Pune, May 1 (IANS) Leading from the front, skipper Rohit Sharma smashed a match-winning unbeaten 85 off just 60 balls to guide defending champions Mumbai Indians to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Rising Pune Supergiants in the Maharashtra derby of the Indian Premier League (IPL) here on Sunday.
Batting first, Pune posted 159/5 in 20 overs, thanks to opener Saurabh Tiwary’s much-needed 57 off 45 balls.
In reply, Rohit came up with another impressive knock which included eight boundaries and three sixes, as Mumbai chased down the total posting 161/2 with nine balls to spare.
After win, Mumbai climb to second position in the points table with 10 points from nine games, having won five and lost four.
Chasing a challenging target of 160, in-form openers Rohit and Parthiv Patel got Mumbai off to a good start scoring 24 without losing any wicket in the first three overs.
But the fourth over witnessed a see-saw battle as Parthiv after striking Ashok Dinda for three consecutive boundaries eventually got a thick edge off a wide off stump delivery which was collectively well by a diving wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, leaving Mumbai at 39/1.
Despite the wicket, Rohit and incoming batsman Ambati Rayudu (22) played positively to take their team to a comfortable position.
The duo brought up 50-run partnership for the second wicket to take the team past 75-run mark in the 10th over and stay on course for a good run chase.
But as Rayudu was looking set for a big innings, the right handed-batsman gave his wicket away cheaply in the 12th over to put Pune back into the game.
But skipper Rohit played sensibly as he continued his good form in the ongoing tournament also bringing up yet another half-century in just 38 balls.
He was well supported in the other end by Jos Buttler (27 not out).
The duo batted through to ensure the visitors went past the victory line at ease.
Ashok Dinda and Ravichandran Ashwin picked one wicket each for Pune.
Earlier put into bat, Pune got off to a poor start losing opener batsman Ajinkya Rahane (4) in the second over itself with just eight runs on the board.
From there on, his opening partner Tiwary and incoming in-form batsman Steve Smith (45 off 23) held on without losing any more wickets to score at a good pace and help team reach 54/1 after completion of the powerplay.
Smith, who scored his maiden IPL ton in his last match, showed his class with the willow yet again as he used his experience to best effect to close his on another half-century.
But as he was looking set after striking four boundaries and three sixes, seamer Jasprit Bumrah bowled cleverly as the Australian edged one past him to carry it safely to wicket-keeper Patel, bringing a 84-run partnership for the second wicket to an end in the 10th over.
The home side suffered their third blow in the 13th over when Peter Handscomb (6) trying to sweep Harbhajan Singh was caught by Buttler at deep square leg, to have Pune reduced to 105/3.
Despite wickets falling at the other end, Tiwary made the most of the time spent at the crease to bring up his half-century in just 39 balls.
Following the wickets of Handscomb and Tiwary in the 18th over, skipper Dhoni (24) and Thisara Perera (12 not out) helped their team cross the 150-run mark.
Bumrah (3-29) was the pick of the bowlers for Mumbai while Harbhajan Singh and Mitchell McClenaghan claimed one wicket each.
Brief Scores: Rising Pune Supergiants 159/5 in 20 overs (Saurabh Tiwary 57; Jasprit Bumrah 3-29) vs Mumbai Indians 161/2 in 18.3 overs (Rohit Sharma 85 not out; R Ashwin 1-21)