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Pune-Mumbai Qualifier 1 IPL Match – What was so important?

Cricket is an unpredictable game. In every sense of the word!  When IPL witnessed the ousting of two major teams, Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals for two years, cricket lovers were saddened thinking of who would replace them. But yesterday’s match sure packed a surprise for them.

The second qualifier for IPL 2017, Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) changed the way teams would be perceived by gradually climbing the ladder and mounting itself among the top 4 qualifier league, and finally making its way to the finals by winning yesterday’s match against Mumbai Indians (MI – the top Qualifier).

While people focused on the other big teams and rested their big hopes on these teams, Pune managed to win its followers across the country, game by game.

Yesterday’s match was significant mostly for RPS as this is probably the only time they can make it big in the IPL. Pune and Gujarat were the teams that had been signed in for IPL to replace Chennai and Rajasthan for two years. Come next year, the latter teams will make their comeback and we would again see them back on track, clouding the fate of Pune and Gujarat in the next IPL season.

Speaking about the unpredictability of the game, RPS that was seemingly losing the game in the first innings of the match gained momentum as Ajinkya Rahane and Manoj Tiwary set the stage with their above half century scores (Rahane – 56, Tiwary – 58) for Dhoni to show his batting prowess and change the pace of the game.

The real Rising Supergiant was however, the 17-year-old Washington Sundar whose bowling was fast enough to not let Mumbai bat credible sixes and fours. The fact that he picked three wickets in two overs especially earned him the title of the Man of the Match.

Although Parthiv Patel (MI) had a good start hitting 52 runs off 40 balls, the 3 wickets lost to Pune in 16 balls and the further loss of wickets after that, (apart from the little twist where Rohit Sharma was declared out by the Umpire when he was inside the edge), made MI squander their chances at winning, making Pune the winner at 162-4.

The sweeping changes happened as Dhoni and Tiwari hit 41 runs during the last two overs and Sundar managed to take off both Ambati Rayudu and Sharma off the field in one over, defeating MI by 20 runs to leap to the finals.

MI’s fate now depends on tonight’s Eliminator match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders as MI would await the winning team at the second Qualifier match.

This IPL season has surely turned way interesting as we saw a team not given similar attention as other established ones (Pune) play marvelously to bag their position in the maiden finals, even defeating the team that had played well throughout the season, which makes it all the more enticing to see who would be the champions of IPL 2017.

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