The Rising Pune Supergiants had a relatively easy entry in the IPL as they rolled over the Mumbai Indians with sheer ease. Bowling first on a deck which had something for the bowlers, the Supergiants, powered by Ishant Sharma restricted the Mumbai Indians to just 121, before their batsmen chased it down without much of a fuss.
Pune had an orthodox opening composition in Ajinkya Rahane and South Africa’s T20 skipper Faf du Plessis. Both the batsmen are completely elegant and can play the big shots while looking attractive. The Mumbai Indians bowlers were on the receiving end as Rahane and Faf got off to a solid start. Rahane was also named the Man of the Match for his unbeaten knock of 67.
After the game, Faf admitted that he really enjoyed batting alongside Rahane. “The last time I opened was two-three years ago for Chennai, so it was something I really enjoyed,” said du Plessis. “The make-up of our side, there are a lot of quality middle-order batsmen, and the coach and captain feel that I am best suited at the top. Anywhere they put me from 1-5, I’m someone who has started growing my game from different positions. Nice to get a crack at the top. It’s a place I’d choose if I probably could.”
Du Plessis also said that batting with Rahane was easy as the right-hander played relatively risk-free cricket. Du Plessis stressed on the need to not losing wickets in the initial overs as a key to success. “Nice to have someone who can score boundaries without taking risks. I found it a bit harder tonight and tried to make Rahane face as many balls. The key for us was not to lose any wicket, the only way they were going to win the game was if they got three-four wickets in the first six overs.”
The Pune opener, though, admitted that losing the toss was a blessing in disguise as everyone had misread the pitch. “Everyone rocked up thinking it was going to be a 200-plus wicket. What we get at Wankhede is lots of runs,” du Plessis said. “It was completely the opposite, it was a slow wicket. A good thing for us that we lost the toss. It gave us an idea how we could pace our innings.”