Pune | Captain Rohit Sharma led from the front in a successful 160-run chase against the Rising Pune Supergiant in IPL Sunday night. His knock of an unbeaten 85 was enough to take his side through to a comprehensive 8-wicket victory making it three wins in a row taking them to number two at the points table.
For the Supergiants though things didn’t quite go according to the plan right from the beginning. Another injury concern this time that of all-rounder Mitchell Marsh meant Australia medium pacer Scott Boland got his first game of the IPL. After having lost the toss and put in to bat by Rohit Sharma, Pune didn’t have the best of starts losing opener Ajinkya Rahane as early as in the second over. But some outstanding batting display from Steven Smith and Saurab Tiwary got them scoring at close to 10 runs per over at one point in time. But the moment Smith departed scoring a whirlwind 23-ball 45; it was then that the Pune innings slowly began to come to a halt. Tiwary though reached his half century but fell to Bumrah in the need for acceleration.
Bumrah in particular was impressive in mixing his lines and lengths and throwing up a variation every now and then to keep the batsmen at check. Harbhajan Singh kept things silent from the other end and even had a wicket to his name rounding off a good day at the office with figures of 1/25 in his four overs. The rest of the bowlers bowled according to a set plan to each and every batsman and didn’t allow the likes of MS Dhoni and Thisara Perera to free their arms and power up the scoring. The result, those huge scoring shots towards the end of the innings went missing and the home side had to be content with 159 on the board.
Mumbai Indians’ reply began with a flurry of strokes from the bat of Parthiv Patel and Rohit Sharma. Parthiv went severe on pacer Ashok Dinda in the fourth over hitting him for three boundaries only to get too carried away and fall to Dinda for a 15-ball 21. But from then on it was the Rohit Sharma show. Calculated risks, gentle nudges and the pre determined acceleration was all on full display much to the Supergiants’ display. Ambati Rayudu played a subordinate role at the other end but fell for 22 trying to play a fancy shot at a time when they were cruising along. Jos Buttler the next one to walk in played his natural game and provided a comfortable cushion for Rohit to continue his natural game. Rohit got to his fifth half century this season, his third unbeaten one, all three coming in a winning cause and in the end he fittingly hit the winning runs with a massive six to notch up a convincing win for his side.
Brief scores: Rising Pune Supergiants 159/5 (S Tiwary 57, S Smith 45, J Bumrah 3/29) lost to Mumbai Indians 161/2 (Rohit Sharma 85*, Jos Buttler 27*) by 8 wickets.
Man of the match: Rohit Sharma for his match-winning unbeaten 85 off 60 balls.