Mumbai Indians are known as slow starters in the IPL, but they play some wonderful cricket as the competition moves ahead. After two back-to-back wins, MI are looking for their third straight victory as they prepare to face Rising Pune Supergiants at MCA Stadium in Pune on Sunday.
The pitch in Pune has seen teams score some decent runs, and the trend is expected to continue on Sunday.
Let's look at the how the IPl 2016 game could play in Pune.
If MI Indians bat first: Rohit Sharma gets going from the first over itself, and hits a flurry of boundaries during the Powerplay. Rohit and Parthiv Patel look in great touch, scoring 58 in the first six overs, but the left-hander loses his wicket in the seventh over. Ambati Rayudu walks in and continues his impressive run with the bat, scoring 10 runs from this first three balls, which includes two boundaries, and is dismissed for 30 runs. Rohit follows suit. Jos Buttler and Kieron Pollard power MI to 190 runs, hitting fours and sixes at will in the last six overs.
Peter Handscomb cracks under pressure, and is out in the fourth over, but in-form batsman Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith control the innings, with some good running between the wickets and clinical hits to the fence. But as the required run rate is on the rise, Smith lofts the ball straight to a fielder in the long-on region. Dhoni comes and goes back in no time, out for seven runs, further increasing pressure. Thisara Perera looks good, but Rahane is gone, and they still require 65 runs from the last five overs. Despite Perera's attempt, RPS fall short by 15 runs.
If RPS bat first: Rahane caresses the ball for some wonderful fours and looks in complete control. On the other hand, Handscomb is struggling, and is out after scoring 15 runs from 14 balls. Smith and Rahane play a good hand and build a partnership of 50 runs, before RPS lose both batsmen, which spells disaster. Dhoni and Perera play a counter-attacking game, and hit some massive fours and sixes. Mitchell Marsh also joins the act, and helps the home team score 176 from 20 overs.
Rohit loves challenges, and is on top of the RPS bowlers, playing those exquisite drives through the covers and making run-scoring look easy. Patel also hits some fours to help them score 68 in the first six overs. Even after the dismissal of Rohit, Rayudu looks in amazing from and scores runs on both sides of the wicket, while Patel fails to rotate the strike in the middle overs, which leads to his wicket as he plays a rash shot. Rayudu and Buttler play their shots and the Englishman shows us why he is regarded as one of the best English T20 players, hitting some lusty blows to help Mumbai win the match in the 19th over.