Smith helps Pune beat Mumbai by 7 wickets

Smith helps Pune beat Mumbai by 7 wickets

He may have ended proceedings on the losing side in Australia Test series with India last month, but Steve Smith began his 2017 Indian Premier League campaign as a victor.

Ajinkya Rahane earlier contributed 60 runs.

He and Smith had put on 58 for the second wicket, and once he was out, Smith took over proceedings.

Ajinkya Rahane played a fantastic knock as well by scoring a half-century and gave RPS the flawless start. The team had finished at the dead bottom in IPL 2016 certainly made a winning start to the new season, but a tweet from their owner over Dhoni and Smith turned out to be controversial. Smith was dropped by Nitish Rana while batting at 36, who earlier had taken a stunner to dismiss Mayank Aggarwal. His 54-ball knock was well-decorated by three sixes and seven boundaries.

Smith then dropped anchor and showed his class by hitting some exquisite shots to ensure that Pune remained in the hunt in his debut captaincy for the Pune side.

Shane Warne says Ben Stokes will be under pressure to perform well for IPL side Rising Pune Supergiants because of his record-breaking price tag. But it was shortlived as Smith snatched the game from the jaws of defeat.

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Even as Smith and the Supergiant seemed to be on control of the first innings, Hardik, held back till as late as the No. 8 position delivered the big runs making an unbeaten 35 of just 14 balls.

Bengal lad, Ashok Dinda gave away 57 runs in his four overs.

Introduced in the fifth over, Tahir struck in his second ball when he bowled Patel round his legs before packing Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma (3) and Buttler in his next over to reduce Mumbai to 62/3. After starting the last season on a brighter note with a victory over the then defending champions Mumbai Indians, they went on to suffer four defeats in a row.

Rajat Bhatia (2/14) had Ambati Rayudu caught and bowled for 10 before Mumbai reached 100-run mark in 13th over.

Nitish Rana tried to steady the Mumbai innings with a 28-ball 34 but he was also out in 16th over.

His only wicket during that spell was that of West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard. Dinda was lucky to escape with a single off the last delivery as Mumbai Indians scored 30 off the last over to post 184/7 after 20 overs.

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