ** Chris Gayle is good enough to bowl in place of S Watson !!

  • sushan4486189 on April 17, 2017, 7:15 GMT

    i dont think dhoni will fire even with csk...he' been in decline for 2 yrs and dont have any hope that he improves....he is not out of form infact he has lost his touch which comes natural...no offence .....

  • arunve2784542 on April 17, 2017, 7:10 GMT

    An legend like MS Dhoni need to be respected, from their Pune franchisee. We all already heard the news from their franchisee & they also made comparison with dhoni strike rate & batting average with others in the team. Yesterday match he given his partner a good partnership. last 4-5 overs they started to make the blast but stumbles. Pune franchisee need to respect MSD, even everyone will depress & affect their mind if it's even MSD and it will reflect in their match performance.

    well done Pune, but it's difficult to make you in play-off, if you didn't respect dhoni.

    Till if it bitters, it's true

  • Ant on April 17, 2017, 6:55 GMT

    Maybe RCB would have won 5 titles if they were playing in a biggger stadium. Smaller boundaries help nullify their batting prowess. It is quite fascinating watching them stutter again when with all the players they have they should rarely be losing a game

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