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Wednesday May 17, 2017

Pune stun Mumbai to reach IPL final

Pune stun Mumbai to reach IPL final
Photo: BCCI

MUMBAI: Young Indian spinner Washington Sunder claimed three wickets to help Rising Pune Supergiant reach their maiden Indian Premier League final after beating Mumbai Indians by 20 runs in the first qualifier on Tuesday.

Chasing 163 for victory, table-toppers Mumbai faltered against a disciplined Pune bowling attack to end on 142 for nine in 20 overs. Parthiv Patel top-scored with 52.

Put into bat first, Pune´s batsmen were also at the receiving end of some inspired Mumbai bowling as they struggled to get quick runs on a seemingly slow track and end on 162-4.

Pune batsmen Manoj Tiwary (58) and Ajinkya Rahane (56) recorded gritty half-centuries to ensure a competitive target for the home team at Mumbai´s Wankhede Stadium.

Parthiv Patel of Mumbai Indians attempts a shot/BCCI
Parthiv Patel of Mumbai Indians attempts a shot/BCCI

But it was 17-year-old Sunder who turned it round for Pune with his impressive figures of 3-16, making up for the absence of star all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Sunder, who has just played five first-class games for his south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, struck twice in his opening over including the prized scalp of opposition skipper Rohit Sharma (1).

The lanky off-spinner also got the dangerous Kieron Pollard (7), forcing the burly West Indian to flick a flattish delivery to Pune skipper Steve Smith at short mid-wicket.

Pune fast bowler Shardul Thakur also took three wickets.

Earlier there was an entertaining blitz from wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni, whose 26-ball unbeaten 40 gave Pune the much-needed push in the final few overs.

Just when it looked like Pune´s innings would end in a whimper, Tiwary and Dhoni combined to hit a flurry of fours and sixes in the final two overs that cost Mumbai 41 runs.

Mumbai have another shot at booking a final berth when they take on the winner of the eliminator between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders in the second qualifier on Friday.

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