This is that part of the tournament where in each match at least one of the two teams is playing for a must win to stay alive in the tournament. At Eden gardens, match no. 45 between the Kolkata Knight Riders and the Rising Pune Supergiants was a must win game for the Supergiants to have any possibility of making it to the playoffs. KKR were sitting pretty in the top 4 and the pressure was on Dhoni’s men to come out with some performance and they crumbled.
Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat on a slow Kolkata pitch. It went all southwards for the Supergiants from the very start of the innings.
Their opener and highest scorer Ajinkya Rahane was out bowled by Andre Russel for just 2 in the 3rd over. The other opener Usman Khawaja and new man George Bailey both had starts but failed to convert them into anything substantial. Also the scoring rate was no way near standard and the regular fall of wickets meant there was no momentum to the innings. Dhoni was on 8 runs off 22 balls and his team at 103 for 6 in the 18th over when the skies opened up the match shut down. KKR spinners got enough purchase from the wicket to keep Dhoni interested with the 2 Ashwins in the side, but their innings never resumed to get the finish they would have thought of. After 2 hours of rain delay, the match started with the Duckworth-Lewis calculation that the KKR needed 66 runs in 9 overs.
It was not a big total by any means and a required rate of just over 7 an over meant the KKR batsmen could do it without any risks. R Ashwin started the proceedings with the ball and removed both the KKR openers in the very first over, setting panic in the KKR camp. Both teams would have have thought that the match was a tight one but the new batsman Yousuf Pathan was in no mood to complicate the situation. He came and blasted each bowler around the park to get his team across in just 5 overs.
Pathan scored an unbeaten match winning 37 runs off just 18 balls to end the hopes for the Rising Pune Supergiants.
KKR are just 1 win away from a sure shot qualification to the playoffs and they have 3 matches to get it done. RPS are done for this year and have been an utter disappointment, given the names they had in their team. Injuries to their important overseas player worsened the matters for them. KKR have everything to play for while RPS may come out to spoil some one`s party for sure.