The Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) completed a hat-trick of wins in the tenth edition of Indian Premier League as they spoiled Mumbai Indians (MI)’s party on Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday to seal a three–run win here in Mumbai, yesterday.
The loss was MI’s first defeat in IPL on the Little Master’s birthday.
The Steve Smith-led unit, which needed to defend 16 runs in the 20th over, held its nerve in the last-over finish to better their head to head record to 3-1 against MI and also became the only side in this year’s IPL to have beaten MI; both at home and away thus far. Needing 161 runs to win the game and to seal their seventh consecutive win in the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League, MI fumbled in the chase despite skipper Rohit Sharma’s 39-ball 58-run knock. For RPS, Ben Stokes (2/21) starred with the ball while Jaydev Unadkat also scalped 2 wickets conceding 40 runs.
Jos Buttler (17 off 13 balls) was the first man to return to the dug-out as Ben Stokes held onto an easy catch off Washington Sundar’s bowling. The young off-spinner scalped another wicket as he removed Parthiv Patel (33 off 27 balls) on the final ball of the spell. Daniel Christian, meanwhile cut short Nitish Rana’s (3 off 9 balls) stay in the middle as he sandwiched a wicket between the dismissals of MI openers.
At the halfway stage of the MI chase, RPS were in a stronger position to move to the fourth spot in points table. Their position, despite a dropped catch by Manoj Tiwary, was strengthened further as Stokes broke through the defence of Karn Sharma (11 off 10 balls), who was pushed ahead of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya.
RPS then missed two chances in space of four balls to dismiss Rohit and push MI on the backfoot. First, Unadkat missed a direct hit and then Ajinkya Rahane failed to grab a difficult catch near the deep midwicket boundary off Imran Tahir’s bowling.
Tahir though got his first wicket as skipperSmith took an excellent catch to give RPS their fifth wicket in the form of Pollard (9 off 9 balls). The Pune team captain ran from long-off towards deep extra-cover to complete a running catch.
Rohit, meanwhile, made the most of his luck to bring his first fifty of IPL 2017. However, he could not help MI cross the finish line as Unadkat completed a caught and bowled dismissal in the final over of the MI chase.
Earlier, after put in to bat, RPS started off well as Rahane (38 off 32 balls) and Rahul Tripathi (45 off 31 balls) scored 48 runs in the powerplay over. While Tripathi just took off from where he had left in the last game against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rahane, whose form had dipped following his 60-run knock against MI in the first game, looked in good touch before getting out off Karn Sharma’s bowling in the 10th over.
Karn, who was making his debut for MI, struck once again as Kieron Pollard made no mistake holding on to a skier to end Tripathi’s innings. The leg-spinner could have added one more wicket to his account but Harbhajan Singh dropped Smith in the deep as MI missed a chance to scalp their second wicket in the 12th over. Bhajji though made amends in the next over as he disturbed the timber to send the Australian skipper packing for 17.
Stokes (17 off 12 balls) was the next man to get out as a Mitchell Johnson delivery cleaned him up in the 17th over. MI dashed RPS’ hopes of big total as Jasprit Bumrah dismissed MS Dhoni (7 off 11 balls). The former India skipper dragged the ball onto his stumps while going for a wild heave through the leg side.
While Tiwary scored quickfire 22 off 13 balls, RPS failed to cash in on a bright start and could only score 160.