Ace spinner Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday predicted former Rising Pune Supergiant captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni to win the man of the match award against Mumbai Indians in their first match of 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL).
Stokes, purchased for a record-breaking £1.7million in February's auction, returned figures of one for 36 with the ball, and was struck for four maximums in the process, two of which were scored off back-to-back deliveries by Buttler en route to his 38. However, after the game turned in the favour of Rising Pune Supergiant with Smith hitting two sixes in a tense finish with Dhoni being at the non-striker's end, Harsh Goenka's tweet irked the Indian fans who panned him on Twitter.
Rising Pune Supergiant's innings was given a brisk start by Rahane, who hit Hardik Pandya for three boundaries in the second over itself, one of them flying through the slips.
The 45-run opening stand ended with the introduction of Imran Tahir (3-28), who castled Patel along with Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma (3) and also had Buttler LBW when replays showed there was an inside edge there.
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After the Mumbai Indians managed to post a sizeable total, despite Imran Tahir's three-for, the pressure was back on RPS to knock down the runs, and knock them down they did, courtesy half-centuries from Ajinkya Rahane and Smith (84 n.o., 54b, 7x4, 3x6), with the latter taking the team home in the final over with two consecutive sixes.
Captain Steven Smith joined Rahane in the middle and he hit McClenaghan for a boundary off the first ball of the last powerplay over. Smith forged a 58 run partnership with opener Rahane and then shared a 50 run partnership with Ben Stokes. He was finally dismissed when Nitish Rana pulled off an excellent catch at deep square leg off the bowling of Tim Southee. Contrast that with 2016, when Tahir conceded 59 off four overs against Mumbai and wasn't picked again.
Nitish Rana tried to steady the Mumbai innings with a 28-ball 34 but he was also out in 16th over. Bhatia then cut short Krunal Pandya's (3) stay at the crease to just five balls to reduce Mumbai to 107 for five in the 14th over.
His only wicket during that spell was that of West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard.