The second reverse fixture of the 2016 Indian Premier League (IPL) produced a centurion, but he ended on the losing side. Just like Virat Kohli's ton, Steven Smith ended on the losing side, as Lions once again produced a scintillating chase to a massive chase.
Suresh Raina won the toss and asked MS Dhoni and his side to bat first in Pune. A 100-run second wicket stand between Smith and Ajinkya Rahane, who himself made 53 off 45 helped Supergiants post 195/3. Skipper MS Dhoni himself got a good outing hitting two sixes and two fours in his 18-ball innings for unbeaten 30.
The chase from the Lions started on a rollicking way, as expected from the duo of Dwayne Smith (63 off 37) and Brendon McCullum (43 off 22). They posted an opening stand of 93 inside nine overs.
Then, Suresh Raina batted coolly for his 34 off 28 balls. He, along with Dinesh Karthik (33 off 20) post a 50-run stand.
But, towards the end, they hit road bumps as Dwayne Bravo (7 0ff 6), Ravindra Jadeja and Ishan Kishan returned to the hut in quick succession.
Birthday-boy James Faulkner, however, hit the winning single off the last ball.
GUJARAT LIONS INNINGS; TARGET 196
Over 20 || Score 196/7 (Faulkner 9; Praveen 0)
Thisara Perera on for last over.
First ball: A low, juicy full toss and James Faulkner dismissed it through square leg.
Second ball: Wide, very wide.
Second ball reload: A quick single, and Pune camp is down and out. Three from four balls.
Third ball: And the Sri Lankan bowled Lions skipper. A yorker, good one. MS Dhoni is happy. 3 needed off 3.
Fourth ball: New man Ishan Kishan off for a quick single, then wicket. Run out. Direct hit from Saurabh Tiwary, from mid-on. 3 from 2.
Fifth ball: Two runs as new man Praveen Kumar ran two with throw from extra cover, by Ajinkya Rahane falling in the middle of the wicket. One off one.
Sixth ball: Everybody inside the circle, and Faulkner played a pull shot which beat Tiwary at mid-on for a single.
Lions beat Supergiants by three wickets in last over.
Over 19 || Score 187/5 (Raina 34; Faulkner 1)
Then Ashok Dinda started the next over, spraying wide, which was connected well by Dwayne Bravo for a four through third man area.
It was followed by a similar delivery, wide wide off off-stump, and a faintest of nick for a caught behind.
WICKET: Dwayne Bravo c MS Dhoni b Ashok Dinda 7 (6b)
The bowler even forgot his new celebration style, that of copying Cristiano Ronaldo. Such was the tension.
Then the new man Ravindra Jadeja ran himself out. And Dinda this time celebrated CR7 style.
WICKET: Ravindra Jadeja run out 0 (1b 0x4)
New man and birthday boy James Faulkner took single off the first ball he faced.
Then, a lucky four as the ball followed Suresh Raina who was backing off. Two more runs and 11 off the over.
EQUATION: 9 runs required from 6 balls.
Over 18 || Score 176/3 (Raina 28; Bravo 3)
A great over from Murugan Ashwin. Only four runs — a double off the third ball — and two more singles. It also had a LBW shout with MS Dhoni specially interested, off the fifth ball.
EQUATION: 20 runs required from 12 balls.
Over 17 || Score 172/2 (Raina 25; Bravo 2)
Soon after Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik post a 50-run stand off 32 balls, the wicket-keeper batsman holed out at deep mid-wicket to Ajinkya Rahane.
WICKET: Dinesh Karthik c Ajinkya Rahane b Ashok Dinda 33 (20b)
That happened off the second legal ball of the over.
The previous ball was hit for a four by Karthik through backward square leg. It was the reload for a wide.
Dinda, after taking the crucial wicket, delivered a fullish ball to Raina. Two runs off it. A single to new man Dwayne Bravo, then a wide.
The West Indian dug well well to keep away a yorker. Two runs for the effort. A dot to end the 11-run over.
EQUATION: 24 runs required from 18 balls.
Over 16 || Score 161/2 (Raina 22; Karthik 29)
After the break, Thisara Perera resumed the proceedings with his third over. Crucial over, and he leaked 14 runs.
It started with a double to Suresh Raina, who sliced to sweeper. It was followed by a single, then a four as Dinesh Karthik found the gap between cover and point.
A single as Perera responded with a fullish delivery, inside edge.
Then Suresh Raina knelt and swept to find the big gap deep mid-wicket and long-on. A double to end the over.
EQUATION: 35 runs required from 24 balls.
Over 15 || Score 147/2 (Raina 13; Karthik 24)
Murugan Aswhin back for his second spell. Nine from the over, and just like in the last over, the last ball was hit for a four, by that same man — Dinesh Karthik.
Gujarat Lions need 49 runs from 30 balls, and for the first time, asking rate has crossed 10.
Over 14 || Score 138/2 (Raina 11; Karthik 17)
First boundary in four overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin returned for his final over. And he leaked 10 runs, with the last ball going for a four. Dinesh Karthik hit it through mid-wicket.
Four singles off the first four deliveries, then a two off the fifth. Ashwin's figures: 4-0-37-0.
Lions have scored 38 runs, losing one wicket, in the last five overs.
Over 13 || Score 128/2 (Raina 9; Karthik 9)
Another tidy over from Pune. Rajat Bhatia returned for his third over, and seven runs were conceded. Five singles and a double.
Gujarat Lions need another 68 runs from 42 balls.
Certainly a rebuilding period for the batting side, and Suresh Raina and Dinesh Karthik are taking it as the asking rate hovers around 10 an over.
Over 12 || Score 121/2 (Raina 7; Karthik 4)
Another good over for the fielding team. No boundaries, but chances. But still, the match belongs to Gujarat Lions, thanks to that opening stand.
Five runs from Ravichandran Ashwin's third over. All singles.
Lions need another 75 runs from 48 balls.
Over 11 || Score 116/2 (Raina 5; Karthik 1)
One good over for the fielding side. Thisara Perera started it with a single to Suresh Raina. A dot ball, then two singles.
A yorker from the Sri Lanka all-rounder, which was played on by Dwayne Smith. Bowled!
WICKET: Dwayne Smith b Thisara Perera 63 (37b)
Then some drama as millimeters saved Raina from a run-out. A direct hit from Perera and Raina seemed to have gone. But full body length dive saved him.
New man Dinesh Karthik opened his account with a single, which almost got his skipper out.
Four runs and a wicket. Massive over.
Over 10 || Score 112/1 (Smith 62; Raina 3)
Ravichandran Ashwin returned for his second over. 12 runs from the over, which also included two fours — back-to-back off the third and fourth deliveries by Dwayne Smith.
Four more singles, two each on either side of those boundary laden deliveries.
Gujarat Lions need another 84 runs from 60 balls.
Over 9 || Score 100/1 (Smith 52; Raina 1)
Finally a wicket for Rising Pune Supergiants. Brendon McCullum tried a slog-sweep, but ended up top-edging. Good catch at fine leg by Albie Morkel.
WICKET: Brendon McCullum c Albie Morkel b Rajat Bhatia 43 (22b)
The very next ball, Dwayne Smith reached his fifty with a four through mid-wicket. He took 28 balls to reach it.
A single, then, new man Suresh Raina took two balls to opened his account with a single. A single more, and seven runs from the over.
Over 8 || Score 93/0 (Smith 46; McCullum 43)
And the hitting continue, no matter who is the bowler and what their types are.
Murugan Ashwin replaced his name-sake. A single to Brendon McCullum, then a dot ball followed.
Third ball was carted over cover for a six. A single then a dot ball, with some shout for LBW.
Over 7 || Score 84/0 (Smith 45; McCullum 35)
After the TIME-OUT, Rajat Bhatia resumed the proceedings in Pune with his first over.
A rude welcome from Dwayne Smith though. A loosner, and a six over mid-wicket. Pummeled. It was followed by a three, even as two fielders at deep mid-wicket tried to stop it from going for a four.
A slippery delivery followed, and review to check if MS Dhoni's fast hands have indeed stumped Smith.
Two singles followed, then Smith tried to paddle sweep over the wicket-keeper, and he did, for a single. That's disrespectful to a pacer. But again, Bhatia is often described as slow slow pacer.
12 runs from the over.
Over 6 || Score 72/0 (Smith 35; McCullum 33)
Not a single bowler is spared. This time bearing the brunt of Guajarat Lions openers is Ravichandran Aswhin.
A four to start the over as Smith reverse swept, effectively. It was followed by another four, this time through mid-wicket.
A dot ball, then another dot. A wide followed, then Thisara Perera dived to his right and almost took a blinder at midwicket. But the ball failed to stuck to his outreaching palm. Dropped, as they say.
A dot ball to end the over. 10 runs, and Power-play over. Superb opening from the Lions.
Over 5 || Score 62/0 (Smith 26; McCullum 33)
Thisara Perera summoned by MS Dhoni, and the Sri Lanka pacer leaked 13 runs from his first over. Not a good start.
The over started with a four to Brendon McCullum, who hit through square-leg. Another four, this time through cover.
A single, then Dwayne Smith hit the third four, behind square. A single then a dot ball.
Gujarat Lions need another 134 runs from 15 overs.
Over 4 || Score 48/0 (Smith 21; McCullum 24)
Another big over for Gujarat Lions. 15 runs from the over.
The over started with a double to Dwayne Smith, who played towards mid-wicket. Good work by Rajat Bhatia to cut it to a two.
Then, the West Indian picked perfect placement to hit a four through fine leg. Brilliant timing. A dot followed as Dinda used the short ball to good effect, well directed bouncer. A similar delivery followed, but this time it was ruled a wide.
Two two's followed, then a four to end the over.
Over 3 || Score 33/0 (Smith 7; McCullum 24)
A bouncer to Brendon McCullum to start the third over, by Albie Morkel. The batsman wanted to hit it over the third man, but it landed in no man's land at short third man.
It was followed by a powerful drill by McCullum through covers. A wide followed, the another four, as Baz found the gap through cover.
Another wide, then McCullum hit the first six of the innings. Fast hands, and a good length delivery on the off was dismissed over mid-wicket boundary.
Another lofted shot, this time over cover, for two runs.
A full-toss, and straight over the bowler for a four.
Huge over, 24 runs. The chase is on.
Over 2 || Score 9/0 (Smith 7; McCullum 2)
Ashok Dinda shared the new ball with Albie Morkel. A dot to Brendon McCullum, who wanted to play through the cover, but he failed to connect the yorker well, to his liking.
Two singles followed, then another dot ball. McCullum took third single of the over.
The over ended with a beautiful delivery from Dinda, with the ball shaping away at the last moment after pitching on the off. Close call for Dwayne Smith.
Three runs from the over.
Over 1 || Score 6/0 (Smith 6; McCullum 0)
Good start for Rising Pune Supergiants to their defence. Two teasing deliveries, shaping away from Dwayne Smith as Albie Morkel utilised the life in the pitch.
A double off the third ball, as Morkel changed to line from out of off-stump to middle wicket. Two more dot balls followed, as the Proteas paceman returned to the corridor of uncertainty. A close LBW call off the fourth too.
But the last ball, on the off-stump but with enough width, was hit for a four through cover.
Six runs from the over.
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANTS INNINGS
Over 20 || Score 195/3 (Dhoni 30; Perrera 3)
Steve Smith got his first Twenty20 hundred, with a pull shot four. He took 53 balls to reach the milestone, with eight fours and five sixes.
That happened off the second ball of the final over, which was started with a single to MS Dhoni.
After the 100, trying to play an innovative shot off a yorker, Smith lost his wicket. Bowled.
WICKET: Steven Smith b Dwayne Bravo 101 (54b)
Thisara Perera, the new man, didn't waste time and a double. A single followed, then skipper Dhoni hit a four to end the innings. 12 runs from the over.
Dwayne Bravo's figures: 4-0-40-1.
Over 19 || Score 183/2 (Smith 97; Dhoni 25)
Praveen Kumar returned for his final over and it leaked 14 runs and both Steven Smith and MS Dhoni pressed hard to add those 15-20 extra runs.
The over included two fours — one each to MS Dhoni and Steven Smith, then two twos, and two singles. Kumar's figures: 4-0-37-0.
Smith on 97.
Over 18 || Score 169/2 (Smith 88; Dhoni 20)
Dwayne Bravo on for his third over. A single to Steven Smith, which was followed by another single.
Then, the Aussie talent hit the third ball over mid-off for a six, his fifth of the innings. Brilliant. He made room and angled across just to find the empty area of the field. Even then, the hit was ferocious.
A single, the MS Dhoni ate up the remaining two balls. Nine runs from the over.
Over 17 || Score 160/2 (Smith 80; Dhoni 19)
Last over for Ravindra Jadeja, and he got the treatment from his former captain at CSK.
A wide, off the off stump, and two singles followed. Dhoni, then changed gears, hitting back-to-back sixes over long-on and long-off. Both flat, and travelled.
Another wide followed. But Jadeja did enough to end the over with two dot balls. His figures: 4-0-37-0. 16 runs from the over.
Over 16 || Score 144/2 (Smith 79; Dhoni 6)
Shivil Kaushik too returned for his third over. Nine runs from the over, even though it was brilliant until the last ball. A six destroyed the stats.
A dot ball to MS Dhoni to start the over. Then three singles followed as both Dhoni and Steven Smith tried to clobber the inexperienced bowler. Smith even tried a reverse sweep in futile.
Over 15 || Score 135/2 (Smith 72; Dhoni 4)
Ravindra Jadeja returned for his third over after a long time.
A double to MS Dhoni, then a single. Steven Smith hit the third ball for a huge six over long-off.
Then, spin magic. Three dot balls, to Smith.
Over 14 || Score 126/2 (Smith 66; Dhoni 1)
Dwayne Bravo on for his second over. A double to Ajinkya Rahane off the first ball. A wide, then a single.
Steven Smith played the third ball towards mid-wicket for a double. Then the run-out. Rahane got himself out, as he rushed for a single. Bravo picked up the ball and took a second to aim, and bullseye.
WICKET: Ajinkya Rahane run out 53 (45b)
That ended a 111-run stand in 11.1 overs. Some numbers, inconsequential though.
Skipper MS Dhoni joined Smith. Eight runs and a wicket from the over.
Over 13 || Score 118/1 (Rahane 50; Smith 63)
James Faulkner continued for his second over. And a big one for the batting team, which saw a 100-run stand between Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith, and also the fifty for the former.
A single to Smith, then another single. It was followed by a mighty six, lofted over mid-wicket boundary by smith. Then, a four in the same corridor, thanks to some sloppy fielding by Ravindra Jadeja at the boundary, at long-on.
Two singles followed, with the last one helping Rahane to his fifty.
Over 12 || Score 104/1 (Rahane 48; Smith 51)
Suresh Raina brought is the master of disguise and 'champion'.
The over started with a single to Steven Smith, and fifty for the Aussie, off 28 balls (5x4, 1x6).
It was followed by two doubles, then a four. Ajinkya Rahane hit the fourth delivery between backward point and short third man.
A couple of singles more, and 11 runs from the over.
Over 11 || Score 93/1 (Rahane 39; Smith 49)
Another bowling change for Guajarat Lions. James Faulkner on, and Ajinkya Rahane took a double off the first ball. A single, then Steven Smith moved closer to his fifty, with a single.
Another double as Rahane played the ball towards deep point.
A single to end the eight-run over. Smith on 49.
Over 10 || Score 85/1 (Rahane 33; Smith 47)
Shivil Kaushik on for his second over. And what a wicket for the youngster. Bowled. But it was a no-ball. What a disappointment. Front foot no-ball. All the celebrations, Pity!
That happened off the last ball of the over.
The over started with a double to Smith, who pulled it to long-on. A single, then four to Ajinkya Rahane. Over the mid-off fielder.
A dot ball, then a single.
The free-hit was launched over long-off for a six, first of the day. 15 runs, and almost a wicket from the over.
A double to Steven Smith, who played
Over 9 || Score 70/1 (Rahane 28; Smith 38)
Ravindra Jadeja continued with his second over. A busy over with lots of running.
A double to start the over to Steven Smith, the five singles.
Over 8 || Score 63/1 (Rahane 26; Smith 33)
The world is watching, and Shivil Kaushik in action. Paul Adams would be proud.
A dot to Ajinkya Rahane as the ball beats the bat. A single, then a four off a width delivery. Steven Smith slashed it through third man.
Then a double. Smith played it towards the vacant mid-wicket, good running. A dot ball, then a single to complete 50-run partnership.
Eight runs from the over.
Over 7 || Score 55/1 (Rahane 25; Smith 26)
Power-play over, and first bowling change of the match. Ravinjra Jadeja on.
A single to Steven Smith, then another single to Ajinkya Rahane. It was followed by two byes and Jadeja drifted down the leg, and wicket-keeper missed it. Another single followed.
A quicker delivery from Jadeja and it beats Smith. Then, a double to end the over. Good running between the wickets. Seven runs from the over.
Over 6 || Score 48/1 (Rahane 23; Smith 23)
This time Ajinkya Rahane didn't need power. Ball was in the air for some time, but a good placement meant that it beat the patrolling fielder at deep mid-wicket, for a four.
That's how Dhawal Kulkarni's over started. Two singles, rotating the strike, followed. And a double followed as Rahane worked the ball behind square, off a delivery which was on the off-stump.
A single, then a well timed cover drive from Steven Smith. Dwayne Bravo, at the cover, grimmaced as his jump missed the ball.
13 runs from the over.
Over 5 || Score 35/1 (Rahane 15; Smith 18)
Praveen Kumar on for his third over, on the trot.
A single to Ajinkya Rahane to start, then a crunchy drive from Steven Smith followed. No chance for the fielder at cover, let alone a diving effort.
It was followed by a classy glance, for a boundary. A single, which resulted into an overthrow even as James Faulkner have a go at the non-strikers end, which was not covered.
A single, then Rahane played a front foot pull shot. No power though, and only a single.
13 runs from the over.
Over 4 || Score 22/1 (Rahane 13; Smith 7)
Dhawal Kulkarni continued with his second over. A busy one, and also a missed chance to send Ajinkya Rahane back.
A single to Steven Smith, then a dot ball. Two singles, then Rahane mistimed his shot, and the ball lobbed back towards mid-on but the ball landed safely between two fielders.
A single to end the 4-run over.
Over 3 || Score 18/1 (Rahane 11; Smith 5)
Praveen Kumar on for his second over. A dot ball to Ajinkya Rahane. Then, a brilliant effort from Lions skipper Suresh Raina to beat Saurabh Tiwary to the stumps. RUN OUT.
An in-cutter, and the ball dropped in front of silly point after hitting Rahane's pad, then out of nowhere Raina arrived with the ball and ran over the stumps. The skipper seemed to have injured himself in the process, but no worries.
WICKET: Saurabh Tiwary run out 1 (2b)
That brought Steven Smith, and the Aussie captain started with a four, through fine leg.
A dot ball, then a single to end the over.
Over 2 || Score 13/0 (Rahane 11; Tiwary 1)
Dhawal Kulkarni shared the new ball. A dot Ajinkya Rahane to start the over, then a wide. Some noise, but the umpire reckoned the delivery, on the leg, missed any contact.
It was followed by a very good straight drive, for a four to the long-off boundary. Smooth. Then a single followed as Kulkarni kept the ball on the off stump, and good length. Rahane gently pushed it towards mid-wicket.
First run for Saurabh Tiwary, a single as he played it towards point. Rahane, then, picked well and played towards mid-wicket. Another single and eight runs from the over.
Over 1 || Score 5/0 (Rahane 5; Tiwary 0)
So, Saurabh Tiwary opened with Ajinkya Rahane. Peter Handscomb, like in BBL, will bat in the middle, at 4.
Praveen Kumar with the new ball. A dot to Ajinkya Rahane, then a four. Rahane leant back and played an exquisite cut shot, through backward point area.
With a dot ball, Kumar responded. Rahane showed the full face of the blade and on front foot, blocked. Another dot ball. Then a single off the fifth ball.
A dot to Saurabh Tiwary, and five runs from the over.
Big news: IPL debuts for chinaman bowler Shivil Kaushik, who will remind us of South African Paul Adams; and Aussie batsman Peter Handscomb, who is likely to open for Pune. By the way, he is a wicket-keeper.
Gujarat Lions: Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum, Suresh Raina (capt.), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ishan Kishan, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Praveen Kumar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Shivil Kaushik
Rising Pune Supergiants: Ajinkya Rahane, Peter Handscomb, Steven Smith, Saurabh Tiwary, MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), Thisara Perera, Albie Morkel, Rajat Bhatia, Ravichandran Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin, Ashok Dinda
TOSS: Suresh Raina wins toss, Gujarat Lions bowls first against Rising Pune Supergiants. Changes for both the teams. Peter Handscomb and Ablie Morkel are playing for Pune. Shivil Kaushik is on for injured Pravin Tambe for Lions.
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 29, 2016
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney and Bruce Oxenford
Third Umpire: Nand Kishore
Match Referee: Chinmay Sharma
Reserve Umpire: Virender Sharma
Rising Pune Supergiants: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt. & wk), Ajinkya Rahane, Kevin Pietersen, Faf du Plessis, Steve Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Jaskaran Singh, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankit Sharma, Albie Morkel, Irfan Pathan, Ishant Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Thisara Perera, Saurabh Tiwary, RP Singh, Rajat Bhatia, Ankush Bains, Baba Aparajith, Murugan Ashwin, Ashok Dinda, Deepak Chahar, Scott Boland, Peter Handscomb, Adam Zampa, Usman Khawaja.
Gujarat Lions: Suresh Raina (capt.), Amit Mishra, Dwayne Bravo, James Faulkner, Aaron Finch, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Smith, Dale Styne, Pravin Tambe, Shadab Jakati, Dinesh Karthik (wk), Dhaval Kulkarni, Praveen Kumar, Brandon McCullum, Pradeep Sangwan, Sarabjit Ladda, Akshdeep Nath, Jaydev Shah, Ishan Kishan, Paras Dogra, Eklavya Dwivedi, Shivil Kaushik, Umang Sharma, Andrew Tye.
It's mismatch! That's the first impression when one looks into the second return fixture of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016. The only similarity between these two teams is, both are competing in their first ever season in this cash-rich, world famous Twenty20 league.
Yes, both the teams are made of players from now suspended Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals — both former champions — but the the make of the team line-up and the change of colours have yielded different fortunes.
Hosts Rising Pune Supergiants are in sixth place, losing four of the six games they have played so far. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side also suffered a double blow, with Kevin Pietersen and Faf du Plessis returning home to recuperate from injuries.
RPS managed to roped in impressive Usman Khawaja as du Plessis' replacement but, they can still match the fire-power possessed by Suresh Raina.
After serving MS Dhoni as a trusted deputy during their stay at CSK, Raina has managed to lead a strong Gujarat Lions to five wins in six outings.
It's still early days in the ninth season of IPL, but by the look of things, this new franchise means business, and they probably have the best balanced side in the tournament.
Talking about firepower, in Brendon McCullum, Aaron Finch, Dwayne Smith, Raina himself as the skipper, Dwyane Bravo, James Faulkner, Ravindra Jadeja, Lions have a formidable line-up.
And add the likes Pravin Tambe, Praveen Kumar, Dinesh Karthik and also Dhawal Kulkarni — probably one of the best seamers so far — in this line-up becomes an ensemble of champions.
In contrast, Supergiants' line-up reflects more of a bookish players, who are more into the technics and the beauty of the game. Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, Mitchell Marsh, Thisara Perera, Ravichandran Ashwin are, any day, champion cricketers.
They, together, seem to lack that firepower which T20 cricket need to win matches.
But still, under an astute leader like MS Dhoni, RPS can still hope for a good season. For that matter of fact, the way they played against Sunrisers Hyderabad for their second win on Tuesday, speaks volumes of a hungry team.
Let's hope they are a match to Lions today. In the first leg, Lions thrashed Supergiants by seven wickets with two overs remaining at Rajkot.
Welcome to our live coverage of the Match 25 of 2016 Indian Premier League between Rising Pune Supergiants and Gujarat Lions, being played at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.