Rising Pune Supergiant showed resilience and discipline despite the absence of all-rounder Ben Stokes and spinner Imran Tahir to defeat former champions Mumbai Indians and clinch a spot in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Tuesday.(HIGHLIGHTS)
Although Rising Pune Supergiant had beaten Mumbai Indians twice in the IPL-10 league stage, the depleted Steven Smith and Co were not expected to be any match against the rampaging Mumbai Indians. (SCORECARD)
However, their disciplined bowling attack and reckless hitting by a few Mumbai Indians batsmen helped Smith’s team beat Rohit Sharma’s side for the third time in the tournament, by 20 runs, to enter their maiden Indian Premier League final.
Rahane leads fightback
Rising Pune Supergiant posted 162 for four in their 20 overs, thanks to Ajinkya Rahane (56), Manoj Tiwary (58) and a late surge from MS Dhoni, who slammed a 26-ball 40 not out, which included five sixes. Dhoni and Tiwary plundered 41 runs in the last two overs to help post a fighting total. Mumbai Indians, in reply, managed only 142/9 with the bulk of the runs coming from Parthiv Patel (52).
Off-spinner Washington Sundar was the pick of the RPS bowlers, claiming 3/16 in his four overs. Pace bowler Shardul Thakur finished with 3/37.
However, Mumbai Indians will have another shot at the final via the Qualifier 2 in Bangalore on Friday.
If Rising Pune Supergiant were off to a horrendous start, Mumbai Indians also began on a disastrous note. While RPS managed to build a partnership after losing their top two run-getters Rahul Tripathi (0) and skipper Steven Smith (1) early, Mumbai Indians could not arrest their slide.
After losing opener Lendl Simmons (5) in the fifth over, Mumbai Indians went on to lose Rohit Sharma (1), Ambati Rayudu (0) and Kieron Pollard (7) in the next 18 balls as they slumped to 51/4.
Sundar strikes early
It was Sundar, who was instrumental in disrupting Mumbai Indians’ rhythm after the openers put on 35 in 4.3 overs. The 17-year-old Tamil Nadu spinner trapped Rohit in front off his first ball. Three balls later, Rayudu hit it straight to Smith at short midwicket. In his next over, Sundar removed the dangerous Pollard in similar fashion as Rayudu, stunning the Wankhede crowd into silence.
Smith’s ecstatic reaction after taking the catch was enough to suggest that the match was safely in RPS’ pocket.
It was indeed the case as Mumbai Indians struggled to hit any ball to the fence for 25 deliveries. With the asking rate going up with every dot ball, the batsmen took risks, but that didn’t fetch them a lot of success.
On the other hand, Rahane and Tiwary started building it brick-by-brick from 9/2. The duo was watchful initially, and did not press the panic button despite just three runs coming off 10 balls.
Pandya goes for runs
The loose over finally came in the form of Hardik Pandya, who leaked 15 runs off his first over. Rahane and Tiwary smashed 40 runs in four overs (overs 9 to 12).
Just when their 80-run partnership was starting to look threatening, Rahane perished after being trapped plumb off Karn Sharma’s googly.
Rahane’s wicket swung the momentum back in Mumbai Indians’ favour as Rising Pune Supergiant could manage only 32 runs in the next 32 balls.
Though Tiwary raced away to 30 in 29 balls, he took 16 balls for his next 20 runs to complete his half-century.