IPL 2017, MI vs RPS: Smith, Rahane propel Pune to victory over Mumbai
Pune : Rising Pune Supergiants rode on superb batting by captain Steven Smith and Ajinkya Rahane to defeat Mumbai Indians by seven wickets in the second game of the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Thursday.
Chasing a target of 185, Pune crossed the line with just one ball to spare.
The hosts had started their chase on a strong note, scoring at more than 10 runs an over in the initial stages before Mayank Agarwal was dismissed by Mitchell McClenaghan.
Smith then joined Rahane in the middle and the duo added 58 runs in the space of seven overs to lay the foundation of a successful run chase.
Rahane scored 60 runs off 34 balls with six boundaries and three hits into the stands. He was finally dismissed when Nitish Rana pulled off an excellent catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Tim Southee.
Smith, however, continued in the same vein and remained unbeaten on 84 runs off a mere 54 deliveries. His innings included seven boundaries and three sixes.
Fittingly, it was he only who brought up the winning runs with two consecutive sixes off Kieron Pollard in the final over.
For Mumbai, Southee, Hardik Pandya and McClenaghan bagged a wicket each.
Earlier, Pandya's last-over heroics helped Mumbai recover from a mediocre position to post a healthy 184/8.
Bengal medium pacer Ashoke Dinda was the culprit for the home side conceding 30 runs in the final over when Pandya (35 not out) hammered the right-armer for four sixes (including three consecutive) and a four to change the course of the game.
Earlier, South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who went unsold in the auctions and was a late addition to the Pune squad, brought the hosts back into the game with three quick wickets after the Mumbai opening duo of Jos Buttler (38) and Parthiv Patel (19) added 45 runs for the opening wicket.
Introduced in the fifth over, Tahir struck in his second ball when he bowled Patel round his legs before packing Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma (3) and Buttler in his next over to reduce Mumbai to 62/3.
Sharma, who has been out of action for almost five months, was slow on his feet and it was enough for Tahir to break through his defence. One ball later, Tahir trapped the dangerous Buttler in front although television replays later showed that the Englishman had got a thick inside edge.