Skipper Smith praises Pune bowlers

Paola Ditto
Mag 20, 2017

Kings XI Punjab slumped to their lowest-ever Indian Premier League total as they missed out on a play-off spot at the benefit of Rising Pune Supergiant, who claimed a nine-wicket win.

Young Rahul Tripathi blasted 28 off 20 balls to make a mockery of the chase in an encounter which turned out to be an anti-climax of sorts.

Later, Royal Challengers Bangalore beat Delhi Daredevils by 10 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi. The kind of consistency he showed, none of the other players could do that, even the Indians couldn't take responsibility.

In bowling, the experienced trio the team is having which includes, Bumrah, Malinga, and McClenaghan and they can surely stop Pune to flow further.

Mumbai Indians (20 points), Rising Pune Supergiant (18 points), Sunrisers Hyderabad (17 points) and Kolkata Knight Riders (16 points) have emerged as the top four teams.

But Smith's side will take a lot of heart from the performance of their bowlers in their last league tie against Kings XI Punjab on Sunday. Perhaps they feel the T20 format is only for the entertainment bit and about the fours and sixes...

Pune captain Steven Smith praised Dhoni for his flourish in the final two overs that went for 41 runs. Rahane finished the match with a six off Maxwell.

Mumbai's batting has clicked big time this season. We are talking about Mumbai Indians vs Rising Supergiants Pune. The poor shot selection was also one of the reasons for the loss of MI as they will have to face the winning team from the second semifinal. Axar Patel (22) and Wriddhiman Saha (13) were the major contributors for Punjab's cause. The duo scored at 7.38 in the 10.5 overs they batted together and their 80-run stand set the platform for a late onslaught.

Even Ben Stokes (0/10 in 3 overs) looked unsafe as he beat the bat a number of times.

It was a disastrous day for Kings XI from start to finish and was typified by the dismissal of Martin Guptill from the very first ball of the match, the opener driving loosely to cover. "Shardul (Thakur) was outstanding, (Jaydev) Unadkat again was outstanding", he said.

Rahul Tewatia (4) hit a square drive and then mistimed a pull from Shardul Thakur.

Within a couple of deliveries, Glenn Maxwell flicked straight to Ajinkya Rahane at the deep square leg boundary. The wicketkeeper-batman was the glue the kept the Kings XI Punjab innings together.

WICKET! That's the end of the Pune innings.

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