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Rahane-inspired Pune score third win

Rahane-inspired Pune score third win

DELHI: Rising Pune Supergiants clinched a desperately needed third victory in the Indian Premier League when Ajinkya Rahane guided them past Delhi Daredevils by seven wickets at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium here on Thursday night.

After restricting the hosts to 162-7, Pune were lifted by their new opening pair of Rahane and Pakistan-born Australian batsman Usman Khawaja, who together forged a partnership of 60.

The left-handed Khawaja, replacing the injured Australian skipper Steve Smith, made good use of his maiden IPL appearance by making 30 from 27 balls before being stumped.

Saurabh Tiwary (21) and Rahane then kept the required run-rate in check with a brisk 45-run partnership. Captain M.S. Dhoni then blasted two sixes in a 20-ball 27 before Rahane, who hit scored his fifth half-century, and Thisara Perera – who slammed two sixes in three balls, finished the job.

Rahane, appropriately enough, hit the winning runs to remain unbeaten on 63 from 48 balls with seven fours) as Pune got past the finish line with five balls to spare.

Earlier, Delhi never really got into a fifth-gear mode after opting to rest captain Zaheer Khan and three other regulars. Several batsmen got off to starts but failed to convert it to anything substantial.

Stand-in skipper J.P. Duminy made 34 while K.K. Nair contributed 32.

Summarised scores:

Delhi Daredevils 162-7 in 20 overs (J.P. Duminy 34, K.K. Nair 32, S.W. Billings 24, S.V. Samson 20, C.R. Brathwaite 20, P. Negi 19 not out; R. Bhatia 2-22, S.M. Boland 2-31); Rising Pune Supergiants 166-3 in 19.1 overs (A.M. Rahane 63 not out, U.T. Khawaja 30, M.S. Dhoni 27, S.S. Tiwary 21, N.L.T.C. Perera 14 not out; Imran Tahir 2-26).

Published in Dawn, May 7th, 2016

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