Manoj Tiwary and Ajinkya Rahane struck patient fifties, setting a platform for MS Dhoni to use his wiles at the end to help Rising Pune finish with momentum. The side will look slightly uncomfortable with the absence of star England all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has left for global dutyHowever, RPS do have hard-hitting batsmen such as MS Dhoni (240 runs this season) and skipper Steve Smith himself.
The experienced Lasith Malinga despite his inconsistency, wicket-taker Mitchell McClenaghan and the dependable Jasprit Bumrah are likely to be back after a one game rest along with off-spinner Harbhajan Singh. You guessed it right!
Rahane went soon after passing 50 following a stand of 80, but Tiwary hit a McClenaghan beamer to the boundary to bring up his half-century and hit the next ball down the ground for six before Dhoni cleared the ropes twice in a penultimate over which yielded 26 runs.
On the other hand, Pune started the tournament with a win but after that, they suffered three massive losses and it was looking like they would be knocked out of the tournament.
"It's been good this year, three times we've beaten them now".
2 Number of players to aggregate 1000 runs in IPL matches at the Wankhede. Proud of the boys to have stepped up today.
The sixth over bowled by Sundar (3-16) proved to be a game changer as Rohit Sharma (1) was given out LBW despite involvement of an inside edge while Ambati Rayudu (0) was caught at midwicket.
"We tried to take the pace of the ball; it worked nicely for us". There was dew but the wicket was still slow. So, the RPS need to focus on a better player who did well in previous matches in this IPL like Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur and more others. "Washington's lengths were magnificent and it was great he did it on a big stage like this". Both the side would want to win this one and book their place in the final.
For now, all we can do is assume and take sides for either one of the team. I think keeping things simple makes me do things like this. While he didn't boast the same range of shots like his partners, he played to his strengths, playing with a straight bat and taking the occasional risk to go over the top. Because he won the man of the match award on his last chance, but he didn't any further chances to play more matches.
Lasith Malinga has been a bit inconsistent in the tournament but his experience and capability to break partnerships will come in handy in the crucial match.