Mumbai Indians v Rising Pune Supergiant, IPL 2017, Qualifier 1 Preview

May 16, 2017

Almost 6 weeks after the start of IPL 2017, we are into the knockouts, with the first qualifier to be played between Mumbai Indians and surprisingly, Rising Pune Supergiant.

Everyone expected Mumbai to be in the top two, but nobody really gave the Pune side much of a chance after their performance in the initial stages of IPL 10. But they are here and thanks in no small measure to all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Stokes has been brilliant with the bat and bowl for Pune Supergiant and he has also fielded like a superman. He won’t, however, play any part in the knockout stages of the IPL as he has been summoned to join the England team.

This is a really pathetic decision from the England management as Stokes won’t be playing any international matches in this time. He has only been called for a ‘team bonding” session with the rest of his English teammates.

So instead of fighting for top honors in the most followed tournament in cricket, he will be sharing beer with his England teammates in Spain. Somebody please explain that!

Back to the match, the two teams have met four times, with Rising Pune winning as many as 3 matches and losing one. Rising Pune have won both their matches Mumbai this season, winning one by seven wickets because of fifties from Ajinkya Rahane and Steven Smith, and then by just three runs at the Wankhede, thanks to brilliant death over bowling by who else, Ben Stokes.

Mumbai Indians have a highly experienced squad with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Harbhajan Singh, Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu and Lasith Malinga who have featured in countless games in knockout stages of the IPL through the years.

Pune, of course, have the incomparable MS Dhoni. Has there been anyone like him? Dhoni will have to carry them home this time especially as Stokes is not playing.

The winner of this match will go into the final, while the loser will get another shot, as they play the Semi-Final against the winner of the Eliminator to be played between Kolkata Knight Riders and Sunrisers Hyderabad tomorrow.

The Teams

Mumbai Indians: 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Rohit Sharma (capt), 4 Nitish Rana/Ambati Rayudu, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Krunal Pandya, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Mitchell McClenaghan, 10 Lasith Malinga, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Rising Pune Supergiant: 1 Ajinkya Rahane, 2 Rahul Tripathi, 3 Steven Smith (capt), 4 Usman Khawaja/Mayank Agarwal/Rajat Bhatia, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Manoj Tiwary, 7 Daniel Christian, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur/Lockie Ferguson, 10 Jaydev Unadkat, 11 Adam Zampa.

Watch Mumbai Indians play Rising Pune Supergiant tonight at 8 pm on Sony Six!

 

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