Delhi Daredevils missed out on the opportunity to go top of the table as Ajinkya Rahane battled throughout Rising Pune Supergiants' innings to help them to a seven wicket victory with five balls to spare.
Delhi batters struggle to convert solid starts
Delhi rested Quinton De Kock who had been in fine form during the competition for the side and pinned their opening hopes on Rishabh Pant who scored an excellent 69 against Gujarat Lions just a couple of days before. Unfortunately for Delhi, Pant could not repeat that performance as he was dismissed for just two, playing across the line against Ashok Dinda.
That wicket set the precedent for the Delhi innings as it never really got going. The rest of the upper and middle order made starts but could not convert those opportunities through a mixture of poor running and shot selection. Sanju Samson was the next man to walk as he chipped a sticking delivery from Scott Boland straight to Ravi Ashwin for 20.
Karun Nair did not fair much better as he mishit a Rajat Bhatia delivery to the safe hands of Thisara Perera for 32. JP Duminy and Sam Billings did begin to form a partnership as they made 45, before Billings' brief innings came to an end for 24 off 15 as his switch hit found Rahane off Bhatia. Carlos Brathwaite came to the crease and added a typically explosive 20 off eight balls with three sixes, before a slower ball from Boland caused a mishit to find Perera.
That wicket caused panic in the Delhi line-up as Duminy and Jayant Yadav were run out in the six balls that followed. Pawan Negi did score a late 19 as he helped his side to 162-7 at the end of the Delhi innings.
Rahane stands firm
Although Pune also found converting starts into decent scores difficult, partnerships were their key to success as Ajinkya Rahane followed up an excellent fielding display with a composed batting performance.
Usman Khawaja contributed to a patient opening stand of 59 before Amit Mishra had him stumped behind for 30 with a googly. Saurabh Tiwary added another 21 in a 45 run partnership with Rahane, but will be disappointed with his dismissal as he picked out Billings from a full delivery by Imran Tahir.
With 59 required off 40 deliveries, Pune still had a lot of work to do but wickets in hand certainly gave them an advantage. The Indian duo of Rahane and MS Dhoni pushed the accelerator as the former reached his half century and the latter made 27 off 20 before he was dismissed in the same way as Tiwary. This catch was much more difficult for Billings as he plucked a shot that was going for six out of the air to give his side hope.
The tie was still in the balance with Pune requiring 17 from 11 deliveries, but Thisara Perera came to the crease and blasted 14 off just five deliveries as he helped Pune over the line with five balls to spare. The result means Pune stay in sixth place but close the gap to the top four to four points, whilst Delhi remain third.