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IPL 2017: Steve Smith’s exemplary knock leads RPS to 7-wicket win over MI

RPS skipper Smith smashed an unbeaten 84-run knock against MI to beat them by seven wickets.

SNS | New Delhi |

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) skipper Steve Smith led by example on Thursday as he smashed an unbeaten 84-run knock against Mumbai Indians (MI) to beat them by seven wickets in the first Maharashtra derby of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.

At helm, Smith slammed back-to-back sixes in the last over by Kieron Pollard with MS Dhoni (12*) remained unbeaten on the other end.

Although RPS lost their opener Mayank Agarwal (6) early in the fourth over, Ajinkya Rahane stood responsibly and gave them a brisk start.

Benefitting best out of powerplay, Rahane smashed 60 runs off 34 balls with the help of three sixes and six boundaries. He put a 58-run partnership knock with captain Smith for the second-wicket.

Smith picked the right pulse and continued the domination. His 54-ball knock was well-decorated by three sixes and seven boundaries.

For Mumbai, pacermen Tim Southee, Hardik Pandya and Mitchell McClenaghan were the only successful bowlers as they claimed one wicket each.

Earlier, experienced leg-spinner Imran Tahir claimed three big wickets to help RPS restrict Rohit Sharma-led MI for 184/4 in the end of 20 overs.

The 38-year-old leggie, who played for Delhi Daredevils in past seasons of the IPL, shone to the maximum for his new team this time.

Tahir dismissed MI’s top-order, forcing Parthiv Patel (19), Jos Buttler (38) and Rohit Sharma (3) back to pavilion in first seven overs.

Medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia took the scalp of Ambati Rayudu (10) and Krunal Pandya (3) cheaply in 12th and 14th over respectively.

Spinner Adam Zampa and allrounder Ben Stokes claimed a wicket each to join the RPS bowling attack.

Smith had won the toss and elected to field against MI.

Last season skipper Dhoni, who captained an IPL team in 143 matches, appeared on the field as a player for the first time in the history of the league.

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