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Pune stun Mumbai to storm into IPL final

Dhoni-inspired Supergiant bring down Indians in first qualifier with 20-run victory

Image Credit: AFP
Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steven Smith greets teammate Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Dubai: Rising Pune Supergiant rose to the challenge when it mattered most to stun Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier and sail into the Indian Premier League final.

Mumbai crashed to a 20-run defeat in front of their home crowd at the Wankhede Stadium. The architects of the Pune’s victory were Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who hit a breezy unbeaten 40, and young off spinner Washington Sundar with three wickets.

Chasing Pune’s moderate total of 162 for 4, Mumbai’s top order crumbled before 17-year-old Sundar, who took three wickets for 16 backed by Shradul Thakur with three wickets for 37 runs.

Mumbai’s opener Parthiv Patel’s fighting 52 off 40 balls with three boundaries and three sixes went in vain.

Pune posted their total through opener Ajinkya Rahane’s 56 off 43 balls with five boundries and six. He put on 80 runs in 10.5 overs with Manoj Tiwary, who top scored with 58 runs off 48 balls with four boundaries and two sixes.

Dhoni chipped in with a breezy unbeaten 40 off 26 balls with five sixes and put on 73 runs in 7.2 overs. In the last two overs, 41 runs were hit with Dhoni at his aggressive best.

Mumbai began their chase with Patel and Lendl Simmons putting on 35 runs in 4.3 overs before Simmons on 5 got run out at bowler’s end when Patel’s straight drive hit the fingers of bowler Shradul Thakur on way to the stumps.

Skipper Rohit Sharma joined Patel but lasted just two balls to score one run. Sundar trapped Sharma who went for a paddle sweep and got adjudged leg before.

Worse was to follow as two balls later, Sundar had Ambati Rayudu caught by Steve Smith at short mid-wicket for a duck. Sundar also removed the dangerous Kieron Pollard for 7 playing into the hands of Smith at mid-wicket.

Mumbai were struggling at 71 for 4 at the half way mark. Hardik Pandya followed hitting to Daniel Christian at long on off Lockie Ferguson for 14. Patel fell in the 15th over to Thakur to virtually end Mumbai’s chase.

Earlier, Mumbai won the toss and elected to field. Pune opener Rahul Tripathi fell to the last ball of the first over from Mitchell McClenaghan for a duck while trying to play across the line of the ball and got bowled.

Pune lost the prize wicket of their skipper Steve Smith for one to the fifth ball of the second over from Lasith Malinga. A leading edge went up off his bat and he got caught by Hardik Pandya at deep square leg.

Opener Rahane hit McClenaghan for two consecutive boundaries in the third over to lessen the pressure.

Jasprit Bumrah, as usual, bowled a tight fourth over giving away just five runs.

Manoj Tiwary, who joined Rahane, began slowly as Karn Sharma and Malinga bowled two tight overs. Tiwary stepped out and hit Karn for the first six of the match over long on in the seventh over but runs were hard to get.

Left-arm spinner Krunal Pandya gave just one run in the eighth over. Rahane lifted Hardik over long off for the second six of the innings. The pair put on 50 runs in 7.2 overs. However, at the half way mark Pune were only 63 for 2 needing more acceleration.

Rahane reached his half century in 39 balls but fell in the 13th over, trapped leg before by Karn’s googly for 56.

Dhoni joined Tiwary and hit Karn for a six over mid-wicket. With three overs remaining Pune were only 114 for 3. Tiwary reached his 50 off 45 balls. He hit his second six off McClenaghan over long on. Dhoni also hit McClenaghan for two sixes to take 26 runs off the 19th over. In the 20th over, Dhoni hit two powerful sixes before Tiwari was run out for 58.

Brief scores

Rising Pune Supergiant bt Mumbai Indians by 20 runs. Pune 162 for 4 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 56, Manoj Tiwary 58. Mahendra Singh Dhoni 40n.o,) Mumbai Indians 142 for 9 in 20 overs (Parthiv Patel 52, Washington Sundar 3 for 16, Shardul Thakur 3 for 37).

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