The new IPL entrants Rising Pune Supergiants tasted success in their first game in the tournament after they beat Mumbai Indians in Mumbai on Saturday. After restricting the hometeam to 121 runs, the MS Dhoni-led side strolled towards victory in 14.4 overs with 9 wickets to spare.
The opening pair of Ajinkya Rahane and Faf du Plessis led a solid foundation to RPS’ win with 78-run partnership before Harbhajan Singh’s slower-un castled the South African.
Kevin Pietersen (21 runs off 14 balls), who walked in to bat at number three, and Rahane (66 runs off 42 balls) made sure that their team sail past MI with comfort. Electing to bat, MI struggled from the word go after Ishant Sharma trapped MI skipper Rohit Sharma in the second over. The lanky pacer disturbed the timber in his next over to send Lendl Simmons packing. Mitchell Marsh’s double strike in the fifth over made the matters worse as Hardik Pandya and Jos Buttler returned to the dugout.
Rajat Bhatia, who bowled the first maiden in the ninth edition of the tournament, joined the wicket-taking party after he trapped Kieron Pollard before the wickets in the 8th over. The hosts were reeling at 40/5 when the West Indian got out.
The Rohit Sharma-led unit continued to struggle as they failed to up the ante. Shreyas Gopal, who could score only 2 from 16 balls, was the 6th man to get out as Murugan Ashwin accounted for his wicket.
R Ashwin came into the attack in the 16th over and ended Ambati Rayudu’s stay in the middle with a rank long hop. R Vinay Kumar scored before he was caught in the deep by Steve Smith off RP Singh’s bowling. At one stage, it seemed that MI would not move past hundred-run mark. However, the last two overs of the inning yielded 31 runs. While other batsmen fumbled, Harbhajan Singh stood tall with his 30-ball 45-run knock which included 7 fours and a six. The veteran off-spinner had no trouble either against pace or spin as he took Mumbai Indians’ total to a respectable 121. Marsh and Ishant scalped two wickets, Bhatia while Ashwin, Murugan Ashwin and RP Singh picked a wicket each in Pune team’s victory. (Deccan Chronicle)