After consolidating their fourth spot in the table, courtesy Ben Stokes unbeaten 103, the Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) skipper Steve Smith feels they are “peaking at the right time.”
RPS beat Gujarat Lions by five wickets after a top-order collapse and now stand pretty at fourth spot with 12 points.
“It wasn’t an ideal start but we have some artillery in the shed. MS and Stoksy took it deep. It is one of the easier grounds to his sixes and Stoksy made use of it. I thought it was a great effort for the bowlers to pull it back to 160. We are peaking at the right time, hopefully not early,” Smith said after the match.
“Stoksy is a quality player and he certainly earned his cash. Fantastic player and very proud of him.”
Stokes, who added 76 runs for the fifth wicket with former India captain MS Dhoni to repair the innings, said their plan was to rotate the strike. “We lost quite a few early wickets, me and MS just tried to keep it ticking. Numbers game: we just tried to go big at the start of the over and cool it off,” he said.
Gujarat Lions skipper Suresh Raina not having quality spin attack hurt them in the match.
“The dew was there when Basil and Jimmy were bowling. Credit to Stokes. We did not have much power in the spinning department, but Stokes did well. I would say we were 25-30 runs short. We kept losing wickets and we were all out. Still I think we bowled well in the first six overs. The way Stokes was hitting was the turning point. The way he was hitting, clean strikes,” he said.
“Still we have four games left. Hopefully things will turn out better for us,” Raina signed off.