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Pune continue winning momentum riding on Stokes' century

Ben Stokes played an incredible innings in Pune
Ben Stokes played an incredible innings in Pune

Rising Pune Supergiant 167-5 (Stokes 103no) beat
Gujarat Lions 161 (McCullum 45) by five wickets
39th match, Indian Premier League, Pune

Ben Stokes slammed his maiden century in Twenty20 as Rising Pune Supergiant pulled out an incredible chase of 162 runs in the final over and won the 39th match of Indian Premier League with five wickets in hand.

During their chase, Pune lost Ajinkya Rahane (4), Rahul Tripathi (6), Steven Smith (4) and Manoj Tiwary (0) in the powerplay and were reduced to 42 for four. Pradeep Sangwan (2-38) picked two out of the four wickets.

In the next three overs, Stokes (103 not out) and MS Dhoni (26) managed only nine runs allowing the required run rate to touch 10. Stokes upped the accelerator with a couple of sixes in the 10th over from Ravindra Jadeja (0-19) and reached his fifty off 37 deliveries.

By the end of 15 overs, Pune needed 60 runs to win from the remaining 30 deliveries and they managed 16 off the next over to ease the pressure a bit.

Just when it looked like another day in the office for Dhoni in the death overs, Basil Thampi (2-35) produced a slower delivery which the former Indian captain went on to hole out at long off, much to the respite of Gujarat.

With 25 needed off the final two overs, Stokes struck a couple of sixes in the penultimate over to bring down the target to eight runs off the final over.

He struck a boundary in the first ball of the final over to bring his maiden century in T20s and Dan Christian (17 not out) struck a six in the fifth delivery to complete the chase for Pune. For his exploit with the bat, Stokes was also awarded the man of the match.

Earlier, after a brisk start from Aaron Finch (31) and Brendon McCullum (45), who shared a 55-run opening stand of 36 deliveries, Gujarat collapsed with Jaydev Unadkat (3-29) and Imran Tahir (3-26) picking three wickets apiece to restrict them to 161 in 19.5 overs.

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