Mumbai: Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) stormed into their maiden Indian Premier League final with a comprehensive 20-run win over two-time winners Mumbai Indians. RPS, who are playing only in their second season, defeated Rohit Sharma's men for the third time in a row in the tenth edition.
While Ajinkya Rahane (56), MS Dhoni (40*) and Manoj Tiwary (58*) were the heroes with the bat, teenager Washington Sundar ripped through Mumbai's top-order by claiming three key wickets.
Steve Smith hailed former skipper MS Dhoni for playing a sensational cameo in the death overs as a result of which Pune scored 41 runs in the last two overs.
"It's been good this year, three times we've beaten them now. It was a big game. We had to be a little conservative today and we timed it well to get 160. MS was magnificent. We got the momentum we needed," the Australian skipper said.
After a poor first half in the tournament, RPS stunned everybody by putting a superb show in the second half of the tournament.
"You really need to peak at the right time in tournaments like this. We executed our plans really well. We tried to take the pace off the ball; it worked nicely for us throughout the tournament and today as well.
Batting first, Pune were in a spot of bother after losing Rahul Tripathi (0) and Smith (1) with just nine runs on board.
But Rahane resurrected the innings with an 80-run stand for the third wicket with Tiwary. Karn Sharma then got a crucial breakthrough for his team when he trapped Rahane in front of the wicket in the 13th over of the innings.
After Rahane's departure, Tiwary and Dhoni steadied the ship further without taking too many risks. However, in the final two over of the innings, Dhoni played some lusty blows to shift the momentum for his team.
In reply, Mumbai's star-studded batting line-up failed to put up a fight as barring Parthiv Patel (52), none of the batsmen could hit a big score. Sundar sent them on backfoot by removing Rohit Sharma (1), Ambati Rayudu (0) and Kieron Pollard (7).
After winning Qualifier 1, Pune have qualified for the final while Mumbai will have another go at the final.