England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who was bought for a record-highest bid of Rs.14.50 crore by Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), proved his worth on Saturday when he scored a 50 amid tough time to take his team to 163/6 against Kings XI Punjab in the fourth match of the IPL 2017.
The spectators at Holkar Stadium in Indore witnessed Stokes’ playing measured cricket as his 32-ball knock came amid high domination of KXIP bowlers.
He, however, struck three sixes and two boundaries as well to electrify the spectators.
In the end of their innings, Manoj Tiwary remained unbeaten for 40 runs with Rajat Bhatia (0*).
With Stokes, Tiwary put 61 runs for the fifth-wicket, highest partnership stand of the innings.
The 31-year-old Bengal-born batsman hit two sixes and three boundaries in his 23-ball knock, at an impressive strike rate of 173.91.
Under the captaincy of Glenn Maxwell, KXIP bowlers kept RPS under control since the beginning of the match.
Pacer Sandeep Sharma, T Natarajan, Marcus Stoinis claimed one wicket each, with spinners Axar Patel and Swapnil Singh joining in after dismissing Stokes and Dhoni respectively.
Supergiant opener Mayank Agarwal was sent back to pavilion for a duck in the first over, followed by Ajinkkya Rahane’s dismissal for 19 runs in the seventh over.
Captain Steve Smith, who struck a spectacular knock of 84 runs (not out) in the last match against Mumbai Indian, failed to impress Indore crowd. He managed to score just 26 runs off 27 balls.
However, the bigger heartbreak was to watch MS Dhoni losing his wicket cheaply for five runs, that too when he came to bat up the order.