In the match between the two sides who are desperate to win a match to seal their play-offs berth, Pune hardly got it going and kept losing wickets. Ben Stokes (39 runs off 25 deliveries) provided the thrust in the middle and a late quickfire cameo from Mahendra Singh Dhoni (31 off 21) lifted Pune to 148/8.
Hyderabad kept it tight at the beginning as Pune got off to a poor start. In-form opener Rahul Tripathi (1) was run out by a direct throw from Bipul Sharma from short fine-leg after he flicked a delivery from left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra in the fifth delivery of the second over and decided to run but was sent back by Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane then joined hands with skipper Steven Smith but they couldn't accelerate despite spending some time in the middle. Frustrated by the lack of quick runs, with Pune at 39/1 in 6.3 overs, Rahane top-edged a delivery from left-arm spinner Bipul Sharma to Yuvraj Singh at long-on.
In walked star English all-rounder Stokes and he took his time to settle in before deciding to tear into the home bowling attack as Smith opted to anchor the innings as he got two lives after being dropped at his personal scores of five and 22 by Bipul and Bhuvneshwar Kumar respectively.
After the end of 10 overs, Pune were 51/2 and the 11th over saw the change in strategy. Stokes hammered Bipul for two sixes towards deep midwicket.
Bipul was carted for another six towards long-on in his next over as Stokes made his intentions clear. It took a faster delivery from leg-spinner Rashid Khan to break the dangerous looking partnership as the ball ran through Stokes' defence, with Pune at 99/3 in 14.3 overs.
Medium pacer Siddharth Kaul dealt two big blows to the visitors by getting rid of Smith and Daniel Christian (4). While Smith was caught by Bipul at short third man, Christian was holed out at long-on by Rashid.
Later, Mahendra Singh Dhoni showed flashes of his old devastating self as he bludgeoned medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar for two sixes and a four in the 19th over. He bagged another four against Kaul in the final over.
Brief scores: Pune: 148/8 in 20 overs (Ben Stokes 39, Steven Smith 34, Mahendra Singh Dhoni 31; Siddharth Kaul 4/29, Rashid Khan 1/18) vs Hyderabad.
Source - Agency
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