Published: Fri, April 07, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Smith, Rahane seal it for Rising Pune Supergiant

Smith, Rahane seal it for Rising Pune Supergiant

The Supergiants will be banking on Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 480 runs at 43.63 with six fifties in the last edition, to come good with the bat again. Thanks to New Zealander Southee, lifting a straight six of the last ball - sent down by Stokes, and Pandya's swashbuckling effort in the last over - MI added 36 runs off the last seven balls.

Buttler had dispatched one Stokes delivery over long-on for six before following that up with a patented scoop for the same result, and he looked well set on 38 when he was given out lbw to Imran Tahir despite replays showing there was a big inside edge onto the Englishman's pads.

What followed that drop was a four and a six and while Stokes (21, 14b, 3x4) fell a little while later, the RPS fans got their wish, watching MS Dhoni, the former captain, and Smith, the current skipper, batting together. None of the three bowlers he tried in the first four overs vindicated his call at the toss.

Fittingly, it was he only who brought up the winning runs with two consecutive sixes off Kieron Pollard in the final over.

For the star-studded and inconsistent visitors Mumbai Indians, skipper Rohit Sharma's return to fitness is a big positive.

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Rajat Bhatia (2/14) had Ambati Rayudu caught and bowled for 10 before Mumbai reached 100-run mark in 13th over. The Australia captain then put on a 50 partnership with England all-rounder Ben Stokes.

With Ravichandran Ashwin being ruled out of the tournament, the bowling responsibility will fall on the shoulders of Stokes, and South Africa spinner Imran Tahir. Bhatia then cut short Krunal Pandya's (3) stay at the crease to just five balls to reduce Mumbai to 107 for five in the 14th over. MS Dhoni even signalled for one.

Smith clinched the win by smashing allrounder Kieron Pollard, just arrived from the West Indies' losing T20 home series against Pakistan.

Tim Southee was run out off the next delivery which was wide.

Hardik Pandya (35) took full control of the final over bowled by Ashok Dinda (0-57) in which he struck four sixes and a boundary to take Mumbai to 184 for eight in their 20 overs.

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