Ajinkya Rahane completed his fastest half-century in Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017, during Rising Pune Supergiant’s (RPS) first match of the 10th edition on Thursday. Rahane cracked 50 runs off a mere 27 balls in RPS’ chase of a stiff target of 185 runs in their IPL 10 opener against Mumbai Indians (MI). Opening innings for RPS, Rahane showed aggressive intent right from the word go and remained the focal point in their run chase for more than half their innings. Rahane was eventually dismissed for a 34-ball 60 studded with 6 fours and 3 sixes. This came a day after Yuvraj Singh had slammed his fastest IPL fifty in the tournament opener on Wednesday, for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
Rahane was brutal in his onslaught. He turned the heat on Mumbai Indians after the latter had seized initiative late in their first innings. MI had accumulated 184 for 8 after Steven Smith had won the toss and asked them to bat first. Rising Pune Supergiant needed one of their top-order batsmen to fire and despite Mayank Agarwal failing in his first attempt this season, Rahane continued to show he is among runs once again after that terrific 27-ball 38 not out during India’s chase of 87 more runs on the final day of their series against Australia.
Rahane added 58 with Smith for the second wicket after Rising Pune Supergiant were jolted with the wicket of Agarwal, who scored 6 off 5 balls. Rahane was on a roll during their chase, forcing the in-form Smith to happily play second fiddle during their chase.