Mumbai : Rising Pune Supergiant beat Mumbai Indians by 20 runs to become the first finalist in IPL 2017. Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary hit half-centuries while Washington Sundar and Shardul Thakur finished with three wickets apiece. This was RPS’ third straight win against MI this season.
RPS struggled to gain the upper hand in the contest despite Rahane and Tiwary stroking half-centuries. It was left to MS Dhoni to play a quick-fire knock of 40 from 26, studded with five trademark sixes, to get the visitors to a par score.
For the hosts, none of the bowlers put in a stand-out performance. Lasith Malinga and Krunal Pandya were the only ones to bowl economical spells.
Washinton Sundar turned the match on its head by picking up Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard in the same over and Mumbai never really recovered from there. The hosts kept losing wickets at regular intervals and at the end fell short by 20 runs. Parthiv Patel scored his 10th IPL fifty but that was never going to be enough for Mumbai Indians to get over the line. Shardul Thakur picked up three wickets that helped Pune qualify for the final. MI will now head to Bengaluru to face the winner of KKR vs SRH in Qualifier 2.
Washington Sundar (Man of the Match): “I think it’s very heartening for me to do well against a big team on a good stage, in front of a packed crowd. Owe this to my mom and dad. I think keeping things simple makes me do things like this. Dhoni has been supportive. Right now, I am not looking to be experimental.”
Steve Smith: “It’s been good this year, three times we’ve beaten them now. It was a big game. We had to be a little convservative today and we timed it well to get 160. We got the momentum we needed. You really need to peak at the right time in tournaments like this. We executed our plans really well.”
Rohit Sharma: “I think 160 was below par to be honest, having seen the scores chased here. Probably the worst batting performance of this season for us. We didn’t have enough partnerships, it’s crucial to get small partnerships in. They bowled well to restrict us and to take wickets in the middle overs. It’s not the end of the world, we still have one more shot in Bangalore.”