IPL: Pune beat Kings XI Punjba, reach play-offs

Steve Smith RPS Kieron Pollard Mumbai Indians IPL 2017

RPS won both matches against the Mumbai Indians in the league phaseIANS

After the auction in February this year, Rising Pune Supergiant acquired the seamer from Kings XI. Luckily for Pune, Smith called it wrong in the middle and Virat Kohli duly gave the Supergiant camp their wish by putting them in on a tricky wicket.

"It's been an incredible experience captaining an IPL team for the first time!".

The average first innings total in VIVO IPL 2017 matches at the Wankhede Stadium is 172. They had landed in Bangalore after three straight defeats. The two spinners - Adam Zampa and Washington Sundar - have key roles to play too; Zampa will be a key bowler given MI's poor record against leg-spinners, while Sundar will be expected to keep the two left-handers in the MI top three quiet.

The season itself had gone pear-shaped after an inauspicious build-up. "On the field, MS epitomises calmness and, from a cricket point of view, has the best angle in terms of field placements".

After a disappointing season in 2016, MI bounced back in style as they achieved the best ever start to a season in this tournament. The following players were rested in the last and final league MI match. "It was a close match and we lost it by a very small margin". Unlike the other teams that have done well in this IPL, Mumbai's batsmen have shared the run-scoring burden. These two young stars are players Kings XI can base their future squads around.

He also spoke about Hashim Amla's absence and said, " Amla was missed big time. he was someone who could have shouldered responsibility as he showed throughout the tournament and hence he not there was a big setback". Their bowling can be equally destructive, with Unadkat and Thakur opening the attack, followed by Zampa's match turning spells. However, they have won 6 out of 9 while chasing.

That hour-and-a-half at Chinnaswamy turned their season around.

Maxwell, whose side had enjoyed a late season resurgence to push for finals agreed with Smith.

Trent Boult was the most successful of the KKR bowlers; the left-arm pacer returned figures of 2/30, while Kuldeep and Ankit chipped in with a wicket each. The joke was on everyone else.

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In the bowling department, Pune has the huge advantage of having Englishman Stokes, whose lethal yorkers have made him the most valuable player for his franchise. Kings XI Punjab's last match is on Sunday against Rising Pune Supergiant.

The tide was turning.

After bowling out Kings for 73 runs, Pune batsmen reached 78 runs by losing one wicket. Ahead of the IPL Qualifier 1 clash against the Mumbai Indians, Steve Smith and his men have the edge over their opposition.

Two-time winners Mumbai Indians wrested back the initiative after a nine-run win over Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens on Saturday after back-to-back losses. Dhoni would later speak about how the team had one motto: To ensure that the Pune crowds see their home team win for a change.

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It is hard for the RPS to bring any new player at this end of series for finals.

The other option would be to play a batsman in Usman Khawaja, but that would be fraught with risk, since the Australian hasn't played a single game in IPL 2017, and experienced or not, bringing someone in from the cold like that could really backfire, particularly in the Wankhede cauldron. Not to forget having to break their flawless combination to accommodate the change.

"As captain, I couldn't be more proud of the group".

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