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IPL 2017: Ajinkya Rahane finds form with vital 56 as ICC Champions Trophy looms

Ajinkya Rahane slammed a vital fifty as Rising Pune Supergiant defeated Mumbai Indians by 20 runs to enter the final of IPL 2017 and this knock would give him great confidence ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy.

ipl 2017 Updated: May 17, 2017 00:13 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times
IPL 2017,Champions Trophy 2017,ICC Champions Trophy 2017
Ajinkya Rahane slammed his 25th fifty in the IPL as Rising Pune Supergiant defeated Mumbai Indians by 20 runs to enter the final of IPL 2017.(BCCI)

Ajinkya Rahane ended a lean run in IPL 2017 for Rising Pune Supergiant with an invaluable half-century against Mumbai Indians on Tuesday in Qualifier 1 that will boost his confidence going into the ICC Champions Trophy, starting on June 1. (IPL 2017 full coverage)

Rahane had struggled to such an extent that many had questioned his ability to bat at the top of the order for Rising Pune Supergiant. His young partner Rahul Tripathi was doing well which doubled the pressure on Rahane. Despite the runs not coming, the opener was happy with the way he was batting, confident the runs would come.

On Tuesday, Rahane proved his mettle with a 43-ball 56 at his home ground to take Rising Pune Supergiant to a solid total. He stitched an 80-run third wicket stand with Manoj Tiwary (58) before MS Dhoni (40no) took Pune to 162.

It was the most important innings of this IPL for Rahane. It was a typical Rahane effort as he mixed caution with aggression to rebuild Pune’s innings. He dispatched anything loose and kept taking ones and twos to keep the scoreboard ticking.

Ajinkya Rahane struck a vital fifty and this will give him confidence ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy that will begin in June. ( AFP )

Champions Trophy target

With the Champions Trophy around the corner, it was an important knock for Rahane, who will be fighting for the second opener’s spot with Shikhar Dhawan, the second highest run-getter in this edition.

His innings against Mumbai Indians again proved he is one of the best to dig his team out of trouble when the chips are down. Rahane’s half-century was only his second of this season. His first also came against Mumbai, in their first meeting of the season at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.

Earlier, Rahane became the 11th player to score 3,000 runs in IPL. He has 3,013 runs at a strike rate of 120.66 in 110 matches.

Rahane reached the mark with a single to the on-side off the bowling of Lasith Malinga in the 11th over. Before the match, Rahane needed just 43 runs to reach the landmark.

Rahane has represented Mumbai Indians, Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL with the bulk of his runs scored for Rajasthan Royals.

First Published: May 17, 2017 00:13 IST

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