Mumbai Indians might have started their IPL 2016 campaign slowly, but they are looking in great shape now, as they defeated Rising Pune Supergiants at the MCA Stadium on Sunday by eight wickets. The defending champions, with this victory, have moved into second place in the IPL standings.
Mumbai Indians outplayed RPS in all departments of the game, as they chased down home team's score of 159 runs with ease. Not only did their batsmen shine in Pune, their bowlers also looked amazing.
Rohit Sharma and Parthiv Patel started well as the openers were involved in a partnership of 39 runs in 4 overs, which provided a perfect base for the rest of the batsmen to follow. Ambati Rayudu, who has been the most consistent batsman for Mumbai Indians so far, looked at ease, right from the start.
Rohit and Rayudu were primarily milking the RPS bowlers for easy runs, which included some delightful boundaries. But, Rayudu, while going for a six, was caught in the deep for 18-ball 22. Meanwhile, Rohit, who completed his half-century in 38 balls, was going strong during the middle overs as well.
The game was primarily in Mumbai's bag as they required 45 runs from the last five overs. With Rohit and Jos Buttler at the batting crease, RPS bowlers had to do something special to register a victory, but the duo played with ease, running well between the wickets and hitting boundaries as well to take the game away from MS Dhoni and co.
Rohit and Buttler played some wonderful shots in the final stages of the game, and helped Mumbai Indians reach the target in the 19th over. The best thing about their run-case was the way Rohit led from the front, scoring an unbeaten 60-ball 85. It was a captain's knock from the opener.
Earlier, the first innings witnessed RPS get off to a bad start as they lost their star player, Ajinkya Rahane in the second over itself. But Steve Smith looked in top-class form as the Australia batsman played shots all around the wicket.
Saurabh Tiwary also got into his act. The left-hander began to play some huge shots. The pairing of Smith and Tiwary even completed fifty runs partnership in no time, but the right-hander was dismissed for a well-made 23-ball 45, which comprised four fours and three sixes.
But, things changed drastically after Smith was out in the 10th over. Peter Handscomb failed to impress and lost his wicket in the 13th over, scoring six runs from 12 balls.
Tiwary could not get his game going in the latter half of the innings, and was out in the 18th over for 45-ball 57. There was a serious need for MS Dhoni to play the finishers role, but the skipper also could not shine, and in fact struggled, as the wicket-keeper batsman hit 24 runs from 24 balls.
After a brilliant performance in the first 10 overs, the RPS batsmen could not consolidate in the remaining overs, and reached a total of 159 runs in 20 overs only, which proved to be too less. Mumbai Indians chased down the target with nine balls to spare. This is also RPS' sixth loss in IPL 2016.