Pune enter play-offs : Supergiant slay Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets

Ben Stokes has taken 12 wickets in as many games

Veteran Harbhajan Singh and leg-spinner Karn Sharma can take care of the middle overs.

Washington Sundar picked a three-wicket haul and conceded just 13 runs as Rising Pune Supergiant defended 163 runs against Mumbai Indians successfully to win the Qualifier game at Wankhede Stadium by 20 runs, thereby booking a berth in the final of the Indian Premier League. "It's a really exciting time for us".

RPS then eased their way towards the extremely modest target, the wicket of Rahul Tripathi (28) the only one Kings XI could muster before Ajinkya Rahane (34no) and Steve Smith (15no) got the Supergiant across the line with eight overs to spare.

"We knew the wicket is going to play slow, but we have played enough games here to understand the conditions, " Rohit said.

2 Number of players to aggregate 1000 runs in IPL matches at the Wankhede. MI consistency in the performance is indicated by the fact they finished at the top of the points table after the league stages.

Dhoni has had his critics during the tournament, but the former India captain will play in a record seventh IPL final after bludgeoning a brutal unbeaten 40 off only 26 balls to get Pune up to 162-4.

Rising Pune Supergiant became the first team to enter IPL 2017 finals.

At one stage, Mumbai's Rohit Sharma almost ended up in Smith's lap while trying to catch one of Dhoni's sixes as it sailed over the boundary rope.

Pune have won 3 of 4 Maha derby games vs Mumbai but play-offs could be a different proposition.

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS): Rahul Tripathi, Ajinkya Rahane, Steven Smith (Captain), Manoj Tiwary, MS Dhoni (Wicket Keeper), Daniel Christian, Rajat Bhatia, Washington Sundar, Jaydev Unadkat, Shardul Thakur and Adam Zampa. He was earlier at level with Sandeep Sharma with 9 wickets.

Just when it looked like Pune's innings would end in a whimper, Tiwary and Dhoni combined to hit a flurry of fours and sixes in the final two overs that cost Mumbai 41 runs.

Sundar, who had bowled his first over for 8, came back into the attack in the last over of powerplay with Mumbai at 41/1 and trapped Rohit Sharma in front off the very first delivery. The unavailability of Ben Strokes in the key match will surely dent their chances but they have other quality players also.

Smith went on to say that it is good that they churned out good performances at the right time and he's proud of the effort that the team has put.



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