Often teams fight the battle for supremacy, the battle to finish at top of a league table or a tournament but when you haven’t been able to perform as per your potential – you’ve your pride at stake and for that you need to make sure that you at least don’t finish last; that’s what was the case with Rising Pune Supergiants and Kings XI as they took on each other at Vishakapatnam in the 53rd match of VIVO IPL.

Rising Pune Supergaints vs Kings XI Punjab
Date 21 May 2016
Venue ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium
173/6 (20)   172/7 (20)
Rising Pune Supergaints won by 4 wickets

The toss went in favor of Kings XI who won the toss and elected to bat, making one change of excluding Cariappa and including Rishi Dhawan. The Rising Pune Supergiants came into the match unchanged.

The Kings XI can take some respite from the opening stand that they had, having a 60 run partnership for the opening wicket – in 7.3 overs before Amla got out for 30 in 27 balls. Saha followed soon enough for 3 but Vijay along with Gurkeerat Singh gave innings some command and positioning, taking the run scoring forward.

Vijay made an elegant 41 ball 59 and Gurkeerat a 30 ball 51. The last few wickets fell like a peck of cards with Kings XI’s foreign talent in Miller and Behardien again failing to deliver – Punjab’s score went from 123-3 to 160-7. Kings Xi’s final tally was 172 for 7 in their 20 overs.

Pune in their reply lost their first wicket for 35 runs, losing the consistent Rahane whose form at the top has been one of the few highlights of the season for Rising Pune Supergiants. Khawaja made a 29 ball 30 but he was not looking like the player we know him to be; an attacking opener for his side Sydney Thunder in Big Bash (Australi), someone who gets his side to starts like 50-0 in 4 overs, Khawaja was unable to replicate the same sort of dominance in his stint with Pune.

After Khawaja’s fall, Pune lost 2 more quick wickets that of Saurabh Tiwary and George Bailey, struggling at 80-4 after 12. IN CAME their captain, Mr. Cool Mahendra Singh Dhoni – he has time and again led India to great victories but the reflection of ‘that’ Dhoni has been somewhat missing since the last few months, he has been good in patches but no innings stand out.

This match though was written as a perfect script for Dhoni, it is a valiant fact that no team wants to finish last and for someone like Dhoni who prior to this IPL always reached the semis with his previous side in Chennai  – finishing second last is something that he would easily accept over last and therefore it was HE who could change Pune’s faith and he DID.

Perera’s quick-fire 23 in 14 balls gave Pune a few quick runs but the target still looked distant, so much so that they were left with 23 to make off the last over – which was given to Axar Patel.

The last over had the fans on the edge of their seats, with Pune requiring 23 in 6 balls and Dhoni on strike. The first ball was a dot, the next was a wide – after which Dhoni came into his own and smashed the 2nd legal delivery of the over for a six. The third ball went to Amla the boundary but Dhoni’s misjudgment resulted in loss of taking a double. Pune required 15 runs off the last 3 to seize the match and guess what! The captain cool smashed 3 boundaries in a row – 4, 6 and another 6 on the last delivery of the over took Pune to the victory; placing them at 7th in the points table and hence ending a campaign that they’d like to forget. The same goes for Kings XI Punjab, who’ve had a very poor IPL but the positive is with regards to the foreign talent in Stoinis clicking and Vijay emerging as a good team leader, the highlights are very few for them in this year’s VIVO IPL.

RPS vs KXIP Squads for 21 May 2016 Match 53

Rising Pune Supergiants

MS Dhoni (C) (W), Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Scott Boland, Deepak Chahar, Ashok Dinda, Francois du Plessis, Peter Handscomb, Jaskaran Singh, Mitchell Marsh, Albie Morkel, Ishwar Pandey, Irfan Pathan, Thisara Perera, Kevin Pietersen, Ajinkya Rahane, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Steve Smith, Saurabh Tiwary, Adam Zampa, Usman Khawaja, George Bailey

Kings XI Punjab

Murali Vijay (C), David Miller, Kyle Abbott, Anureet Singh, Armaan Jaffer, Farhaan Behardien, KC Cariappa, Rishi Dhawan, Gurkeerat Mann Singh, Mitchell Johnson, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Nikhil Naik, Axar Patel, Wriddhiman Saha (W), Pradeep Sahu, Sandeep Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Marcus Stoinis, Swapnil Singh, Shardul Thakur, Manan Vohra, Hashim Amla

RPS vs KXIP Video Preview

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kpZI9rSRwkI

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