IPL 9: Rahane helps Pune's Supergiants rise to victory over Delhi Daredevils

Mumbai boy Ajinkya Rahane slams unbeaten 63 to script Rising Pune Supergiants' seven-wicket victory over Delhi Daredevils at Ferozshah Kotla 

New Delhi: Mumbai lad Ajinkya Rahane’s half-century helped Rising Pune Supergiants avoid a hat-trick of defeats in the Indian Premier League-9 on Thursday night.

Chasing Delhi Daredevils’ 162-7, Ajinkya Rahane steered Rising Pune Supergiants with a classic 48-ball 63 (7x4s) in a seven-wicket win at the Ferozshah Kotla.

IPL debutant Usman Khawaja fell for a nervy 30, failing to capitalise on the numerous lives that were gifted to him in the form of a dropped catch, missed run-out and fumbled stumping by the Delhi side.

Rising Pune Supergiants bowler Ashok Dinda appeals to the umpire during the 2016 Indian Premier League match vs Delhi Daredevils at The Feroz Shah Kotla Cricket Stadium in New Delhi on Thursday. Pic/AFP

However, Rahane and Saurabh Tiwary added valuable 45 runs for the second wicket as Pune inched closer to victory.

Tiwary’s dismissal for 21 at midwicket did not make much of a difference to Pune’s flow of runs as Dhoni joined Rahane and at the crease.

Dhoni on fire

Dhoni (27) immediately went after spinner Pawan Negi — launching him for a huge six straight back off only the fourth ball he faced.

Rahane survived a run out on 57 after Amit Mishra fumbled to collect a rocket throw from Sam Billings.

Needing 37 off the last three overs, Dhoni and Rahane took 20 runs off Mohd Shami’s over which included a four and six by the Pune skipper.

Imran Tahir then dismissed Dhoni, whose hard and flat slog saw Billings take a brilliant catch. However, Thisara Perera’s two sixes off Tahir thereafter ensured the game was in Pune’s pocket.

Earlier, bowling with a lot of discipline, specially in the middle overs, the Supergiants managed to restrict the in-form Daredevils to a gettable 162 for seven.

Duminy leads DD

After being invited to bat, the host batsmen found starts but could not turn those into big scores. Skipper JP Duminy, who led the side in place of Zaheer Khan, was the top-scorer for the side with his 34-run knock, which came off 32 balls with just one shot to the fence. Sanju Samson (20), Karun Nair (32) and Sam Billings (24) were all guilty of throwing away their wickets after getting starts.

The Supergiants stifled the Daredevils innings with excellent bowling from Rajat Bhatia (2-22) and R Ashwin (0-34) in the middle overs and had it not been for some powerful hits by Carlos Barthwaite (20 off 8), the Daredevils would havestruggled to find momentum.

Pawan Negi contributed unbeaten 19 off 12, getting 13 runs of last over bowled by paceman Ashoke Dinda (1-34). Dinda was consistent in hitting the right areas from the start and bowled at a decent pace to contain the home team

He bowled five dot balls to young Rishabh Pant (2) and the pressure got the better of the young batsman, who missed the line trying to whack one out and was bowled in the paceman's second over.

Karun Nair made a confident start with a boundary off Scott Boland, adding to the two boundaries hit by Samson off Thisara Perera.

Dinda, who was very impressive in his first two overs, conceded two boundaries in his third over to Nair, who drove the first ball to cover region and then relished a waistheight full toss which he dispatched to the fine leg boundary.

Nair takes charge

Daredevils were going at a decent pace but Samson suffered a soft dismissal, ending his 35-run partnership with Nair, when he chipped one straight to R Ashwin at mid-wicket. That was the last ball of power-play overs with the hostssitting pretty at 48 for two. Off-spinner R Ashwin and Bhatia then bowled very tight two overs each as Daredevils reached 69 for three at the half stage. Bhatia also got rid off Nair (32) in the 10th over. Billings, who had made an impression on his debut at this very ground against Kolkata Knight Riders, joined his captain Duminy at the crease.

Brief Scores:

Delhi Daredevils: 162 for seven in 20 overs (JP Duminy 34, Karun Nair 32; Rajat Bhatia 2/22). Rising Pune Supergiants: 166 for three in 19.1 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 63 not out; Imran Tahir 2/26).

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