Rahane, Dhoni push Supergiants to 160/5

Pune, April 24 (IANS) A late cameo from Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane’s 52-ball 67 helped Rising Pune Supergiants manage a challenging 160/5 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in their Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

Dhoni scored a quickfire 12-ball 23 with another notable contribution coming from Steve Smith (31). For the visitors, Shakib Al Hasan, Sunil Narine, Rajagopal Sathish and Umesh Yadav bagged a wicket each.

Pune got off to a brisk start with 11 runs coming off the third over. But with 24 runs on the board Faf Du Plesis was cleaned up by left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan.

The wicket put the brakes on the scoring rate and the Supergiants only managed to score 31/1 by the end of the powerplay.

But then Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith together tried to knit a partnership. The duo ran hard between the wickets and picked up the occasional boundary even though KKR kept them on a tight lease.

However, after a stand of 56, Smith — who was looking dangerous — was run-out with Rajagopal Satish taking the bails off at the non-striker’s end in the 13th over.

Satish then picked up Thisara Perera and Narine got rid off Rahane as Pune were left struggling at 119/4.

With a few big shots from Albie Morkel and Dhoni’s late fireworks the Supergiants got to a fighting total with the last over from Morne Morkel yielding 17 vital runs.

Brief scores:

Rising Pune Supergiants 160/5 (Ajinkya Rahane 67, Steve Smith 31; Shakib Al Hasan 1/14) vs Kolkata Knight Riders.

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