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IPL 2017: Brilliant Smith takes Supergiant past MI


Image: BCCI



By Aaditya Narayan


07 Apr 2017:

Rising Pune Supergiant got their IPL 2017 off to the perfect start as they beat Mumbai Indians by 7 wickets at the MCA Stadium in Pune last night. Pune’s captain Steve Smith was named Man of the Match for his brilliant 84 runs off 55 balls, that helped them track down a stiff target of 185.

Tahir and Bhatia dent Mumbai

Earlier, Mumbai flew out of the blocks, as they amassed 61 runs in the first six overs. But Imran Tahir came in to put the breaks on the scoring. He removed both Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler in the same over. Pune kept picking up wickets at regular intervals, as Tahir’s efforts were wonderfully backed up by the veteran Rajat Bhatia. Bhatia went for only 14 runs in his three overs, and picked up the wickets of Krunal Pandya and Nitish Rana.

But Mumbai finished as strong as they could, as Hardik Pandya absolutely mauled Ashoke Dinda in his last over. The man from Baroda hit four boundaries and a six as 30 runs came off the over, and Mumbai had a terrific total to defend.

Rahane goes out all guns blazing

Ajinkya Rahane got Pune off to a perfect start. Image: BCCI

But Ajinkya Rahane decided that he was not going to let the tall target faze him. He came out and batted with positive intent, and was the dominant partner in both partnerships till he got out.

Rahane’s innings allowed Smith the time to get himself settled and bat out the 20 overs to guide Pune home. When the Indian Test vice-captain was dismissed, Pune need 92 to win off 59 balls.

Ben Stokes came in and got a couple of boundaries away. But Mumbai were getting some good overs in, and the required run rate was creeping up.

Dhoni watches Smith do a Dhoni

Jasprit Bumrah was excellent at the death, and it ensured Pune needed 13 runs off the last over. Kieron Pollard kept the scoring down to a single each off the first three balls, but Smith had had enough.

He dispatched the next two balls beyond the boundary, and ensured that Pune won their first match of the season. Mumbai have not win a the first game of a season since they beat Chennai Super Kings in their first match of the 2012 IPL.



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