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Match Report: M2 - RPS vs MI

Run-machine Smith helps RPS to first home win

Rising Pune Supergiant won by 7 wickets

Rising Pune Supergiant posted their first-ever win on their home ground in Pune after they defeated the Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the Maharashtra Derby. The Mumbai Indians, put in to bat, posted 184-8, after which Steven Smith and AjinkyaRahanescored half-centuries to help their team to their first win of the season.

Rahane dominated the early part of the run-chase; he contributed 27 runs in the 35-runs opening stand, which was broken when Mayank Agarwal attempted to hit a back of a length delivery fromMitchelllMcClenaghan over the top, but ended up hitting it down the throat of mid-off.

Rahane and Smith then took control of proceedings. Rahane played his shots and found the boundary regularly – despite not having to do anything ungainly or play shots that didn’t come naturally to him; he ran the ball down to third man, drove down the ground and pulled the short delivery well. Rahane brought up his half-century in the ninth over when he pulled a short delivery from Hardik Pandya to the square-leg boundary; the RPS opener consumed 27 balls to get to the milestone – making it his fastest half-century in the IPL.

The 58-run partnership between Rahane and Smith was broken in the eleventh when the former’s pull was pouched by Nitish Rana on the boundary. Smith, 25 from 22 balls when Rahane was dismissed, then took control and piloted the run-chase; unorthodox as usual, he worked out ways to score runs whatever the bowlers dished out. He was helped along the way when he was put down by Nitish Rana on the boundary in the thirteenth over.

36 when he offered the reprieve, the RPS captain made MI pay for their largesse as he carried on and helped the team past the finish line. The match was pretty much in the balance heading into the last few overs; RPS needed 13 at the start of the final over, which came down to 10off the last three balls. Smith deposited Kieron Pollard into the stands off the fourth and fifth deliveries to seal the issue. The RPS skipper remained unbeaten on 84, scored from 54 balls, and he had the company of MS Dhoni who remained unbeaten on 12. RPS got home with one ball to spare.

For MI, who were without their two-most experienced bowlers – LasithMalinga and Harbhajan Singh, the wickets were shared by Tim Southee, Hardik Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan.

Earlier in the evening, MI got off to a brisk start through Parthiv Patel and Jos Buttler; the MI opening pair added 43 runs before Imran Tahir bowled the left-hander behind his legs. The leg-spinner struck twice in his following over; first, he breached through the defenses of Rohit Sharma and two balls later, he had Buttler dismissed LBW.

After a mid-innings collapse, MI appeared headed towards a modest total. That’s when Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya upped the ante; Pollard scored a quick-fire 27 from 17 balls – aided with three boundaries and a six, before a sharp catch by Mayank Agarwal cut short the Trinidadian’s innings. Hardik batted through to the end and feasted on some poor bowling by Ashok Dinda in the final over; he hit four sixes and a boundary off the first five balls of the final over and helped add 30 runs to the total. MI, 145-6 at the end of 18 overs, finished their allotted twenty overs at 184-7.

Imran Tahir was undoubtedly the best bowler of the match; a late addition to the VIVO IPL 2017 bandwagon, the leg-spinner prised out the MI top three and finished with impressive figures of 3-28 from his four overs. Rajat Bhatia used change of pace to good effect and returned with figures of 2-14 from three overs, while Adam Zampa and Ben Stokes picked up a wicket each.

Brief Scores

Mumbai Indians: 184-8 (Jos Buttler 38, Hardik Pandya 35*, Imran Tahir 3-28, Rajat Bhatia 2-14) lost to

Rising Pune Supergiant: 187-3 in 19.5 Overs(AjinkyaRahane 60, Steven Smith 84*) by 7 wickets

Man of the Match: Steven Smith