Steve Smith continued his supreme run of form as he guided his side to victory in a nail-biting thriller against the Mumbai Indians in the 2nd match of the Indian Premier League 2017. Riding on his unbeaten knock of 84 in 54 balls, the Rising Pune Supergiant defeated their rivals by 7 wickets in a match which went down to the penultimate ball of the match.
Ajinkya Rahane played a fantastic knock as well by scoring a half-century and gave RPS the perfect start. Ben Stokes, the most expensive buy of the season played a short cameo as he scored 21 in 14 balls.
Earlier in the day, a quickfire knock by Jos Buttler followed by a 30 run last over off Ashok Dinda’s bowling led to Mumbai reaching a highly respectable total of 184 in their 20 overs. Imran Tahir was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up three wickets and gave away only 28 runs in his four overs.
Here are the reactions from the match:
Rohit Sharma on the loss
I thought Smith batted really well. The kind of form he is in, he just took off from where he left. The fielding didn't really help us. This is our first game and there is a lot of learning from this. Both bring very similar things to the table and Mitch McClenaghan has done very well for us which is why we picked him ahead of Mitchell Johnson. Mahela brings a lot of experience to the table, but we have a great squad and I am sure we will bounce back.
Steve Smith on the win and receiving the man of the match award:
It's a nice place to bat here in Pune. Fortunate to get over the line, it got really close. It was nice to hit a couple of sixes to win the game. It was one of those wickets where the ball was hard to time early in the innings. Form is form anywhere I guess. You have to make the most of it. Magnificent (talking about Tahir). Probably called on him a bit earlier than I would have liked. That was magnificent striking from Pandya. I think 180 was a par score on that wicket.
Here is how the world reacted to the Maharashtra derby:
What can't he do. Well played @stevesmith49 fantastic knock.— David Warner (@davidwarner31) April 6, 2017
This Steve Smith, doesn't he ever get tired of scoring runs— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 6, 2017