IPL 2017: Harsh Goenka's controversial tweet on MS Dhoni irks fans

Posted April 07, 2017

Steven Smith whacked two successive sixes to cap Rising Pune Supergiant's seven-wicket win over Mumbai Indians in their Indian Premier League opener on Thursday.

Earlier, South African leg-spinner Imran Tahir, who went unsold in the auctions and was a late addition to the Pune squad, brought the hosts back into the game with three quick wickets after the Mumbai opening duo of Jos Buttler (38) and Parthiv Patel (19) added 45 runs for the opening wicket.

Steve Smith smashed seven fours and three sixes in his knock of 84 runs. Hardik Pandya then stunned the home crowd as Mumbai scored 30 runs from the final over as he scored four sixes and a boundary.

Mumbai raised some hopes of a win after Hardik Pandya dismissed Ben Stokes, this IPL season's costliest buy, for 21.

It came after the toss in Pune, where RPS' new captain Steve Smith won the toss and elected to ball first against the visitors. Both spinners Adam Zampa and World T20 No 1 spinner Imran Tahir are part of the playing XI. He was out for 60 off 34, to a diving catch by Nitish Rana at deep square leg. Smith was on 25.

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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.

Dhoni might have led the now defunct team Chennai Super Kings exceedingly well in the past but proving his worth as a player with the new franchise is a challenge that the former India captain will be more than keen to conquer. The addition of England all-rounder Ben Stokes could further strengthen Pune. Contrast that with 2016, when Tahir conceded 59 off four overs against Mumbai and wasn't picked again.

Buttler was sent in to open the innings with Parthiv Patel, and that plan turned out to be a really good one, with the Englishman enjoying the ball coming onto the bat and, as a result, scoring at a rate of knots.

Medium-pacer Rajat Bhatia took the scalp of Ambati Rayudu (10) and Krunal Pandya (3) cheaply in 12th and 14th over respectively. Kieron Pollard was dismissed for 27 (17 balls; 3x4; 1x6) in the penultimate over by Stokes for the bowler's first IPL wicket.