A well-deserved victory by Rising Pune Supergiant will now see the Steve Smith-led in the finals of the Indian Premier League 2017. Although Mumbai were the clear favourites while going into the game, a blistering knock by batsman/keeper Dhoni in the death overs and the poor choice of shots by MI batsmen sent the home team packing for a measly 143 against RPS’s 162.


RPS lost a wicket in the very first over when Mitchell McClenaghan sent Rahul Tripathi back for a duck. Mumbai Indians seemed to be dominating when Lasith Malinga sent RPS captain Steve Smith for 1. However, Ajinkya Rahane stuck on, playing a safer game and limiting his big shots. Manoj Tiwary followed suit and played safe, opening up only on a few occasions. The wicket slowed down quickly, making it difficult for the batsmen to score. After Rahane’s dismissal, Dhoni came in and took his time to settle. Dhoni decimated the bowling side in the death overs, with a total of 41 runs being scored in the last two overs, Mumbai gaining a wicket in the final ball.


Parthiv fought hard when wickets started dropping on the other end. But because of wickets falling in quick succession, batsmen like Ambati Rayadu, Keiron Pollard and Hardik Pandya fell prey to poor shot selections. This further pressurised Parthiv Patel and Krunal Pandya who also fell quickly. The tail end of the Mumbai Indians line-up could hardly keep up with the RPS bowling and lost by 20 runs.


Certain factors helped the RPS win in the Mumbai bastion. Although RPS lost two wickets early in the game, Ajinkya Rahane and Manish Tiwary forged an 80-run partnership for the third wicket. Manoj Tiwary later forged a 73-run partnership with MS Dhoni for the fourth wicket. Using McClenaghan instead of death overs specialist Malinga did not help Mumbai’s cause. Although Jaspreet Bumrah tried to reign in the batsmen, the damage was done. Dropping Harbhajan Singh for Karn Sharma in this crucial match did not help either.


Lady luck was not for Mumbai Indians’ batsmen. Although skipper Rohit Sharma read a slower wicket, the MI batsmen did not find a way around it. A straight drive from Parthiv Patel hit the stumps on Lendl Simmons’ end after touching Shardul Thakur’s fingertips. Rohit Sharma fell victim to a wrong LBW decision for an inside edge. The remaining batsmen, instead of opting to stand their ground, went for the big shots and fell in quick succession. 


Although Mumbai lost to RPS, they will have another chance when they meet the winner of the eliminator on May 19, at M Chinnaswamy Stadium, Bengaluru.