Jaydev Unadkat claimed a couple of wickets for just 12 runs in three overs © BCCI
Jaydev Unadkat claimed a couple of wickets for just 12 runs in three overs © BCCI

In what turned out to be a crucial match for both the sides, it was Steven Smith’s Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) who came out on top, as they toppled Glenn Maxwell’s Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by nine wickets, in match 55 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune on Sunday. With this win, RPS not only ensured their place in the playoffs, but also sealed the second spot in the table, meaning they would play former champions Mumbai Indians (MI) in Qualifier 1 of the playoffs. Although this match was a dull low-scoring tie, there were a few highlights to talk about. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), IPL 2017, Match 55 at Pune

First ball wicket for RPS: In what turned out to be the opening setback and the possible impact in the entire KXIP innings was the dismissal of Martin Guptill off the opening ball of the game, as he fell for a duck to Jaydev Unadkat, after being caught by Manoj Tiwary. Although it should not have been a matter of concern, but instead KXIP were rattled by the impact from the RPS bowler, as they never really recovered from it, while the batsmen continued to fall like ninepins.

MS Dhoni’s catch drop: In one of the rarest moments of on-field cricket, it has been hardly seen MS Dhoni dropping a catch behind the stumps. It was evident today, when he dropped wicketkeeper-batsman Wriddhiman Saha. Although it was a tough diving effort to his right from Dhoni, he failed to grab the ball properly, as the ball deflected off his fingers. Nevertheless, he was later offered with a similar chance, and he made sure he did not repeat the mistake, as Saha fell for mere 13 to Daniel Christian. FULL CRICKET UPDATES: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), IPL 2017, Match 55 at Pune

Jaydev Unadkat’s all-round performance: Among the bowlers, it was Jaydev Unadkat, who was active on the field, as he claimed a couple of wickets for just 12 runs in three overs. Moreover, it was not all he had, as he also produced a brilliance while fielding, when he dismissed Eoin Morgan for mere four off a brilliant run out. He was fast enough to react and hit the stumps directly from a difficult angle, as he was applauded by his teammates and fans. KXIP slump continued.

Akshar Patel’s tight show of 22: In what was dull innings by the KXIP batsmen, it was their Indian all-rounder Akshar Patel, who was determined to make an impact, as the other batsmen were hardly doing so. With KXIP struggling on 32 for the loss of five, Akshar came with intent to make KXIP recover as much as possible with some steady batting. However, with the momentum already in favour of the RPS bowlers and the damage being already done for KXIP, Akshar could hardly make an impact. Akshar with his 20-ball 22 remained the top scorer for his side.

Shardul Thakur‘s perfect 3 for 19: Shardul Thakur was the pick of the bowlers as he claimed 3 for 19. His wickets included the all-important wickets of Shaun Marsh, Rahul Tewatia and skipper Glenn Maxwell. He was also assisted perfectly by Unadkat, Adam Zampa and Christan, who claimed a couple of wickets each, to help Thakur’s spell mean something to him and the team itself.

KXIP’s lowest IPL total ever: The aftermath of the terrific bowling performance from RPS saw KXIP being bundled for a paltry total of 73, within 16 overs. As the figure says it all, it was not just paltry, but also KXIP’s lowest total in their 10-year stint of the IPL till date and unfortunately the occasion was a do-or-die game. Their previous lowest was 88 against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).

RPS’s ride on Ajinkya Rahane-Rahul Tripathi’s opening stand: The chase was a mere formality. With a low total to be chased, there was nothing much interesting in their innings except for their opening stand of 41 runs, which was decent and strong enough to ensure RPS reached home comfortably. Rahane contributed 12, while Tripathi contributed 28 runs in the stand, while Rahane went on to play an unbeaten innings of 34.