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IPL 10, Match 28, Mumbai Indians v Rising Pune Supergiant: 5 Tracking Points

Stokes' allround show stole for the show for RPS.

Rising Pune Supergiant
Rising Pune Supergiant. (Photo Source: BCCI)

This was the second time in this edition that Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant met, this time at the Wankhede Stadium, on Sachin Tendulkar’s 44th birthday. RPS now has an upper hand over MI as they have won both the Maharashtra Derby games. Pune snatched not only the 6-match winning streak from Mumbai but also the recent love affair MI were having at their fortress. Also, what is it with MI and close finishes.

RPS was restricted to 160, and the chasing side again had an advantage, considering this is Wankhede, but looks like MI too has joined the club of sides losing despite winning the toss and chasing. The game was on until the very last over, but the chase proved to be too much for MI. While the other teams were having a trouble preventing MI win games on a trot, RPS has had the better of them twice after this match.

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Here are the 5 Tracking Points from the game:

1. Ben Stokes has upped his game

This was only the second time in Stokes’ T20 career that he bowled a maiden over. In fact, today he had a wicket maiden over in his name. His figures read 4-1-21-2, which look pretty exceptional. Though the batting is not coming off as easily as it should for him, he has been doing very well with the ball and also while fielding.

His first wicket, that of his English teammate, Jos Buttler meant that MI did not have a fiery start. When he bowled Karn Sharma, he was yet to give a run but had a couple in the wickets column against his name. If not with the bat, he changes the game with the ball. If not with the ball he does it with his diving around. He took a stunning catch to dismiss Hardik Pandya without being able to finish a match, for the very first time.

2. Rohit Sharma’s first half-century of the season

Rohit Sharma played a strokeful inning in which he struck six fours and three sixes to keep Mumbai in the hunt. He kept finding the boundaries every over and with a single completed his first fifty of the season off 32 balls. Mumbai were in fact, cruising until the 16th over as Rohit along with Kieron Pollard smashed it all around.

This was his 150th IPL game, and he made sure that this day did not go without a fifty in his name. Though the fact that it ended in the losing cause raises questions about his batting position, he did well to bring the 50 up in 32 balls, when the batsmen before him had been dismissed without making much impact.

3. Pune hold their nerves

A stunning four-run over from Tahir and an equally good seven-run one from Stokes in the 17th and 19th overs respectively sealed the deal. Though Jaydev Unadkat was hit for two successive boundaries, which cut down the equation to 24 off the final two. Pune was not out of the game as Stokes bowled the all-important 19th over under pressure and proved his worth with clever change of pace and spent just seven runs.

Jaydev made a comeback in the ultimate over as he slowed down the pace and sent Pandya back to the pavilion, credit to a brilliant Stokesy catch. Rohit kept Pune on their toes with a six but top-edged the very next ball to be caught by Unadkat himself.

4. The vitality of solid starts

For RPS, Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi gave them a solid start. The result was Pune adding runs at a brisk rate in the power play overs – 48 runs without losing a wicket. The opening pair added 76 runs before being separated as Rahane departed first and Tripathi followed 2 overs later. This was the Team’s second-best opening stand.

Jos Buttler and Parthiv Patel have given MI good opening repeatedly, they began aggressively. Just like Pune’s openers, Buttler and Patel enjoyed batting against the hard, new ball. Five fours in the space of eight balls lifted Mumbai to 27 for 0 after three overs only till the time Stokes came on to bowl the fifth over and took only two balls to deliver the breakthrough. The battle between national teammates Stokes and Buttler saw the former having the edge.

5. A landmark to remember

Harbhajan Singh became the third Indian and the 19th player overall to scalp 200 wickets in the shortest format of the game today, as he sent back Steve Smith in the 13th over. The wicket helped MI to a great extent to make a comeback in the game, considering that Smith can be dangerous when he settles, especially after Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi had provided a perfect platform to RPS.

It was the last ball of his stipulated quota of overs when he sent Smith back to pavilion with just 17 off 12. Not much harm was done by the RPS skipper and Harbhajan celebrated the wicket as well as the milestone very passionately, a shout and a roar.

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