Mumbai Indians v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Qualifier 1 May 16, 2017

Dhoni, Sundar vault Pune into the final

160

Rising Pune Supergiant 162 for 4 (Tiwary 58, Rahane 56, Dhoni 40*) beat Mumbai Indians 142 for 9 (Parthiv 52, Sundar 3-16, Thakur 3-37) by 20 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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WATCH - Highlights of Rising Pune's third win against Mumbai this season

After being asked to bat on a favourable chasing ground, Rising Pune Supergiant lost the majority of the first innings. But it was an atypically slow surface at the Wankhede Stadium and Rising Pune utilised those conditions better than Mumbai Indians did to clear a path to their maiden IPL final.

Rising Pune defended 162 comfortably in the end, by 20 runs, for their third win over Mumbai this season. Mumbai, despite having squandered the shootout for the final in front of a packed home crowd, will have a second chance in the second qualifier in Bengaluru on Friday.

At the forefront of a sublime bowling performance was teenage offspinner Washington Sundar. His fuller-than-good length and straight lines meant the batsmen were not able to attack either side of the wicket with any conviction. His quick pace didn't let them get under deliveries either. The 17-year old finished with 3 for 16 from four overs and the Man-of-the-Match award.

The harder task on the night, though, was with the bat. Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane struck patient fifties, setting a platform for MS Dhoni to use his wiles and hitting prowess at the end to help Rising Pune finish with a decent score and sufficient momentum.

A strong start
In Mumbai's last league game at this venue, Kings XI Punjab defended a total of 230 by just seven runs. Even with the possibility of dew and the short boundaries, Rising Pune may not have been aiming that high after losing the toss, but they knew they needed to get close.

Planning, check. Execution, a big red cross. Rahul Tripathi fell over a flick and was bowled. Steven Smith's leading edge was snaffled up at backward point. Rising Pune were 9 for 2 in two overs. The surface may have been slow, and Mumbai's variations were effective, but after that start, a score of close to 170 was the best Rising Pune could hope for, which meant Mumbai were never out of the game.

Different pitch, same Dhoni finish
Rising Pune had laboured to 121 for 3 after 18 overs. The five overs prior to that yielded just 32 without a wicket as Mumbai's bowlers found the right length to Dhoni and Tiwary. Dhoni's strike rate in his first 10 balls in the IPL, before this game, was 88.52. Against Mumbai, he could only muster 14 off his first 17 balls.

But then Mitchell McClenaghan, not for the first time this season, missed his yorker. A high full-toss was hit for four and the resulting free-hit went for six over long-on. Dhoni anticipated McClenaghan's good or short length in the second half of that over, and sat back to hit two sixes.

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Jasprit Bumrah hadn't pitched anything in Dhoni's half all through the match. But in the final over, he gifted two good length balls that were smashed for sixes as Rising Pune plundered 41 off the last 12 balls. Their score of 162 was below par at this ground, but the momentum and confidence - of having defended a similar score before on this ground earlier this season - was firmly with Rising Pune.

Falling behind from the start

Rising Pune had only one way forward - exploiting a two-paced Wankhede surface. Even if they didn't get early wickets, they had to keep Mumbai in check because batting was going to get harder. Jaydev Unadkat brought out his offcutters in the first over and conceded just one run. Mumbai were already behind the game.

Parthiv Patel hit 33 off 16 in the Powerplay, but Mumbai lost three wickets. Lendl Simmons was run-out, backing up too far at the non-striker's end. Rohit Sharma was undone by umpiring error, given out lbw despite a thick inside edge. Ambati Rayudu found midwicket with a pull; the second wicket in Sundar's over. Mumbai were 42 for 3 inside the fielding restrictions and behind the asking rate.

Undone by conditions
Timing shots and picking slower deliveries was getting tougher. Why? After a bowler releases his delivery, batsmen pick the speed through the air and then adjust accordingly. But with the ball gripping the surface, it came onto them slower than expected. Mumbai, having played seven league matches on an even, true Wankhede pitch, weren't used to that pace. Unadkat used his slower balls, Shardul Thakur his knuckle balls and Sundar an effective change in pace, to thoroughly flummox Mumbai's batsmen.

Nikhil Kalro is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • arunlo5785785 on May 19, 2017, 7:34 GMT

    I am a big fan of MS Dhoni, No doubt MS Dhoni is the greatest finisher in short format and one of a kind either as a batsman, captain & wicket keeper. Now a days he start his inning with a slow run rate and increase the pressure on other batsman, in this qualifying match he also start his inning and consume balls and create a situation where team could not bounce back, If RPS loss MSD in 19th over then they loss the match also. If he has these type of hitting abilities then he should start hitting the ball early which give chance to other batsmen to click.

  • Nilesh on May 18, 2017, 2:06 GMT

    Congratulations to RPS for winning the match. They played well and were better on that day. MI played a bit too recklessly to be 5 down very early. I think Mumbai does need to look into their team selection and balance for the next match against KKR. In my mind Harbhajan needs to be back in place of Karn Sharma and while it is a tough call, I would go back to Nitish Rana at 3 and Rohit at 4 and drop Rayudu for the next game. There is a part of me that wants Mitchell Johnson to play in place of Malinga or McClenaghan but it would not be fair to McClenaghan as he has been the most consistent bowler so far for MI this year. In my mind it is still a toss-up and way to close to call between selecting Malinga or Mitchell Johnson.

  • Krishen on May 17, 2017, 13:21 GMT

    MSD's excellent contribution in RPS's win over MI in Qualifier1 for some is a case of "Oh No Not Again" but they have to be prepared for more at least till CWC2019. It is natural to have some (in IND & fans of teams) who grudge MSD's success & IND's general dominance in world cricket from Sep 2007. Potential replacements will have to earn their places for selection in main Indian team. For common cricket fans MSD is the greatest ODI all-rounder, great innovative wicketkeeper & greatest captain in all forms of world cricket in history of the game. It is case of a one of the greatest ever ambassadors of cricket demonstrating his focus, commitment, perseverance, hard work, resilience & discipline to continue his journey in sport. His performances as player & captain have been marked by far too many surprise knocks in wins, draws, losses & too may surprise team successes against better teams AUS/SA/ENG & in big events with stunning regularity. This will require detailed analysis though.

  • Kumarpal Vardhan on May 17, 2017, 13:03 GMT

    Whatever one says, I was happy to watch Dhoni go boom boom in one of the last matches of his career. Don't know whether it's gonna happen, but, I think MSD will retire after Champions Trophy 2017.

  • IRFAN on May 17, 2017, 12:44 GMT

    @ALLROUNDCRICKET seriously? South Africa sorted khawaja out, it is hilarious you are stating your "facts"as if nobody can find you out... Now let everybody see who top scored in that series from both sides..guess who? http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/batting/most_runs_career.html?id=11115;type=series

  • RAJARAMAN on May 17, 2017, 12:37 GMT

    CVENKA ... don't worry ... MSD will leave the scene before being asked by anyone ... his last ODI series was a cracker ... and at present ... he is better that any wk-batsman from India in ODI ... IPL standards are dubious working either way: for a fresher, it is the lefeline but for seniors not so much so ... in T20I, the next few matches will tell whether MSD will retire soon or not ... he will not stay one day more

  • venkateswaran on May 17, 2017, 11:55 GMT

    Dhoni fans please understand that there is no argument that he is a legend & one of a kind either as a batsman, captain & wicket keeper. On his best day he can destroy any bowler. But every good thing comes to an end. Is it not? I don't either you or dhoni has realized that he is past his prime & has become a liability to his team, whether India or IPL team etc. He still can compete with the best of keepers.. No argument on that. His captaining skill already dwindled many a notch. Just check the case of CSK who could not win after reaching the finals twice. Even he struggled to beat teams like bangladesh, zimbabwe etc. As a batsman, the less said is better. The helicopter shot has since vanished many years ago. During his initial career, he needed only around 10 balls to start his explosive batting. Nowadays, even after batting for 60 odd runs/balls, you cannot see his strike rate cross 100 in ODI's. Understand he is past his best. Let him retire honorably before being sacked.

  • Renish on May 17, 2017, 11:54 GMT

    This could be repetition of 2013 IPL qualifiers. Please see the result. http://www.espncricinfo.com/indian-premier-league-2013/engine/series/586733.html

  • Sam on May 17, 2017, 11:06 GMT

    I dont know why Indian fans are so crazy. Cricket is a team game. Just enjoy it instead of fighting whether it was Dhoni or Smith who helped them win it. It was both the bowling and the batting which clicked yesterday and that is why they won. It was a team effort. And for those fans who blame the umpires, you have to grow up and be mature enough. Even in football a lot of mistakes are made while refereeing.

  • simonp3164620 on May 17, 2017, 10:52 GMT

    @Himanshu.Team The truth remains for someone who is deemed 'best finisher of the game' time and again by his fans and unnecessarily overhyped by media, MSD's knock at the fag end of RPS innings of 40 not out in 26 balls with 7 wickets remaining was merely ok-ish. Similar batting have been seen by players like Pandya, Pollard, Axar Patel at least once in this IPL. It was nothing more than an ok innings.

    MI did bat very badly though, we can both agree on that. Without the dew factor, 160 was clearly a below par score here. Truth be told, credit goes to the RPS bowlers, Rahane-Tiwari batting and MI batsmen+umpiring blunder for this win. Whether you want to accept it or not, does not make any difference.

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