In the end, Mumbai Indians managed to stay composed under pressure to canter to victory, outperforming Rising Pune Supergiants in all departments on Sunday.
Mumbai moved to second in the standings with an impressive display led by skipper Rohit Sharma while Pune’s chances of reaching the knockouts were further dented. Only a miracle can see them reach that stage.
There weren’t any miracles for Pune at the Maharashtra Cricket Association ground on Sunday as they failed to cash in on the moments, handing the advantage to Mumbai.
Rohit Sharma finished on 85 not out off 60 deliveries, his second unbeaten, match-winning half-century on the trot. He steered the champions home with nine balls to spare.
While batting, Rising Pune failed to capitalise on a good start, and while bowling, they failed to create enough pressure on the opposition, which has been the story of their campaign.
Mumbai have gone from strength to strength since they lost their opening game against MS Dhoni’s team and Sunday’s victory was their fourth in five matches.
Chasing 160 to win, Mumbai batsmen didn’t need to take many risks as they overhauled the total as the Pune bowlers didn’t show much of a fight.
Rohit Sharma again led from the front, making sure Mumbai didn’t lose their way. It was his fifth half-century in the tournament, and four have resulted in victories.
Credit must be given to the Mumbai bowlers though. They again laid the foundation for the win by restricting the opposition.
They made sure Pune’s batsmen were pulled back whenever they threatened to dominate. It started with Mitchell McClenaghan, who accounted for Ajinkya Rahane. The opener was key to Pune’s success as their middle-order has been inconsistent.
Jasprit Bumrah, who took three wickets, got rid of Steven Smith to keep the hosts in check, and in the middle overs, Harbhajan Singh bowled the best spell of his stint in the IPL this season.
The off-spinner would have brought cheer to Mumbai Indians as he had been below par in IPL 9. He was also the most economical Mumbai bowler.
Once they had Supergiants on the mat, Mumbai never relaxed the grip and kept taking wickets, ensuring their rivals didn’t recover.