Mumbai Indians (MI) huffed and puffed but managed to put up a competitive 185–run target against Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), in their first match of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL) at the MCA Stadium in Pune. World’s best limited-overs bowler Imran Tahir rocked Mumbai Indians with 3 wickets after the two-time champions were off to a flying start, and Rajat Bhatia backed him up with two wickets in the middle overs to keep a tab on the batting unit. However, Mumbai Indians recovered to post a total which they did not look like achieving at one point of time, with Hardik Pandya slamming as many as 4 sixes and 1 boundary in the final over to shift the momentum completely towards his side. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) vs Mumbai Indians (MI), IPL 2017 Match 2
In his first spell itself, the world’s best bowler in ODI and T20Is proved how wrong the several IPL franchises were in not selecting him during the IPL 10 auction. Tahir began with cleaning up Parthiv Patel around his legs, and did not allow Rohit Sharma to make a successful return to cricket after six months. The Mumbai Indians’ captain was cramped for room on a wrong ‘un by Tahir, with the ball hitting the wickets after deflecting from the pads.
Buttler looked in ominous form and kept playing the strokes he is known for. He welcomed his England teammate Ben Stokes in the IPL with two sixes off his first over itself, hitting the first one over the long-on boundary and followed it up with the second six which was perhaps the best stroke of the innings.
Buttler made room to lift a delivery banged in short by Stokes, as the Rising Pune Supergiant could only watch the ball sailing over MS Dhoni’s head for a six.
However, it was Tahir who pulled things back in control for the home side, dismissing Rohit and Buttler in the next over and thus dismantling Mumbai’s top order all by himself. Tahir was lucky to get his third wicket in form of Buttler, who got a thick inside edge hitting the pads which the umpire failed to notice and adjudged the batsman out leg-before for a brisk 19-ball 38, studded with 3 sixes and as many boundaries.
This was after Mumbai Indians made a terrific start to their IPL 2017 campaign. In what came as a surprising move, Rohit batted at N0. 3 with Buttler and Parthiv opening for the two-time champions. It was difficult to pick the best among the two Mumbai openers, with both Parthiv and Buttler taking the aggressive route right from the start.
Mumbai Indians had raced to 41 for no loss in 4 overs. The first over from Ashok Dinda got them 11 runs, which also included an overthrow for four runs. Buttler made his intentions clear when he cracked two boundaries off Deepak Chahar in the next over, and Parthiv hammered two boundaries in the over that followed, from Dinda.
Bhatia, who claimed two wickets later on, began the game with an elementary mistake when he spilled a regulation catch on the final ball of the third over at the third man to give a lifeline to Parthiv.
Nitish Rana played a handy knock of 34 off 28 balls, which came at a crucial time for Mumbai Indians as they had lost a flurry of wickets. He struck 1 boundary and 2 sixes during his innings.
Towards the end of the innings, Kieron Pollard waged a lone battle for Mumbai Indians. He looked to add crucial late runs but his innings was cut short by a brilliant effort b Mayank Agarwal at long-on in the penultimate over off Stokes, gifting the most expensive IPL player this season his first wicket. Pollard’s brutal strike down the ground was grabbed by Agarwal who dove in his front to take the most acrobatic catch as of yet.
More to follow…
Mumbai Indians 184 for 8 in 20 overs (Jos Buttler 38, Nitish Rana 34, Hardik Pandya 35*; Hardik Pandya 3 for 28, Rajat Bhatia 2 for 14) vs Rising Pune Supergiant