Jaydev Unadkat became the third bowler to take a hat-trick in the ongoing season of the Indian Premier League [IPL] as Rising Pune Supergiant defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 12 runs at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Saturday.
With the Sunrisers needing 13 runs to win off the final over of the match, Pune captain Steve Smith entrusted Unadkat with the responsibility and the 25-year-old delivered in some style.
Unadkat did something that happens very rarely in T20 cricket as he bowled a triple-wicket maiden in the 20th over to guide Pune into the second spot on the IPL table.
In the process, the left-arm pacer ended up registering his second-best bowling figures [5-30] in the IPL.
At one stage, though, it looked like a different match when David Warner [40 off 34 balls] and Yuvraj Singh [47 off 43 balls] were in the middle as the duo put on a 54-run partnership for the third wicket. But a lower middle-order batting collapse saw the Sunrisers lose control of what looked like a comfortable chase.
After Warner was dismissed in the 13th over, the hosts could manage just 42 runs in the last seven to succumb to their second successive loss.
Ben Stokes was terrific with the ball once again, picking up three wickets in his four overs while Imran Tahir bowled another tidy spell [1-24 from four overs].
Earlier, after being put into bat, Pune lost the wicket of the in-form Rahul Tripathi for just one as he was run-out after some confusion with opening partner Ajinkya Rahane.
Rahane got a start but failed to capitalise once again as he was dismissed for a 20-ball 22. The Indian batsman’s form will be a bit of a concern for the Pune-based franchise as he hasn’t managed a single half-century in his last 11 innings.
Smith lived a charmed life in the middle but never really got going as he failed to hit a single boundary during his 39-ball 34.
It needed Ben Stokes [39 off 25 balls] and MS Dhoni [31 off 21 balls] to add some impetus into the Pune innings as they finally ended with 148-8 from their 20 overs.
Siddarth Kaul was brilliant with the ball for the Sunrisers, with bowling figures of 4-29 in his four-over spell while Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan continued to impress as he conceded just 18 runs and took one wicket.
Speaking after the game, Smith was full of praise for his bowlers, especially hat-trick hero Unadkat.
“The bowlers just did a terrific job. I thought the lengths they bowled were outstanding,” said Smith.
“He’s [Unadkat] doing nicely, he’s bowling well up front as well. He’s doing a great job and really deserved to get his hat-trick tonight and a three-wicket maiden in his last over. A magnificent effort.
With this win, Pune have moved into the top two with 16 points from 12 matches. They will stay there at least until the end of the match between Royal Challengers Bangalore and Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.
On the other hand, the Sunrisers stay in fourth place and will have to keep an eye out on Kings XI Punjab who are just three points behind and have two games in hand.
Rising Pune Supergiant 148-8, 20 overs [Stokes 39, Smith 34, Kaul 4-29] beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 136-9 [Yuvraj 47, Warner 40, Unadkat 5-30] by 12 runs.
Player of the Match – Jaydev Unadkat.