Ben Stokes on Monday showed why he was the most-expensive purchase this season. He scored his maiden IPL hundred to guide Rising Pune Supergiant to a 5-wicket win over Gujarat Lions on Monday.
Stokes remained unbeaten on 103 runs off 63 balls. His innings included 7 fours and 6 sixes.
With this win, Pune remain on the fourth position in the IPL points table.
In their pursuit of 162 runs, Pune were dealt an early blow with Ajinkya Rahane departing for 4 runs.
Playing his first match this season, Gujarat bowler Pradeep Sangwan took 2 wickets in his first over. Pune captain Steve Smith was his second victim who was caught by Ankit Soni on 4 runs.
Basil Thampi sent Manoj Tiwary back to the pavilion for a duck after getting him out LBW.
Big-money signing Ben Stokes showed his worth after he scored his half-century. After losing wickets in succession, Stokes and MS Dhoni forged a partnership to get closer to the target.
Dhoni went back to the pavilion at a time when he began to look threatening. McCullum took a good catch at the boundary of Thampi’s ball. Dhoni scored 26 runs and his innings included a six and a four respectively.
Thampi ended the 76-run partnership between Stokes and Dhoni.
Earlier in the Gujarat Lions batting innings, both openers Ishan Kishan and Brendon McCullum gave a good start for the Lions.
McCullum and Kishan smashed boundaries in the powerplay. Kishan fell to the spin of Pune’s Imran Tahir on 31 runs. His innings included 3 fours and 2 maximums.
McCullum missed his half-century as he was caught by Ajinkya Rahane off Shardul Thakur’s ball. He scored 45 runs in only 27 balls hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes.
A good bowling display by Imran Tahir, who remains in contention for the Purple Cap, took 3 wickets at an economy of 6.75. In his quota of 4 overs, he gave away only 27 runs.
Jaydev Unadkat also bowled well for Pune taking 3 wickets in the process.
Barring the opening partnership of Gujarat, no other pair could carve out partnerships.
Gujarat skipper Suresh Raina was unlucky to have been run-out by MS Dhoni.
Gujarat Lions next play Delhi Daredevils on Thursday while Rising Pune Supergiant take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Wednesday.