Suresh Raina’s Gujarat Lions faced Stven Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiants in the 13th match of IPL 2017.
Winning the toss was all Gujarat needed, as the players showed a magnificent performance, as Andrew Tye took astonishingly 5 wickets by giving only 17 runs, including a hat-trick and then some quickfire batting by Brendon McCullum, who scored 49 off 32 balls and Dwayne Smith’s 47 off 30 balls. Suresh Raina scored 35* off 32 balls and Aaron Finch 33 off 19 balls, who finished the match in style with two sixes, as the home side thrashed the visitors by seven wickets and recorded their first victory in this season at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot.
Openers McCullum and Smith gave a huge start, scoring 94 off 53 balls, before Raina and Finch took over them. The host’s strategy to attack Pune’s strike bowler, Imran Tahit went all right as the South African was smashed for 53 runs in 4 overs.
Gujarat made four changes to their starting XI, Jason Roy was replaced by Tye. The change worked magnificently, as he took five wickets by conceding only 17 runs, including a hat-trick in his final over, which helped Gujarat to restrict Pune to 171 for 8. Coming to bowl in the 6th over, when Pune were on rampage with Steve Smith 43 off 28 balls and Rahul Tripathy 33 off 17 balls, Tye provided a crucial breakthrough, when he made the latter spoon an easy catch to mid-off.
The selectors of Pune as well as Indian cricket team would be worried with MS Dhoni’s form. Dhoni, who is in the twilight of his career is justifying Ganguly’s scathing observation, as the former Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday that the limited overs great is not a good T20 player.
Dhoni was expected to shoulder the responsibility. But unfortunately, he missed a big heave off Ravindra Jadega and had to leave the pitch.
Jadega made a rusty comeback in his first game of this season. He bowled flat and quick as he gave away 40 runs in his four over spell.