Live IPL | RPS v MI

Smith powers RPS to 7-wicket win

Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith plays a shot during the clash against Mumbai Indians at the Maharashtra Cricket Association International Cricket stadium in Pune. | Photo: Vivek Bendre

Rising Pune Supergiant captain Steve Smith plays a shot during the clash against Mumbai Indians at the Maharashtra Cricket Association International Cricket stadium in Pune. | Photo: Vivek Bendre  

Hello and welcome to the second match of the Indian Premier League, 2017, with sons of the soil battling it out in Pune.


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Well, that was a routine story there. Rising Pune Supergiant have never won a game not chasing, reportedly, and they keep that record in tact.

Steve Smith stood up like a boss to spearhead the chase of 185, which wouldn't have been that steep if not for a horrid final over the previous innings from Ashoke Dinda in which Hardik Pandya had plundered 30 extra runs. Jasprit Bumrah bowled quite well without any wickets, although his economy was not enough to surmount the assault that Ajinkya Rahane had launched up front with his 34-ball 60. Stokes and Dhoni struck a few meaty blows, but in the end, Smith was the man with his 54-ball 84. There were a couple incredible forward-diving catches, as well as a couple insipid drops.

A summation of this game would not be complete without a mention of Imran Tahir's performance. And his hair. Oh, the brightness.


Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma acknowledges the poor catching and fielding, and knows it was Steve Smith's incandescence that made the going to easy for Rising Pune Supergiant in the end.

Rising Pune Supergiant captain and Man of the Match Steve Smith says it was a wicket where timing took a while to come. Well, are you kidding me, Smith? You middled nearly every single delivery you struck. I mean, kudos and all that, but you don't have to get excessively modest. What a player.


RPS 187/3 after 19.5 overs (MS Dhoni 12 from 12 | Steve Smith 84 from 54 || Wins by 7 wickets)

Pollard wouldn't be my first choice to bowl the last over to defend 13 off of. But it was either him or Krunal Pandya. Boy, is this some poor marshalling of bowling resources?

Dhoni unable to find the middle of the bat. 10 needed off 3. But Smith has no such problems. None such whatsoever. First, he clubs Pollard for a six way, way over the Long-On boundary. 4 needed off 2. Then, another massive drag-flick-pummel over Midwicket for another six. And it's all over.

RPS 172/3 after 19 overs (MS Dhoni 10 from 10 | Steve Smith 71 from 51 || 13 needed from 6 balls)

Bumrah back for his last over.

Turning out to be a tight one, as Dhoni is unable to cart Bumrah as he would like, until he drags it a bit too short not to pull to the boundary for four. And now, Dhoni is reprieved as he goes for an absolute smack, but the ball pops out of Southee's cupped hands at Long-On.

This is a really close finish over here, now. Fortunately for Pune, both the batsmen in the middle are capable of the Helicopter shot.

RPS 165/3 after 18 overs (MS Dhoni 4 from 5 | Steve Smith 70 from 50 || 20 needed from 12 balls)

McClenaghan with his final over. Can he pull one out of the hat for MI before this game becomes MI?

Good over, this, until the final delivery, which Smith pummels into the Midwicket boundary for four. That was a crazy shot, one that only Smith with his detachable limbs could pulls off — he dragged it from three stumps outside off, swiveling with the momentum of his own torso twist.

RPS 158/3 after 17 overs (MS Dhoni 2 from 2 | Steve Smith 65 from 47 || 27 needed from 18 balls)

Bumrah has to be the man to pick up a wicket here to keep Mumbai in the game.

He is mixing it up here. And Smith is not taking any risks this over, it appears. Full of dabs, and glances, one of which goes through to the Third Man boundary for four.

RPS 148/3 after 16 overs (MS Dhoni 1 from 1 | Steve Smith 56 from 42 || 37 needed from 24 balls)

Hardik Pandya. Stokes now whacks it away for four to Midwicket boundary, where Pollard finds himself sprawled. But, now Ben Stokes (21 off 14) is gone. Why he was trying to slog at comfortable stage of the game, I wouldn't know, but the slower ball does him in, lobbing a catch to Deep Midwicket.

And this is sad, but this just in from nowhere. Ambati Rayudu is seen being stretchered off the field, with what appears to be a groin/hamstring injury. That was random. I don't recall him being struck or in pain any time recently. At least not on camera. Surreal.

In other news, RPS is still cruising to the target.

RPS 139/2 after 15 overs (Ben Stokes 17 from 12 | Steve Smith 52 from 38 || 46 needed from 30 balls)

Southee comes back on.

And Stokes welcomes him with a thumped drive for four. And Smith brings up his first fifty as RPS captain.

RPS 129/2 after 14 overs (Ben Stokes 11 from 9 | Steve Smith 49 from 32 || 56 needed from 36 balls)

Kieron Pollard brought on now, as Smith looks to get aggressive.

And true to form, Smith has pulled it fine for four, to begin to over with. Then, Pollard gets wider outside off, and Smith hoicks it up and over Cow-Corner for six. Smith nearing his fifty. It's been a balanced knock, full of stability and attack.

RPS 114/2 after 13 overs (Ben Stokes 9 from 7 | Steve Smith 37 from 32 || 71 needed from 42 balls)


Steve Smith, tired of having played second fiddle to Rahane, now opens up. Strikes a powerful pull shot for four, then whips it off the pads for another four, and then cracks it flat towards Square-Leg, where Rana drops him like a hot potato.

RPS 105/2 after 12 overs (Ben Stokes 9 from 7 | Steve Smith 28 from 26 || 80 needed from 48 balls)

Bumrah comes back.

Stokes, MVP of this season's auction, is off with a majestic pull shot for four through Midwicket. 8 runs off that over.

RPS 97/2 after 11 overs (Ben Stokes 3 from 3 | Steve Smith 26 from 24 || 88 needed from 54 balls)

Southee comes back.

And strikes. Ajinkya Rahane (60 off 24) tries to club this on the onside, but it falls short of the boundary, and into Nitish Rana's hands. This is quite a catch here by Rana, diving forward just in time to cup the ball barely an inch from the ground.

RPS 93/1 after 10 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 60 from 33 | Steve Smith 25 from 22 || 92 needed from 60 balls)


Woof. Rahane is charmed. How else do you chip it high into the air, evade the hands of a tall and leaping Kieron Pollard at the Long-On boundary, and end up getting a six for it?

RPS 82/1 after 9 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 52 from 29 | Steve Smith 22 from 20)

Hardik continues from the other end. And Rahane pulls it into the Square-Leg boundary for four to bring up his fifty.

RPS 73/1 after 8 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 44 from 25 | Steve Smith 21 from 18)

Krunal, the more villainous-looking of the Pandya brothers, now into the attack.

Smith likes width on offer, and when he gets it, he transforms from a jerking angular man into a sublime striker of the cricket ball, and he strokes a full delivery cleanly through the Covers for four.

RPS 63/1 after 7 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 43 from 24 | Steve Smith 12 from 13)

Hardik Pandya keeps varying his length this over, and allows raging Rahane and squirmy Smith to knock of just 4 runs off the target.

RPS 59/1 after 6 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 41 from 22 | Steve Smith 12 from 9)


... Gets smashed to the Cow-Corner boundary for four, where a cheerleader is struck. Rahane now flashes it over Point for six before nudging it for four through Third-Man. Good over for Pune, this one. 16 off it.

RPS 43/1 after 5 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 30 from 18 | Steve Smith 5 from 7)

Jasprit Bumrah here.

And he keeps it real. Good length, that is. Just 4 runs.

RPS 39/1 after 4 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 28 from 15 | Steve Smith 3 from 4)

Mitch McClenaghan comes into the attack....

... And strikes immediately, the Old Reliable. Mayank Agarwal (6 off 5) is cramped as he tries to slog over Mid-Off, but finds the fielder hanging out below. Mitch is banging it in short here, only for the last delivery of the over to keep low and make Smith do his little awkward dance as the crease.

RPS 35/0 after 3 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 27 from 14 | Mayank Agarwal 6 from 4)

Oh, looks like Rahane is just generally in a destructive mood, as he dispatches Southee over the Deep Square-Leg boundary for a six. Then, he pushes at the next one, and gets it past Southee's outstretched hand and into the straight boundary for four.

RPS 23/0 after 2 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 16 from 9 | Mayank Agarwal 5 from 3)

Hardik Pandya, death-over-expert-with-the-bat, into the attack from the other end.

And immediately, Rahane starts dishing back to him what he dished out two overs ago with the bat. Chops it for four to the Point boundary, and thick-edges the next one past the 'Keeper for another four. Two balls later, he has slashed a half-volley over Extra Cover for four with extreme timing. 15 runs in that over. Booyah, winks Rahane to Hardik. Not even close, winks Hardik back to Rahane.

RPS 8/0 after 1 over (Ajinkya Rahane 2 from 4 | Mayank Agarwal 5 from 2)

How is Rising Pune Supergiant (yup, definitely feels odd to omit the 's' at the end there. I thought I'd get used to it after an innings, but no) going to respond here?

Tim Southee to begin.

Mayank Agarwal wouldn't have felt entitled to a four on that shot, but his feeble fend flies off right between 'Keeper and First Slip, nonetheless, so he accepts the windfall with humility. It's like finding a Rs.20 note on the road. You don't feel proud of it, but you take it nonetheless.

Southee is clearly baiting the bat here, keeping the line in the channel outside off stump.


What a turnaround. After Imran Tahir struck crucial blows, two of them in one over — one of them controversial and big-impact —, Mumbai Indians batsmen trudged through the overs before Kieron Pollard came in and struck a few blows (getting struck himself courtesy Tahir). But even as Rohit Sharma began planning how to defend a modest total of around 160, Hardik Pandya happened in the last over, clobbering 30 of his 35 valuable runs in the final over. I thought Ashoke Dinda was supposed to be an expert death bowler. Oh well, perceptions change.

Now, Rising Pune Supergiant is an expert chaser too. Well, they have never won a single game not-chasing, at any rate. The wicket is green, and Mumbai has Mitch McClenaghan and Tim Southee in their bowling ranks. Should be an interesting chase, if MS Dhoni, Steve Smith and Ben Stokes get stuck into it.

Rising Pune Supergiant need 185 to win.



MI 184/8 after 20 overs (Mitch McClenaghan 0 from 0 | Hardik Pandya 35 from 15)

Dinda to finish off.

And Hardik is going to make a dash for the 170 mark here, looks like. The first six is sliced over Extra Cover like a marriage proposal. The second six is bashed over Long-Off. The third six has a hint of the Helicopter shot in it as it sails over Long-On. Then, a respite in the proceedings, as a wild swipe gets Hardik a thick-edged four past the 'Keeper. The fourth six, now, is a torpedo, never rising higher than the top of Romesh Kaluwitharana's head before it hits the Long-On boundary hoardings.

Then, if the drama so far wasn't enough, Dinda bowls a wide, Hardik misses, and — wait, what, why? — Southee sets off on a run, possibly thinking it to be the final delivery of the innings, Pandya stays put, lifts his foot and puts it back just as Southee arrives, as Dhoni flings it to Dinda who takes the bails off at the non-striker's end, and the umpires deliberate awhile to decide that it was all Southee's fault.

The real last ball, for all that, ends up being a bye.

MI 154/7 after 19 overs (Tim Southee 7 from 3 | Hardik Pandya 7 from 9)

Stokes at the death.

Kieron Pollard (27 from 17) gone, as Mayank Agarwal dives forward at Long-On to intercept a screaming thwack two inches from the ground. That'll make it to the Top Catches of the Season list for sure.

Tim Southee sends Stokes's head craning upwards and back with a meaty straight six to end the otherwise stingy over with 9 runs.

MI 145/6 after 18 overs (Kieron Pollard 27 from 16 | Hardik Pandya 5 from 7)

Dinda back for his third over.

That's a dropped catch from Dhoni, as Pollard gets through the shot too early, nicking the full-and-wide delivery along the way. Dinda keeping it full here, probably looking for that yorker length. Well, you need to get the line right too, you know. Dinda gives too much width, Pollard swipes and gets a thick edge over the slips for four. 8 valuable off the over.

MI 137/6 after 17 overs (Kieron Pollard 22 from 13 | Hardik Pandya 3 from 4)

Tahir into his last over. What a spell it has been, with the three wickets, at an economy of 6 an over.

Pollard slams a flat six to spoil the South African's figures somewhat. That was not the shot of a human being. More like King Kong saw a fly and happened to have a stick in his hand.

Oh oh. What's this? Tahir, possibly a tad frustrated at the dent in his figures, fires a throw back at Pollard's elbow. The two players share a bear hug and a smile.

MI 127/6 after 16 overs (Kieron Pollard 14 from 9 | Hardik Pandya 1 from 2)


Woof. Pollard see. Pollard bludgeon. Pollard no care for bowler's safety. Zampa had a close shave with death by blunt force trauma as Pollard clubs another one straight. Now, Nitish Rana (34 from 28) has struck out, getting the slog-sweep too flat, going straight into Midwicket's hands. That might have been the googly that went beyond the batsman's reach there. Zampa's slipping it in quite effectively.

MI 120/5 after 15 overs (Kieron Pollard 8 from 6 | Nitish Rana 34 from 27)


Wow. That's a Pollard special. Slapped flat and straight, one of the hardest strikers of an on-drive, this burly West Indian.

Ok. Pollard has got a definite lifeline here, as a flipper thuds into his front pad. Tahir is distraught as the umpire denies his full-throated appeal. Replays show no bat was involved. And Dhoni, his wan self, signals for a DRS review.

MI 111/5 after 14 overs (Kieron Pollard 2 from 2 | Nitish Rana 31 from 25)

The run rate isn't all that flattering at the moment. Mumbai will want to get a move on if they want to get to beyond 170.

MI now going for everything. Rana slog-sweeps crisply, but it lands short of Stokes at the Midwicket boundary. Now, Krunal Pandya (3 from 5) ugly by anyone's standards, and boomed straight up and floats down into MS Dhoni's gloves. And that brings Kieron Pollard to the crease. He is coming off a middling T20 series aginst Pakistan. Now, to make amends.

MI 106/4 after 13 overs (Krunal Pandya 2 from 2 | Nitish Rana 20 from 17)


Rana is actually looking quite settled now. His body is responding intuitively to the delivery. This time, it's short and Rana makes an elegant swivel and pulls it for a six over Square-Leg.

MI 95/4 after 12 overs (Krunal Pandya 2 from 2 | Nitish Rana 20 from 17)

Bhatia again.

Ambati Rayudu (10 from 12) is now gone to a soft dismissal, as Bhatia accepts a catch with the humility of a Thanksgiving gift. That was the lethargy of the ball that made Rayudu chip it back tamely. Just shows what an impact these dibbly-dobbly bowlers can have.

MI 92/3 after 11 overs (Ambati Rayudu 10 from 11 | Nitish Rana 19 from 15)

Zampa back on. Is there any reason why both of Pune's leggies are wearing headbands around their blond locks? I mean, is there something in the contract?

The Aussie is getting one ball wrong per over. The googly is too short, and so easy to sweep to the boundary for a four, and Rana obliges. 10 more runs.

MI 82/3 after 10 overs (Ambati Rayudu 9 from 9 | Nitish Rana 12 from 11)

Rajat Bhatia can get some movement off this pitch. Let's see if he does.

Ah, a quiet over. What a rarity. Like a breath of fresh air. That's not to say the batsmen didn't try to slap Bhatia around. There was just no pace on offer, really. 6 runs off it though.

MI 76/3 after 9 overs (Ambati Rayudu 5 from 6 | Nitish Rana 10 from 8)

And Adam Zampa is in. This will be a interesting to see. Is there room in this team for two leg-spinners?

Well. He needs to bowl with a lot more flight, or drift, or something. Zampa fires a half-tracker that just sits up for Rana to clobber over Midwicket for a big six.

MI 66/3 after 8 overs (Ambati Rayudu 3 from 4 | Nitish Rana 2 from 4)

Stokes again.

And Smith has definitely missed a trick there, as Rayudu was out for all money if he had hit the stumps. Poor choice of run. Rayudu isn't looking his most fluent, swishing and missing at the moment. Good over there. Just 3.

MI 63/3 after 7 overs (Ambati Rayudu 1 from 1 | Nitish Rana 1 from 1)

Imran Tahir is unleashing himself tonight. Picking him off the surface is hard enough without him delivering it from the corner at an angle. And Rohit Sharma (3 from 7) has absolutely no clue how and why the flipper rattled into his stumps. But this is sheer bad luck now, as the umpire gives Jos Buttler (38 from 19) out LBW even after a gigantic inside-edge. Perhaps the flashes of light from Tahir's golden plumes blinded the umpire on that occasion. Whither the DRS?

Either way, this is quite a dent in Mumbai's innings Tahir has caused. Buttler was a big wicket, given the way his blade was flashing tonight.

MI 61/1 after 6 overs (Rohit Sharma 3 from 4 | J Buttler 38 from 18)

Deepak Chahar continues.

Buttler is on one tonight. First, he strolls down the track and slaps it through Mid-Off for four. Then he skips out diagonally, and scythes it over Cover for a huge six.

MI 48/1 after 5 overs (Rohit Sharma 2 from 3 | J Buttler 26 from 13)

Tahir in now. Do you reallise he is the #1 T20 bowler in the world right now?

And straightaway, money. Tahir gives away a boundary four first up before cleaning Parthiv Patel (19 from 14) up with a fuller faster one around his legs. And then Tahir takes off out on the runway. Best impression of an airplane you'll see from a human being with golden hair, I reckon.

MI 41/0 after 4 overs (Parthiv Patel 15 from 12 | J Buttler 25 from 12)

Ben Stokes, Mr. 14.5 crore, is in to bowl. Green top laid out for him.

Buttler knows his teammate, you think? That was a crisp shot over Long-On for six. And then, he swivels, turns around and scoops it over Dhoni's head for another six. And Stokes cuts Buttler in half to end the over.

MI 11/0 after 1 over (Parthiv Patel 5 from 5 | J Buttler 5 from 1)

Ashoke Dinda to begin proceedings for Pune. Is Dhoni's hair actually looking less grey after shedding captaincy, or is it just my eyes?

Some real movement off the deck on offer here for Dinda. But he needs to check his line, as Parthiv Patel flicks one to the Fine-Leg boundary for four.


Rising Pune Supergiant win the toss and put Mumbai Indians in to bat first on a green Pune wicket.


Rising Pune Supergiant: Parthiv Patel, Jos Buttler, Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Kieron Pollard, Nitish Rana, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Mitch McLenaghan, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim Southee

Mumbai Indians: Ajinkya Rahane, Mayank Agarwal, Steve Smith, Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Adam Zampa, Ashoke Dinda, Imran Tahir



Mumbai Indians: Rohit Sharma (captain), Jasprit Bumrah, Shreyas Gopal, K. Gowtham, Kulwant Khejroliya, Vinay Kumar, Siddhesh Lad, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Parthiv Patel, Deepak Punia, Nitish Rana, Ambati Rayudu, Jitesh Sharma, Karn Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, J. Suchith, Saurabh Tiwary (India), Jos Buttler (England), Asela Gunaratne, Lasith Malinga (Sri Lanka), Mitchell Johnson (Australia), Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee (New Zealand), Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons (West Indies)


Rising Pune Supergiant: Steven Smith (c), Mayank Agarwal, Ankit Sharma, Baba Aparajith, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ankush Bains, Rajat Bhatia, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar, Daniel Christian, MS Dhoni, Ashok Dinda, Faf du Plessis, Lockie Ferguson, Jaskaran Singh, Usman Khawaja, Mitchell Marsh, Ajinkya Rahane, Saurabh Kumar, Ben Stokes, Milind Tandon, Manoj Tiwary, Jaydev Unadkat, Adam Zampa and Imran Tahir

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 12:55:01 PM |

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