Chasing Gujarat Lion’s 161 at the MCA Stadium, Pune, Rising Pune Supergiants team found itself struggling at 42/4. The most hypes overseas player Ben Stokes had just walked in. His partner was the best finisher in the limited overs cricket MS Dhoni. The duo then scripted one of the greatest comebacks in the IPL history to pull off a miraculous win. It all happened on 1st May 2017.
The 39th match of the IPL was played on the home ground of Rising Pune Supergiants. After early failures, MS Dhoni was removed from the captaincy and Steve Smith was appointed as the captain. He won the toss and decided to field first. Gujarat’s explosive openers began well.
Ishan Kishan and Brendon McCullum opened in the style known to them. In just six overs they notched up the team fifty. The stand was broken by Imran Tahir as he dismissed Ishan Kishan for 31 from 24 balls. McCullum kept going from the other end even as wickets kept falling from the other end. The middle order more or less fell away and GL soon folded away for only 161 runs.
The target was looking like the mountain behind the stadium as RPS had a disastrous start. Within the first nine balls itself, Pune lost Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith, and Manoj Tiwary. The opener Rahul Tripathi was next to go and Pune was struggling at 42/4.
From here on, MSD kept his composure and played a quiet strike-rotating role. Ben Stokes, at the other end, went berserk and launched Gujarat bowlers in every corner of the park. Despite the cramps, Stokes kept fighting and played one of the most memorable knocks of the season.
By the time Stokes ended toying with the bowling line-up of Gujarat Lions, he had scored 102 not out from just 63 balls with 7 boundaries and 6 sixes. He took the Pune team single-handedly towards a miraculous win. Christian completed the win with a ball left.
Brief Scores –
GUJARAT LIONS 161(19.5 OVERS)
B. McCullum 45 (27), Ishan Kishan 31 (24), Imran Tahir 3/27 (4)
RISING PUNE SUPERGIANT 167/5(19.5 OVERS)
MS Dhoni 26 (33), B. Stokes*103 (63), P. Sangwan 2/38 (4)
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