Rising Pune Supergiant wins a thriller by 3 runs

Chasing a target of 161, Mumbai Indians fell short by three runs

Ben Stokes played his part by bowling a tight 19th over, and took a catch to stop a rampaging Hardik Pandya.   -  PTI

Chasing down targets is a familiar habit for Mumbai Indians in the IPL 2017. Rohit Sharma seemed to have found his form and looked set to guide his team to victory over Rising Pune Supergiant at the Wankhede stadium. The boundaries were shorter and a target of 17 looked achievable, but Jaydev Unadkat had other ideas. He successfully halted the home team three runs short of the target in a thriller on Monday.

Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Ben Stokes played his part by bowling a tight 19th over, and took a catch to stop a rampaging Hardik Pandya. Skipper Rohit Sharma’s best knock in the 10th edition (58 off 39 runs, 6x4, 3x6) did not matter in the end. Unadkat caught him out in a dramatic final over where the bowler injured himself in the process. RPS has now beaten the table toppers twice in a row, first at home and now in an away match.

Imran Tahir’s wicket off Kieron Pollard in the 17th over added to the suspense. The huge West Indian stepped out to scoop over cover a ball pitched up by the South African, inviting a hit. RPS captain Steve Smith took off on a curving run from long-off to his left and completed the catch with ease. MI needed 48 in the last five overs.

Ben Stokes started with a wicket-maden — a rarity in this format — sending back dangerous Jos Buttler in the fifth over. RPS reposed faith in off-spinner Washington Sundar against the stroke-players. MI raced off to 44 in six overs. Drafted in as replacement for Ravichandran Ashwin, the17-year-old held his nerve in four overs against stroke-players for a creditable 4-0-26-1 figures. Manoj Tiwary put down a catch at cover off Tahir, but the slip up did not prove costly as Stokes scalped pinch-hitter Karn Sharma.

Bumrah (2-29) denied the Wankhede stadium fans the joy of watching M.S. Dhoni (seven runs) in attack mode against the home team. Forced to give the run-rate a push and with overs running out, the big-hitter swung and missed a delivery pitched on the stumps. Bumrah’s cool head and a knack of hitting the length fetched him a second strike as Manoj Tiwary departed after being trapped in front. RPS compiled a fighting 160-6 on a tough batting wicket, as the ball came in late after pitching. Rahul Tripathi top-scored (45 off 31 balls) before holing out against leg-spinner Sharma (2-39).

MI went into the eighth game with Sharma as the new face. The leg-spinner joined the attack in the fourth over, in a move to hustle Ajinkya Rahane and Tripathi. The RPS openers kept the fielders busy in the Powerplay phase, leaning into straight drives to balls pitched up and slashing through the offside when bowlers erred in length, as the first six overs fetched the team 48 runs.

McClenaghan steaming in at full blast motivated the openers to switch into next gear. Tripathi stroked two fours, Rahane reacted with a drive to the mid-wicket fence. MI brought back Sharma after seeing the batsmen cautious against Harbhajan. The leg-spinner deceived Rahane with a ball which gripped the wicket, the batsman mistimed his heave and ended up offering an easy return catch to the bowler. Tripathi ended up as his next victim, charging out and scooping the ball up for Pollard to pocket a skier.

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