Can Captain Smith do the 'Dhoni' against deadly Mumbai?

Mahendra Singh Dhoni handed over India team captaincy to Virat Kohli earlier this year. More

Pune: Steven Smith led from the front in his first match as captain of the Rising Pune Supergiant as he scored an unbeaten 84 off just 54 deliveries to guide his team to a seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their opening match of the tenth edition of the Indian Premier League.

While Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma's form at the top will be important, Kieron Pollard and Jos Buttler's big hits, and veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh's craft will decide how the team fares in the match.

Pune needed 13 runs from the final over and Smith hit a six off the fourth ball, picking a Kieron Pollard slow ball needing another four for a win from two balls.

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. Playing his first IPL match, Ben Stokes impressed with three good shots to the fence.




The West Indian struck three boundaries and a six in his 17-ball innings as he added 21 runs for the seventh wicket with Pandya. The Australian captain also bagged the player of the match award. Tim Southee (1-34) helped Mumbai stage a comeback when Rahane was holed out in the deep and in the 13th over, Smith was dropped by Rana at deep square leg. Smith forged a 58 run partnership with opener Rahane and then shared a 50 run partnership with Ben Stokes. Read Also: IPL 2017: Sunrisers Hyderabad win the first match against Royal Challengers Bangalore by 35 runs Tahir cleaned up Patel in his second ball of the match, giving Pune the first breakthrough after Mumbai had knocked off 41 runs in the first four overs. After starting the last season on a brighter note with a victory over the then defending champions Mumbai Indians, they went on to suffer four defeats in a row.

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

Former India batsman-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar had a little fun in the middle with Smith when he asked how he viewed the wicket for the IPL than the one which was dished out in the first Test against India last month.

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