The Rising Pune Supergiants commenced their IPL journey in utter dominance as the MS Dhoni-led outfit slaughtered the Mumbai Indians in their own backyard. The Pune bowlers were on the money straight away as Ishant Sharma bowled a lethal first spell. In his first spell, Sharma got rid of both the openers with sheer beauties as he hit the good length frequently.
Despite a late assault from Harbhajan Singh, the Mumbai Indians could get only to 121-8 in 20 overs. Harbhajan top-scored for the hosts with his knock of 45. Pune never seemed in any discomfort during the chase as Ajinkya Rahane seemed completely flawless. The elegant right-hander strolled his way to a fine half-century to guide the Supergiants to an easy win.
In the post match presentation, Pune skipper MS Dhoni admitted that his bowlers did terrifically well. Dhoni praised medium pace Rajat Bhatia for his miserly spell where he conceded just 10 runs. “I don’t think we could have had a better start. Credit to the bowlers. Yes, the pitch had a bit in it for the fast bowlers but they stuck to their lines. Once they were a few wickets down, they had to change their tactics which played to our advantage,” said Dhoni.
Dhoni was also pleased with Rahane’s batting and backed the right-hander. “The start was important. I’ve always felt that Rahane is brilliant when the ball comes on. He’s someone who plays traditional shots. Good to see him finish it off. We have not spent a lot of time together, this gives an opportunity to take some time off and interact with each other. It’s a bunch of fun loving guys which makes my job easy. Support staff have put in a lot of effort,” Dhoni added.
Rahane too was pleased after his fine half century sealed off the chase for the Supergiants. “I felt that it was important to time the ball. It was stopping a bit so it was important for me to take some time early on and finish the job. The pitch was two-paced, not what we usually get at the Wankhede. In the first six overs, the ball was moving a lot.” “They are all world class players,” said Rahane about his teammates. “All match-winners and we try to learn things from them.”