The first play-offs match in this season’s IPL was between the two Maharastrian giants. Two time IPL champions Mumbai stood at the top of the table and met second place, Rising Pune Supergiants at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Mumbai won the toss and did what everyone would have expected. They elected to field first, as Wankhede’s pitch has always been beneficial for the chasers.
RPS batting took a major blow, when two of their batsmen departed in the first two overs. Rahul Tripathi, who did not even open his account was struck down by Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya caught skipper Steven Smith (1 off 2 balls) off Malinga’s delivery. But opener Ajinkya Rahane stood as a wall, as he went on to score 56 off 43 balls hitting, 5 boundaries and 1 six.
Rahane was equally supported by Manoj Tiwary, who scored 58 off 48 balls striking, 4 boundaries and 2 sixes. After Rahane’s dismissal in the 13th over, when former Indian skipper Dhoni came to bat, the whole stadium went onto roar “Dhoni,” Dhoni,” “Dhoni, “Dhoni.” No matter which team you support, you just cannot hate this man and he always proved his worth in crucial matches.
In the 18th over RPS were struggling to score, they were 121/3 at that time. That is when Dhoni hit 26 runs in the 19th over off McCenaghan. With Dhoni hitting two sixes one came from Tiwary.
The duo scored another 15 runs in the final over bringing the total to 162/3.
Though 162 is a mediocre score, Mumbai drowned with 142/9 in front of the home crowd. Wicket-keeper batsmen Parthiv Patel was the only player who managed to score 52 off 40 balls. No other players could not even manage to cross the 20-run mark. Skipper Rohit Sharma had a miserable season. He could have proved his worth in this match, but left the crease scoring just 1 run.
RPS will meet the winner of the second qualifier for finals. MI still had the chance to reach finals as they will now travel to Bengaluru and face the winners of eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkat Knightriders.