Rising Pune Supergiant continued their winning run as their most valuable player Ben Stokes came to the party with the bat. Englishmen smashed his maiden T20 ton in Indian Premier League to edge past Gujarat Lions in the 39th game played at Pune.
The hosts Pune were in deep trouble while chasing a score of 161 runs posted by Gujarat Lions. They were precariously placed at 42 for 4 after 5.3 overs. Stokes remained unflustered at other end as he continued to play his natural game.
The Supergiant had lost 4 wickets with a mere 42 runs on the scoreboard. They needed another 120 runs off 87. With MS Dhoni and Stokes in the middle, the target seemed attainable. All the same, the Lions displayed magnificent show of character and bowled in the right channel, keeping a lid on the runs. Stokes never allowed Lions to get on top as he added 76 runs with MS Dhoni to keep Pune well in the hunt to chase down the target.
Stokes single-handedly took upon on his shoulders with Pune needing 44 runs off 25 balls. He was 72 not out when Dhoni departed after scoring 26 runs off the bowling of Basil Thampi. The left-hander went for the charge as he smashed two sixes to take the game till the end. Stokes brought up his hundred in style while Pune needing only 6 runs to win the game. Dan Christian knocked off the remaining runs to see hosts win the game by 5 wickets.
Earlier, Brendon McCullum and Ishan Kishan got Gujarat off to great start but once both the batsmen were dismissed the side lost the momentum in their innings. Dinesh Karthik contributed with 29 runs down the order but the rest of side failed to produce anything to see Lions get bundled out in the last over for 161 runs.