Rohit Fails to Keep Mumbai Sailing; Pune do the Double on Derby Rivals

Rohit Sharma’s best innings of this IPL season (a 39-ball 58) did not save Mumbai Indians (MI) from suffering their first defeat in seven matches. And, for Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), their most expensive player (Ben Stokes), who was bought in the IPL 2017 auction, tied Rohit and Hardik Pandya down in the 19th over and helped his team register a third consecutive win. With 24 runs required off the last two overs, the most coveted all-rounder in world cricket conceded just seven runs and no boundaries in the penultimate over of the match, to hand Mumbai a monumental task in the 20th over, from which 17 runs had to be scored for a victory.

Stokes the bowler delivered the goods on this night, with his spell of 4-1-21-2 so integral to Pune getting the right result. The Englishman deservedly won the man-of-the-match award for his match-winning spell, which also included a highly economical 19th over (seven runs). Stokes also made a vital contribution on the field by taking a superb running catch on the first ball of the 20th over, to dismiss Hardik and push his team closer to a win.

Chasing 161 for victory, Mumbai’s batsmen failed to take the match by the scruff of the neck, as they had done against Kings XI Punjab, and allowed the required run rate to increase all the time. The likes of Nitish Rana and Jos Buttler, who have been the pillars of the Mumbai batting line-up this season, fell cheaply and Rohit singlehandedly tried to carry his team over the line. But a lack of support from other batsmen and consistent loss of wickets made Rohit’s task increasingly difficult.

In successfully defending their score of 160/6, Rising Pune won just their second match this season when batting first and defending a total. Also, by beating Mumbai and doing the double over them, Pune now hold the bragging rights of the Maharashtra state.

The Pune middle order failed to capitalise on yet another good start from their openers Ajinkya Rahane and Rahul Tripathi, who put together 76 runs inside the first 10 overs before being separated. Captain Steve Smith (17), MS Dhoni (7) and Stokes (17) fell cheaply and allowed Mumbai to gain a foothold in the match. A late Manoj Tiwary cameo which we’ve become so accustomed to seeing, propelled Pune to 160/6.

Harbhajan took his 200th wicket (Smith) in Twenty20 cricket and has become the third Indian to do so, after Amit Mishra (208) and Ravichandran Ashwin (200). Mumbai’s bowlers did a good collective job and must have been happy to restrict Pune to 160/6 after Rohit won the toss and chose to bowl first. 

Karn Sharma, who was bought in the February auction for 3.2 Crore rupees, made his Mumbai Indians debut because of an injury to Krunal Pandya. The former Sunrisers’ leg-spinner fared quite well and dismissed the two Pune openers just when they threatened to run away with the match.

In his post-match interview, captain Rohit Sharma said that he does not want to be too critical of the result, given how Mumbai have played for much of this season. He also conveyed his disappointment at not being able to bat his team to a victory, having looked in sublime touch.

Imran Tahir was held back by Smith until Rohit strode out to the middle for Mumbai. On this night, Rohit, who has been dismissed by leg-spinners on three occasions so far this season, played the South African leg-spinner with ease, discerning his variations correctly and then executing his shots to perfection. More than the score he made, Rohit’s fluency with the bat was what stood out here.

Mumbai Indians vs Rising Pune, 28th Match Scorecard

Playing XIs

Mumbai: 1. Rohit Sharma (c), 2. Parthiv Patel (wk), 3. Jos Buttler, 4. Nitish Rana, 5. Kieron Pollard, 6. Hardik Pandya, 7. Karn Sharma, 8. Harbhajan Singh, 9. Mitchell Johnson, 10. Mitchell McClenaghan, and 11. Jasprit Bumrah

Pune: 1. Steve Smith (c), 2. Rahul Tripathi, 3. Ajinkya Rahane, 4. MS Dhoni, 5. Ben Stokes, 6. Manoj Tiwary, 7. Daniel Christian, 8. Washington Sundar, 9. Shardul Thakur, 10. Jaydev Unadkat, and 11. Imran Tahir


Pune: 160/6 (Tripathi 45; Bumrah 2/29)
Mumbai: 157/8 (Rohit 58; Stokes 2/21)

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) Innings (toss: Mumbai, who chose to bowl first)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Ajinkya Rahane caught and bowled Karn 38 (32) 5 1 118.75
Rahul Tripathi caught Pollard, bowled Karn 45 (31) 3 2 145.16
Steve Smith bowled Harbhajan 17 (12) 2 0 141.66
MS Dhoni bowled Bumrah 7 (11) 0 0 63.63
Ben Stokes bowled Johnson 17 (12) 2 0 141.66
Manoj Tiwary leg before wicket Bumrah 22 (13) 4 0 169.23
Daniel Christian not out 8 (7) 1 0 114.28
Washington Sundar not out 2 (2) 0 0 100.00
Batsmen who didn’t bat: Shardul Thakur, Jaydev Unadkat and Imran Tahir
Extras: 4 (2 wides, 1 leg bye and 1 bye)
RPS’s total: 160/6 in 20 overs, at 8.00 runs per over
RPS’s fall of wickets: 76/1 (Rahane, 9.3), 93/2 (Tripathi, 11.3), 104/3 (Smith, 12.6), 126/4 (Stokes, 16.1), 138/5 (Dhoni, 17.3), and 158/6 (Tiwary, 19.4)
Mumbai Indians (MI) Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Mitchell Johnson 4 9 34 1 8.50
Mitchell McClenaghan 4 10 36 0 9.00
Karn Sharma 4 7 39 2 9.75
Jasprit Bumrah 4 10 29 2 7.25
Harbhajan Singh 4 7 20 1 5.00
Mumbai Innings (target: 161 runs in 20 overs, at 8.05 runs per over)
Batsman Dismissal Runs scored No. of 4s No. of 6s Strike rate
Parthiv Patel bowled Sundar 33 (27) 4 0 122.22
Jos Buttler caught Sundar, bowled Stokes 17 (13) 3 0 130.76
Nitish Rana caught Unadkat, bowled Christian 3 (9) 0 0 33.33
Rohit Sharma caught and bowled Unadkat 58 (39) 6 3 148.71
Karn Sharma bowled Stokes 11 (10) 0 1 110.00
Kieron Pollard caught Smith, bowled Tahir 9 (9) 1 0 100.00
Hardik Pandya caught Stokes, bowled Unadkat 13 (11) 2 0 118.18
Harbhajan Singh not out 7 (2) 0 1 350.00
Mitchell McClenaghan run out Stokes/Unadkat 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Mitchell Johnson not out 0 (0) 0 0 0.00
Batsman who didn’t bat: Jasprit Bumrah
Extras: 6 (3 wides and 3 leg byes)
MI’s total: 157/8 in 20 overs, at 7.85 runs per over
MI’s fall of wickets: 35/1 (Buttler, 4.2), 51/2 (Rana, 7.2), 60/3 (Patel, 8.6), 86/4 (Karn, 12.1), 122/5 (Pollard, 16.1), 144/6 (H Pandya, 19.1), 150/7 (Rohit, 19.4), and 151/8 (McClenaghan, 19.5)
Pune Bowling
Bowlers Overs Dots bowled Runs conceded Wickets taken Economy rate
Washington Sundar 4 8 26 1 6.50
Shardul Thakur 3 6 29 0 9.67
Jaydev Unadkat 4 8 40 2 10.00
Ben Stokes 4 10 21 2 5.25
Daniel Christian 1 3 6 1 6.00
Imran Tahir 4 12 32 1 8.00


  1. Great show by Ben Stoakes and RPSGs. It was a wonderful bowling performance to restrict such a good side to 160 yet MIs lost wickets in the regular intervals and Pollard could have waited a touch longer for another 5 balls the result would have been different. But you cannot take things out of a match winner like Ben Stoakes on his day. He given 200% with his bowling and fielding. His 19th over is one of the best 19th Over in IPL so far. Great match was in offer and it would have been nice if they MIs had won it. After all it was the Master Blasters b’day, but I am sure he wouldn’t mind as the efforts were put. Lets hope to learn from the improvement areas. Keep an eye on RPSGs they could become a surprise team to enter play offs. The great part was the 33000 thousand singing Happy Birthday to Sachin Tendulkar as he cut the cake in Wankhede Stadium.

    1. Though I agree, Charles, with you over Rising Pune’s bowling performance to successfully defend 160, I think Mumbai Indians produced a strange batting display. They weren’t proactive at the top and even as the required run rate started to soar during the middle phase, none of the batsmen except Rohit Sharma took the initiative to play the big shots and bring the required run rate down. So, yeah, for me, Mumbai contributed to their own downfall as much as Pune Supergiant were good with the ball. Along those lines, maybe Mumbai are lacking a bit of intensity and so, this loss will get them to refocus.

      Yes, Sachin Tendulkar’s birthday, in an ideal scenario, will have been a lot better had his team won.

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