Pune quicks defend 161 against RCB
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
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.
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