Ben Stokes, RPS, IPL 2017, Mumbai Indians, bowling
Ben Stokes had the perfect day with the ball for RPSIANS

The defending of a total is back in vogue in IPL 2017. After chasing was the mantra to start the tournament, teams batting first have now won four consecutive games, with the Rising Pune Supergiant the latest team to pick up a W, after consigning the Mumbai Indians to their first defeat in seven matches and their first at the Wankhede Stadium this Indian Premier League season.

Winning the toss is something that MI have managed quite often this season, and after getting that flip of the coin go their way again, RPS were asked to put on a big score.

The Rising Pune Supergiant could only manage 160, which, going by the majority of matches at the Wankhede this season, looked like it might not be enough.

However, led by an inspired Ben Stokes (4-1-21-2), RPS defended the total against the Mumbai Indians, with the home side unable to give Sachin Tendulkar the perfect 44th birthday gift.

There was no Buttler (17, 13b, 3x4) blitz to set the chase up for MI this time, with his English compatriot Ben Stokes picking up the dangerous batsman, as he picked out long-on while trying to tonk a six off a slower ball.

That Stokes over, the fifth of the innings, ended up being a wicket maiden, and it could have been a double-wicket maiden if Manoj Tiwary had shown a little more intent to take a catch in the slips as the ball just seemed to bounce under his hand off an outside edge from Nitish Rana.

Rana (3, 9b), however, wouldn't make RPS pay for that life, with the left-hander falling to Dan Christian, before Parthiv Patel (33, 27b, 4x4) became 17-year-old Washington Sundar's first IPL wicket.

At the fall of Parthiv's wicket, the game was nicely poised, with the Mumbai Indians needing 101 runs in 11 overs.

With Rohit at the crease and Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to come, the force was still with the home side.

Karn Sharma, in for the injured Krunal Pandya, was sent up to pinch-hit for MI and to take on the leg-spinner Imran Tahir. That plan would not have worked had Tiwary taken a dolly in the covers, but the RPS man missed another one.

Again, though, RPS were reprieved after Stokes got Karn (11, 10b, 1x6), but the dropping disease continued when Rohit, the MI captain, was given a life. Ajinkya Rahane was the culprit this time, failing to latch onto a difficult-but-should-have-caught-it opportunity off the bowling of the unfortunate Imran Tahir.

Rohit Sharma, Mumbai Indians, IPL
Rohit Sharma scored an impressive half-century for the Mumbai IndiansIANS

Rohit celebrated that life with a massive six and with Pollard for company, the captain took MI ever closer to the target, keeping the required run rate below 10.

Pollard (9, 9b, 1x4), eventually, succumbed to Tahir, but with the equation reading 35 from 18 balls, Rohit looking in great touch and Hardik, the finisher at the crease, this was still MI's to lose.

It looked better for MI, when Hardik and Rohit took Unadkat for 11 runs, which meant they needed 24 off the last 12. However, Stokes finished his spell off in brilliant fashion by conceding just seven runs in the penultimate over, leaving MI to take 17 runs off the last over for victory.

That last over was bowled by Unadkat, and Stokes again was the man for RPS, taking a brilliant catch running forward to dismiss Hardik (13, 11b, 2x4).

It was all down to Rohit now and the skipper replied with a six over long-on, bringing it down to 11 from four balls. With the pressure back on Unadkat, you would have fancied the more experienced man to come out on top, but, after a dot ball, the fast bowler induced a mishit from Rohit, with the bowler himself taking the wicket.

With Rohit (58, 39b, 6x4, 3x6) gone, so were the Mumbai Indians.

The RPS innings, despite getting a really good start from the openers, never quite found liftoff.

Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi were quite good at the top, giving the Rising Pune Supergiant the start they needed. The two players seemed to time the ball brilliantly as the ball came onto the bat nicely with the new ball.

Rahane, in particular, looked in great touch and it was no surprise that it took him little time to get acclimatised to the conditions, considering the Wankhede is the Mumbaikar's home ground.

Rahane and Tripathi got RPS 48 runs in the Powerplay overs, before taking the partnership to 76 in 9.3 overs.

The innings stalled when RPS lost three wickets in four overs, and that too of the top three.

Jasprit Bumrah, Mumbai Indians, MS Dhoni, RPS, IPL 2017
Jasprit Bumrah gets the big wicket of MS Dhoni, April 24, 2017IANS

Rahane (38, 32b, 5x4, 1x6) first fell to Karn Sharma off a top spinner that bounced more than he expected, before the leg-spinner, making his debut for the Mumbai Indians, got Tripathi (45, 31b, 3x4, 2x6) as well, after the right-hander holed out in the deep on the offside.

Karn should have had another wicket in the same over when Steve Smith found Harbhajan Singh at deep backward square, only for the veteran to drop a simple catch.

Harbhajan, though, would make up for that mistake in the next over by castling the RPS captain, with Smith (17, 12b, 2x4) going through his shot off a short ball a little too early. That was also Harbhajan's 200th wicket in T20 cricket.

RPS needed Ben Stokes and MS Dhoni to put on a partnership and take them to a big score that is so essential at the Wankhede, and for a little while it looked like they might be able to do that.

Stokes (17, 12b, 2x4), though, after struggling against Mitchell McClenaghan, fell to the other Mitchell in the side, Johnson, with Dhoni (7, 11b), coming off a match-winning innings against SRH, then dragging one on off Jasprit Bumrah.

The Mumbai Indians did really well to pull things back in the final few overs, with Bumrah and McClenaghan impressing, even if Tiwary (22, 13b, 4x4) got a few valuable boundaries.

Watch the highlights of MI vs RPS


Toss: MI won the toss and chose to bowl.


RPS: 160/6 in 20 overs.


Mumbai Indians: 157/8 in 20 overs.


Result: RPS won by three runs.


Bowling: Mumbai Indians: Mitchell Johnson 4-0-34-1; Mitchell McClenaghan 4-0-36-0; Karn Sharma 4-0-39-2; Jasprit Bumrah 4-0-29-2; Harbhajan Singh 4-0-20-1.


RPS: Washington Sundar 4-0-26-1; Shardul Thakur 3-0-29-0; Jaydev Unadkat 4-0-40-2; Ben Stokes 4-1-21-2; Dan Chris 1-0-6-1; Imran Tahir 4-0-32-1.


Fall of wickets: RPS: 76/1, Ajinkya Rahane (9.3 overs); 93/2, Rahul Tripathi (11.3 overs); 104/3, Steve Smith (13 overs); 126/4, Ben Stokes (16.1 overs); 138/5, MS Dhoni (17.3 overs); 158/6, Manoj Tiwary (19.4 overs).


Mumbai Indians: 35/1, Jos Buttler (4.2 overs); 51/2, Nitish Rana (7.2 overs); 60/3, Parthiv Patel (9 overs); 86/4, Karn Sharma (12.1 overs); 122/5, Kieron Pollard (16.1 overs); 144/6, Hardik Pandya (19.1 overs); 150/7, Rohit Sharma (19.4 overs); 151/8, Mitchell McClenaghan (19.5 overs).