The Rising Pune Supergiants’ captain, MS Dhoni was heard saying a few matches ago that in order to turn things around for his side, they their need to change tactics and maybe a blessing in disguise for them was the injury to Kevin Petersen, Du Plessis and Mitchell Marsh – getting in replacements in George Bailey, Usman Khwaja and Boland. Dhoni also stressed on why someone at the top order needed to play an anchor’s role and guide the team towards setting a total/chasing a total.

Delhi Daredevils vs Rising Pune Supergaints
Date 05 May 2016
Venue Feroz Shah Kotla
162/7 (20)   166/3 (19.1)
Rising Pune Supergaints won by 7 wickets

In their match against Delhi Daredevils, 33rd match of IPL 2016, it seemed that Pune executed all of their plans perfectly and the newly included foreign players gelled well into the team.

Dhoni’s men won the toss and decided to bowl first. New inclusions in the side were Khawaja and Bailey – with injuries to Mitch Marsh and Du Plessis.

Delhi Daredevils made some shocking changes to their side though. Resting Zaheer and De Kock (2 phenomenal performers) and giving captaincy to Duminy –some will say it’s a brave move but in a match this crucial; some would argue that changing a winning line-up isn’t a good idea.

Pant who was great in his last match, making a 68 was unable to deliver a similar performance in this match, getting out for 2. Sanju Samson also had yet another quite innings in IPL, making just 20.

30’s from Karun Nair and Duminy got the scoreboard ticking, not at a rapid pace but good enough to be striking at over 8 to the over.

Sam billings quick 24 in 15, with 20 in 8 balls from Brathwaite (gosh! Some massive sixes from the newly found West Indian fierce hitter) got Delhi Daredevils to the score of 162 for 7 in their allotted 20 overs.

As Dhoni stated a few matches earlier, Pune needed someone to anchor the innings and play the role of rotating the strike to ensure that in spite of wickets falling at one end, the other end remains strong and this role it seems has been allotted to Mr. Dependable (Ajinkya Rahane).

Khawaja who made his IPL debut managed to make 30 runs in 27 balls – a fine start to his IPL stint and considering the kind of game that he showed in this year’s Big Bash, he can prove to be great asset for Rising Pune Supergiants.

Tiwary’s 21 in 18 balls came at a slow pace and it to an extend pushed the required run rate forward, Pune needed few lusty blows but Tiwary’s dismissal meant that they were on the backfoot and thus Dhoni promoted himself ahead of Bailey (playing his first match this season). Dhoni’s 27 in 20 balls gave the Pune’s chase the much needed quick flow of runs but an unbelievable catch from Billings at the boundary dismissed Dhoni when Pune required 17 in 11 balls. It’s important to note : had Billings not taken the catch, the equation would have been 11 from 11 balls, as ball was clearly heading for a six.

It was however Perera who came IN next, with Tahir bowling the 19th over but this is where Delhi Daredevils started to do blunders – Tahir bowled exactly in Perera’s arc, just outside the off-stump and Perera opening his arms smashed the very first ball for a six over mid-on. Just a ball later, another six followed and this time through the leg side.

Delhi Daredevils were left with only 3 runs in the last over to defend. Shami Ahmed got Perera out on the very first ball but WAIT (it was a no-ball), talk about committing blunders. 1 needed off 6 balls, Delhi were already out and Rahane completed the formality of getting the last run through a leg-side boundary and hence got to a much needed victory to boost their confidence in coming matches – Delhi Daredevils though will take very few positives from this game maybe the only thing they need to consider is; stick to a fixed line-up and not experiment too much at this crucial juncture of the tournament.

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