Mumbai, April 9 (IANS) Awarded man-of-the-match for his unbeaten 66 and steering Rising Pune Supergiants to a nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in the first match of the Indian Premier League (IPL), star opener Ajinkya Rahane said he wanted to spend time in the middle and finish off the game for his side.
Batting first, Mumbai were restricted to 121/8 in 20 overs, thanks to a superb bowling performance by Pune. Harbhajan Singh (45 not out) was the top scorer for the home side.
In reply, riding on Rahane’s unbeaten 66, Pune chased down the target comfortably, losing just one wicket, posting 126/1 in 14.4 overs.
“I felt it was important to time the ball. When we were bowling, the ball was stopping and seaming a bit. It was important to take my time and finish the game. The track was two-paced, different to a Wankhede wicket. It was holding and for the first six overs, it was doing a lot,” Rahane said after the match at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.
Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh picked two wickets each and Ravichandran Ashwin, Rajat Bhatia, Murugan Ashwin and R.P. Singh claimed one each for Pune to restrict Mumbai to a low score.
“It’s been very good, couple of practice sessions. All world class players. All are match-winners, KP (Kevin Pietersen), Smith (Steve Smith), (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni, and we are trying to learn many things from them,” Rahane said.
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