Kolkata: Maharashtra batsman Rahul Tripathi proved once again as to why he’s one of the most exciting prospects around as his classy 93 took a clinical Rising Pune Supergiant side over the line against the Kolkata Knight Riders at the Eden Gardens on Wednesday.
In reply to KKR’s modest 155 for eight in 20 overs, the visitors notched up target with five balls and four wickets to spare.
The elegant right-hander’s glamorous knock came from just 52 balls and sealed the deal for Pune as the Steve Smith led side has 14 points to their name and are looking good for a playoff berth.
Robin Uthappa injured
Home team Kolkata Knight Riders had left out star batsman Robin Uthappa owing to a niggle and they surely missed his services with the bat as they could only muster 155 runs in their 20 overs losing eight wickets in the process.
Manish Pandey (37), Colin De Grandhomme (36), and some late hitting by Suryakumar Yadav (30*) helped Kolkata post a decent total on the board after their batting was all over the place, tottering at 55-4 in 9.1 overs. Jaydev Unadkat and Washington Sundar were the best bowlers for Pune as they scalped two wickets each.
In reply, KKR pinned their hopes on Nathan Coulter-Nile to put a repeat performance of his fiery bowling against the Royal Challengers Bangalore sometime back that won his team the match.
But, young Tripathi had other plans in mind. A cracking six over extra cover of the bowling of Coulter-Nile signalled his intentions and gave a strong message to the opposition- that he is here and here to stay.
His defiant innings which included nine fours and seven sixes continued even as wickets fell at the other end. But the young opener held his nerve and although he was dismissed with just six runs remaining, the damage he did was enough to hand his team a victory, with four balls to spare. Chris Woakes (3/18) made the chase a bit difficult for Pune but the inevitable happened at the end.
With this win, Rising Pune Supergiant climb up to the third spot in the table while Kolkata, despite a loss are at the second place in the league.
Kolkata Knight Riders 155/8 (Manish Pandey 37, Colin De Grandhomme 36; Washington Sundar 2/18) lost to Rising Pune Supergiant 158/6 in 9.1 overs (Rahul Tripathi 93, Ben Stokes 14; Chris Woakes 3/18) by four wickets.