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IPL 10, Qualifier 1, MI v RPS Review: MS Dhoni blitz and a “Sundar” spell helps Pune thrash MI

RPS won by 20 runs to directly qualify for the final on Sunday.

Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant
Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates. (Photo: IANS)

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) won their 3rd match of the season against neighbours Mumbai Indians by defeating them by 20 runs to directly qualify for the grand final scheduled to be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. It was an exceptional bowling performance by teenager Washington Sundar which was instrumental in Pune winning the game quite comprehensively in the end.

Earlier, in the day it was half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary and a quickfire 40 from the blade of MS Dhoni which propelled the visitors to a score of over 160. It was carnage in the final few overs which ensured Pune reached a competitive score. Pune will now directly go to the final on 21st May and it remains to be seen who will be their opponent in the final.

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Winning the toss Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma won the toss and opted to field. It has been the natural call by any captain all through the season and Sharma was no different. Left-arm seamer Mitchell McClenghan started off the proceedings and made an immediate impact by removing the man in form Rahul Tripathi in the final delivery of the delivery. It was a full-length delivery which came in sharply and breached Tripathi’s defence to disturb the timbers.

It was a huge wicket considering the youngster has been in sublime form all through this season. Captain Steve Smith walked out in the middle but before he could get settled Lasith Malinga removed him with a short of length delivery in only the 3rd over. With the score at 9/2, Pune was in a bit of a bother as Manoj Tiwary joined out of form Ajinkya Rahane to resurrect the innings.

Ajinkya Rahane smashed his first boundary in the 3rd over of McCleneghan and followed it with a spanking cover drive of the same bowler. The runs were not coming freely as the ball was stopping on the pitch. The duo slowly but steadily kept on rotating the strike to keep the scoreboard ticking and struck the occasional boundaries in between.

Hardik Pandya was welcomed to the crease by Rahane and Tiwary with a six and a four respectively as RPS reached 58/2 when the strategic time out was called. Rahane reached his 2nd half-century of the tournament in the final delivery of the 12th over. MS Dhoni joined Tiwary in the middle and after seeing off a few balls, he stepped down the track and smashed Karn Sharma for a big six in the 15th over.

Until the 18th over, the run-scoring became very difficult as the Mumbai bowlers kept them in check despite the fall of only 3 wickets. Dhoni finally pressed on the accelerator in the final two overs as RPS accumulated 41 runs in the final 2 overs. The former captain remained unbeaten on 40 of 26 deliveries as he smashed McCleneghan and Bumrah for 4 sixes in the final 2 overs. It was sensational power hitting by the former captain which ensured Pune reached a competitive total of 162 at the end of their allotted 20 overs.

Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel began proceedings as Mumbai got off to a reasonably solid start. After Jaydev Unadkat conceded just a solitary run in the opening over, Parthiv smashed the first boundary of the innings when he guided Washington Sundar over the deep square leg fielder for a six. Jaydev Unadkat wasn’t spared either as the left-arm seamer was smashed for another six over the fine-leg region.

The southpaw smashed his 3rd six of Lockie Ferguson in the 4th as he raced off to 22 of 11 deliveries. But the wicket of Lendl Simmons via an unlucky run out turned the game within a matter of moments. Right-arm off-spinner Washington Sundar removed the rival captain Rohit Sharma in the 6th over. Sharma attempted a sweep but missed it altogether which thudded on to his stumps. Though he got an inside edge, the umpire ruled it in favour of the bowling side.

Sundar continued his good show by removing Ambati Rayudu in the same over. As Rayudu went for a pull shot he mistimed it straight to the short mid-wicket fielder Steve Smith. His next wicket was the biggest of the lot as Kieron Pollard was also holed out in the same position and by the same fielder. Hardik Pandya came to join Parthiv and played some brilliant shots to keep Mumbai’s hopes alive.

He smashed a four and a six before falling to Lockie Ferguson in the first delivery of the 12th over. Though Parthiv was still there in the crease the end seemed to be near for Mumbai. Krunal Pandya walked out in the middle and scored 11 balls 15 but it wasn’t enough to take Mumbai closer. He smashed a couple of boundaries before Shardul Thakur removed him in the 15th over.

Parthiv Patel was still waging a lone battle but in the final delivery of the same over his wicket brought an end to Mumbai’s challenge.

Karn Sharna and Mitchell McCleneghan threw their bats at everything but was unable to find the middle of the bat. The ball was stopping which made stroke-making exceptionally difficult. Eventually, Mumbai could only master at the end of 20 overs, handing Pune a comfortable victory by 20 runs.

Brief Scores

Rising Pune Supergiant 162/4 in 20 overs (Manoj Tiwary 58, Ajinkya Rahane 56, MS Dhoni 40*)

Mumbai Indians 142/9 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 52, Washington Sundar 3/16)

Rising Pune Supergiant won by 20 runs

Check full scorecard here

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