Pune: Rising Pune Supergiants captain Steve Smith barely broke sweat, as he guided his side to a seven-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians, at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune, on Thursday.
Ajinkya Rahane (60 runs from 34 balls) had gotten RPS off to a great start, belting the Mumbai Indians bowlers all over the park. It took a brilliant diving catch by Nitish Rana to get the Team India vice-captain out.
Although Rahane’s wicket stemmed the flow of runs for a while, Smith put up a 50-run partnership with Englishman Ben Stokes, to take RPS closer to their target.
It got a little close at the end, with Jasprit Bumrah bowling a tight 19th over, but with 10 runs left to win from three balls, Smith smacked Kieron Pollard for two sixes, to bring-up the win with one ball remaining.
Earlier, Pune’s South African spinner Imran Tahir produced a good performance, picking up the wickets of the top three Mumbai Indians wickets – Parthiv Patel (19), Jos Buttler (38), and captain Rohit sharma (3); Tahir finished with figures of 3-28 from his quota of four overs.
Mumbai Indians looked set for an average total, with wickets falling at regular intervals in their innings. However, Hardik Pandya smashed a massive 30 runs off the last over of their innings, which was bowled by Ashok Dinda. Pandya’s heroics helped take Mumbai’s total to a challenging 184 for eight.
Mumbai Indians: 184-8 from 20 overs (Buttler: 38, H Pandya: 35; Tahir 3-28, Bhatia 2-14)
Rising Pune Supergiants: 187-3 from 19.5 overs (Smith: 84, Rahane: 60; Southee 1-34, H Pandya 1-36)
Rising Pune Supergiants win by 7 wickets.
Man of the Match: Steve Smith.
RPS: 187-3 from 19.5 overs
And its all over! Rising Pune Supergiants captain Steve Smith closes things off with two huge sixes off the last two balls of Kieron Pollard. RPS looked to be under pressure, with the runs piling up in the last couple of overs, but captain cool Steve Smith (with the former captain cool MS Dhoni at the other end), finished off the proceedings with great aplomb. RPS win by seven wickets.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni comes out to raptorous applause, as Ben Stokes leaves the field. This is Dhoni's first IPL game as a non-captain.
RPS: 143-3 from 15.2 overs
WICKET! Hardik Pandya gets the crucial breakthrough. Stokes tries to smack the ball on the leg side, but he hits it straight at Tim Southee in the deep.
RPS: 139-2 from 15 overs
And Steve Smith continues his supreme form from Test to T20 cricket, as he brings up his fifty in 37 balls. A well-paced innings, as the skipper guides his side to victory.
RPS: 93-2 from 10.1 overs
WICKET! And just as it looked like Rahane may have been getting ready to go the full distance, Nitish Rana pulls off a brilliant diving catch off a flat shot, to get the Team India vice-captain out. Tim Southee with the wicket.
RPS: 93-1 from 10 overs
Rahane has played a brilliantly controlled innings tonight. He got off to a flyer, and then slowed down, after the fall of Mayank's wicket.
RPS: 43-1 from 5 overs
Ajinkya Rahane is on fire tonight! He has hit four boundaries and a six to give Pune a flying start.
RPS: 35-1 from 3.1 overs
WICKET! McClenaghan comes up with the wicket. While Mayank was playing the sheet-anchor role. the latter hit it straight at Rohit Sharma.
MI: 184-8 from 20 overs
A mighty over from Mumbai Indians. Pune have dominated the innings so far, but Hardik Pandya may just have given Mumbai a bit of an edge in that last over. He hit four 6s, and a boundary. 30 Runs came off that last over by Dinda.
MI: 146-7 from 18.2 overs
WICKET! Mayank Agarwal plucks off a brilliant catch at long-on, to dismiss Kieron Pollard off Ben Stokes' bowling.
MI: 125-6 from 15.3 overs
WICKET! Adam Zampa also gets into the attack, as Rana hits his delivery straight to Rajat Bhatia in the deep.
MI: 120-5 from 15 overs
Wickets are falling every hour for the Mumbai Indians. Imran Tahir had a serious lbw shout against Kieron Pollard, but it was turned down. Hawkeye suggested that the ball would have gone on to hit the middle stump. Pollard was lucky there.
MI: 105-5 from 13.2 overs
WICKET! Brilliant bowling by Rajat Bhatia. His change of pace catches Krunal Pandya by surprise this time, as Dhoni takes an easy catch.
MI: 81-4 from 11.3 overs
WICKET! Mumbai Indians are falling apart. Rayudu mis-times a Bhatia delivery, as it goes straight back to the bowler, who gratefully takes a simple catch.
MI: 81-3 from 10 overs
The runs have dried up since the three wickets by Imran Tahir. However, Rana and Rayudu have done well to consolidate their innings.
MI: 63-3 from 6.5 overs
Wicket! Brilliant bowling by the South African! Cleans-up both Rohit Sharma and Jos Buttler's stumps. Mumbai Indians have to build again.
MI: 45-1 from 4.2 overs
Wicket! Imran Tahir has got the important breakthrough. Spins it round Parthiv Patel's legs, as the ball crashes into the stumps.
The players are out on the pitch, and we are ready to kick-off the second match of IPL 2017.
Rising Pune Supergiants: Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Steve Smith (c), Manoj Tiwary, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wkt), Ben Stokes, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Adam Zampa, Imran Tahir, Ashok Dinda.
Rohit sharma (c), Parthiv Patel (wkt), Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Nitish Rana, Jos Buttler, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, Jasprit Bumrah.
Steve Smith has won the toss, and has decided to field first. The last time Smith walked-up to the Pune pitch, the conditions were quite different.
The opening ceremony is underway in Pune. On stage is Bollywood singer Shalmali Kholgade.
Fans are gearing up for the match!
The two captains are out!
Preview: Steve Smith is all set to take over the reins of the rising Pune Supergiants, as the franchise head into their first IPL 2017 game against Mumbai Indians at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, in Pune, on Thursday.
The clash, billed as the Maharashtra derby, is set to be the first IPL game in which star Indian cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not be the captain.
RPSG go into the game with a strong batting lineup, with the likes of Steve Smith, Faf du Plessis, Ajinkya Rahane, and MS Dhoni taking guard. The addition of England all-rounder Ben Stokes could further strengthen Pune.
With Ravichandran Ashwin being ruled out of the tournament, the bowling responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Stokes, and South Africa spinner Imran Tahir.
The Mumbai Indians also have a strong batting lineup, with captain Rohin Sharma getting support from the likes of Ambati Rayudu, Lendl Simmons, Jos Buttler, Kieron Pollard, Parthiv Patel, and Siddhesh Lad.
Their bowling lineup seems to have a bit of a bite in them too, with the presence of Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah, Mitchell Johnson and Harbhajan Singh....