Ajinkya Rahane and MS Dhoni came to the party with the bat to ensure Rising Pune Supergiants overcome Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier 1 game played at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai in the 2017 Indian Premier League. Pune upstaged highly fancied team like Mumbai in their own backyard to seal their place in the finals of the competition that will be staged on 21st May in Hyderabad.
Pune went on to do a triple on Mumbai as off-spinner Washington Sundar turned out to be an unlikely hero for the side. He picked up three wickets including big ones like Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard. Earlier, Ajinkya Rahane delivered with the bat in a game which it mattered the most for Pune in the competition. He was given good support by Manoj Tiwary who also produced a useful innings to push Pune’s score well over 150-run mark on a surface that was turning and assisting the spinners.
Pune bowlers bowled tight lines to put pressure on Mumbai in the initial overs of the innings in the chase. Parthiv Patel did show some aggression and launched an attack on the bowlers. Lendl Simmons was dismissed for a low score but Patel departure in the 14th over turning out to be big moment in the game as Mumbai lost the plot to concede a defeat. Washington Sundar came into the attack as Steven Smith used him brilliantly as he dismissed Rohit Sharma for 1 to see Mumbai crumble to 4 for 51 after 7.6 overs.
Sundar did most of the damage. The brothers Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya got starts and could not bat till the end as they were dismissed trying to play big shots in the chase. Patel scored a half century and fought hard but it was inevitable as lack of contribution from others meant that Mumbai could only muster 142 runs from 20 overs to exit the competition in their own backyard. Shardul Thakur and Washington Sundar bagged three wickets apiec while Jaydev Unadkat was once again impressive with the ball in hand.
Earlier, Mumbai Indians won the toss and fielded first as Pune were in deep trouble as Rahul Tripathi and Captain Steven Smith were dismissed for low scores inside first three overs. Ajinkya Rahane had not been in the best of form but delivered his best performance to score 56 runs off 43 balls. Rahane added 80 runs with Manoj Tiwary to stabilize the Pune’ innings and lay an ideal platform to post a good total on the board. Rahane eventually departed in the 12th over of the innings but Tiwary batted well to add another 73 runs with Dhoni to see Pune register 162 runs off 20 overs. Dhoni also batted well as he struck an unbeaten 40 runs off 26 balls and smashed five sixes in his innings. He turned the game on his head as Pune were able to get 41 runs from the last two overs to put up a competitive total on a weary surface.
While Pune Lockie Ferguson came in place of Ben Stokes, Mumbai made four changes as Lasith Malinga, Parthiv Patel, Mitchell McClenaghan and Jaspreet Bumrah for the knockout clash at Wankhede. Karn Sharma also got the nod ahead of Harbhajan Singh.
Mumbai Indians will now face the winner of Eliminator game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders that will be played on 18th May at M.Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru.