Dhoni delivers as Pune reach IPL final


It was a night when nothing went right for Mumbai Indians as they succumbed to 20-run defeat at the hands of Rising Pune Supergiant in Qualifier 1 of the 2017 IPL at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday, despite a half-century from Parthiv Patel. Pune's batting has clicked in patches and the team will be anxious by the inconsistent form of captain Steven Smith, veteran MS Dhoni and Ajinkya Rahane. In this match, they would be hoping that Simmons and Pollard could have some swing with that heavy bat.

Mumbai Indians, even after resting six of their regular XI, outplayed the Kolkata Knight Riders in their last league match to secure the top spot.

Sunder, who has just played five first-class games for his south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, struck twice in his opening over including the prized scalp of opposition skipper Rohit Sharma (1). Tiwary gets run out at the non-striker's end after Dhoni sends him back.

It was complete domination by the home team, which first skittled out Kings XI Punjab for a paltry 73 and then knocked off the runs in only 12 overs. Team's strength majorly depends on Indian players, which is a big plus for them. The first big hit came in the seventh over, when Tiwary hit Karn Sharma for a straight six.

Dan Christian and Jaydev Unadkat both picked up two wickets and leg-spinner Adam Zampa also claimed a couple, both in the 16th over to put Kings XI out of their misery.

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In the absence of Jos Buttler, Lendl Simmons is giving good performance and the team is having some key players including Rohit Sharma, Pollard and Pandya brothers and something huge being we can expect from them.

The confidence of the Pune bowlers is sky-high and should pose some challenge in front of Mumbai. Probably the worst batting performance of this season for us.

All said and done, there is a lot at stake in today's game as which ever team wins today shall directly proceed to the final, to be played at Hyderabad on May 21 while the loser shall get another shot at it in Qualifier 2, to be played at Bengaluru on May 19. Punjab are on 14 points from an equal number of matches but have a comparatively better run rate of +0.296. Smith would not want to let this opportunity go. Pune managed 41 runs from their last two overs.

Pune made just one change with pace bowler Lockie Ferguson replacing all-rounder Ben Stokes, who has gone back home.