Gujarat Lions managed to notch up their first win of the season as they beat Rising Pune Supergiant by seven wickets at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot on Friday.
The star of the show for the Lions, without any doubt, was Australian pacer Andrew Tye who was making his Indian Premier League [IPL] debut.
Earlier in the day, we had seen Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Samuel Badree picking up a hat-trick in the first match of the day and Tye followed suit, registering the 16th hat-trick in the history of the IPL.
Tye, who came into the Gujarat XI in place of England’s Jason Roy, gave the hosts some firepower in their bowling ranks – something that was previously missing for them in this year’s tournament.
The 30-year-old ended the innings with bowling figures of 5-17 as Pune managed 171-8 in their 20 overs, a total that can be considered as being below par having seen the nature of the pitch and the start that they got.
For the visitors, a lot of batsmen got starts but no one was able to kick on and play a match-winning knock. Captain Steve Smith top scored for them with a 28-ball 43.
In reply, Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum got the Lions off to the best possible start, putting on 94 runs for the opening wicket within nine overs. Both batsmen would get dismissed just short of their respective half-centuries, but the damage was already done.
Lions skipper Suresh Raina and Aaron Finch made sure that there were no more hiccups as they completed the chase with two overs remaining.
The Gujarat batsmen were particularly harsh on leg-spinner Imran Tahir. The world’s number one limited overs bowler had a rare off-day with the ball, going for 53 runs from his four overs (with the wicket of Dinesh Karthik).
With this win, the Lions are now off the bottom of the table with the Supergiant replacing them there.
Pune Supergiant 171-8, 0 overs [Smith 43, Tripathi 33, Tye 5-17] lost to Gujarat Lions 172-3, 18 overs [McCullum 49, Smith 47, Thakur 1/14] by seven wickets.
Man of the Match – Andrew Tye