Pune: Mahendra Singh Dhoni roared back to form in typical 'Mahi-style' as he slammed an unbeaten half-century to guide Rising Pune Supergiant to six-wicket win over defending champions Sunrisers Hyderabad at MCA stadium in Pune on Saturday.
Chasing a stiff target, Pune got off to a decent start, with openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi at the crease. Tripathi broke the shackles in the third over of the innings, when he bludgeoned two fours in one Bhuvneshwar Kumar over.
Bipul Sharma provided the first breakthrough of the innings by dismissing Rahane for just 2 runs. But there was no stopping Tripathi as he kept playing his natural game and hit boundaries at will.
Siddharth Kaul was the next bowler to be mauled by Tripathi as the right-hander smashed two huge sixes and a four in his one over. Tripathi notched up his maiden IPL hal-century off just 32 deliveries.
After a slow start, Smith finally got into the act as he hit two towering sixes off the bowling of Bipul in the 10th over.
Rashid Khan finally broke the 72-run partnership by castling Smith for 27. The RPS skipper misread the wrong-one and the ball took an inside edge and crashed into the stumps.
MS Dhoni joined Tripathi at the crease and the duo steadied the ship after Smith's departure. However, a brilliant piece of fielding by Rashid did the trick for Hyderabad as Tripathi was run-out for 59.
Dhoni and Ben Stokes then hit couple of boundaries to keep the required rate in check but the dismissal of the English all-rounder for 10 shifted the momentum in favour of Hyderabad.
Pune needed 11 runs of the final over and this is how the six balls were played out -
1st Ball (11 runs off 6 balls): Tiwary tries to hit a six towards mid-wicket boundary off the bowling of Kaul but the half-chance was dropped by Rashid on the ropes and the ball trickled away for a boundary.
2nd Ball (7 runs off 5 balls): Tiwary takes a single to get Dhoni back on strike.
3rd Ball (6 runs off 4 balls): Dhoni flicks the ball towards long leg for a single.
4th Ball (5 runs off 3 balls): Low full-toss by Kaul and Tiwary once again takes a single to get Dhoni back on strike.
5th Ball (4 runs off 2 balls): Dhoni flicks the ball on the leg side and runs hard for two runs.
6th Ball (2 runs off 1 ball): Full length ball by Kaul and Dhoni smashed it for a boundary towards extra cover as Pune registered their second win on the trot.
Earlier, riding on a brilliant half-century by Moises Henriques, Hyderabad posted 173/6 in their designated 20 overs.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan and David Warner got off to a cautious start and kept the scoreboard ticking by taking singles and doubles early on. Dhawan got the innings going by hitting few boundaries to pile the pressure on Pune bowlers.
Warner then joined the party by hitting two fours in one Shardul Thakur over. The duo kept going at a decent pace and Hyderabad crossed the 50-run mark in the seventh over of the match, without losing any wicket.
Pune could have had their second wicket in quick succession but an easy catch was dropped by Smith at mid-off and Warner was handed another chance.
In-form batsman Kane Willimason started hitting boundaries from the word go as he smashed a six and a four in one Stokes over. However, Dan Christian cut-short his innings by dismissing the Kiwi for 21.
Henriques then joined forces with Warner at the crease and started his innings by hitting back to back boundaries off Sharduk Thakur. The duo kept the scoreboard ticking and Hyderabad brought up their 100 in the 15th over of the match.
Warner finally ran out of luck as he was clean bowled by Jaidev Unadkat — while going for a switch hit — for 43.
In the final three overs, Deepak Hooda and Henriques went berserk and hit boundaries at will. Both slammed one four and one six each in the 18th and the 19th over to increase the run-rate right at the end.
While in the last over, Henriques hit two boundaries to bring up his well-deserved half-century and take his team over the 170-run mark.