Kolkata: Rookie batsman Rahul Tripathi played an electrifying innings of 93 as Rising Pune Supergiant outplayed Kolkata Knight Riders by four wickets in the Indian Premier League here on Wednesday night.
The Pune bowlers put up a disciplined effort to limit KKR to 155 for eight before Tripathi fashioned his team’s win with a 52-ball blinder. The visiting team got home with four balls to spare.
The pick of the Pune bowlers was Jaydev Unadkat, who ended with figures of 2 for 28 after bowling a wicket-maiden in the first over of the game. It was a third win in a row for Pune, who have moved up to third place in the points table and closer to a play-off berth with 14 points from 11 matches.
With their second straight loss, KKR still remain second in the table with 14 points from 11 matches. Put in to bat, KKR found the going tough at their backyard and suffered their worst start of the season to be struggling at 55 for four inside 10 overs.
Their top four, Sunil Narine (0), Gautam Gambhir (24), Sheldon Jackson (10) and Yusuf Pathan (4) were all back in dugout midway into their innings.
left-arm-pacer Unadkat returned with excellent figures of 4-1-28-2, while 17-year-old Washington Sundar too was impressive in his 2/18 from two overs.
The duo of Manish Pandey (37 off 32) and Colin de Grandhomme (36 off 19) revived KKR innings with a 48-run fifth wicket partnership off 30 balls.
Having conceded just six runs in his opening spell of two overs, Unadkat returned to dismiss Grandhomme in the 17th over in which he conceded one run as KKR struggled to get going.
It was thanks to Suryakumar Yadav, who was playing in place of an injured Robin Uthappa, KKR were able to cross the 150-run mark after the aggressive batsman smashed 30 off 16 balls.
Pune had the best start of the tournament with Jaydev bowling a wicket-maiden off Sunil Narine. After being beaten in the first five deliveries, Narine finally got a connection in the last ball of the over only to find it straight to Unadkat in the way.
Pune captain Steven Smith showed full faith on youngster Washington, bringing the offspinner in the fourth over with KKR yet to break free.
It was a gamble that paid off as Washington struck with Sheldon Jackson out hit-wicket, a first for KKR in 10 seasons. Gambhir took charge on Washington with back to back four and six but in his next attempt the KKR skipper holed out to Rahane at deep midwicket, leaving his team at 41 for three in Powerplay....