Mumbai: Rising Pune Supergiants skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni heaped praise on team's bowlers after the thumping nine-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL) opener on Saturday and also lauded opener Ajinkya Rahane for his match-winning unbeaten 66.
Rising Pune Supergiants's players celebrates the wicket of Mumbai Indians's Shreyas Gopal during the IPL 2016 opening match played in Mumbai on Saturday. Pic/ PTI
Batting first, Mumbai were restricted to 121/8 in 20 overs, thanks to a superb bowling performance by Pune. In reply, riding on Rahane's unbeaten 66, Pune chased down the target comfortably, while losing just one wicket, posting 126/1 in 14.4 overs.
"I don't think we could have had a better start than this. A lot of credit to the bowlers. Specially Rajat (Bhatia). He bowled in that uncomfortable area, once they lost a lot of early wickets. The opposition also went hard, and on a wicket where the fast bowlers had assistance, there were chances.
"There was a lot of pressure on their lower order, the bowlers did a fantastic job. We should improve in the death overs," Dhoni said after the match at the Wankhede Stadium here.
Ishant Sharma and Mitchell Marsh picked two wickets each and Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhatia, Murugan Ashwin and R.P. Singh claimed one each for Pune to restrict Mumbai to a low score.
"When you don't have too many runs on the board, the batsmen have an easier job. Always felt Rahane is brilliant where the ball comes on off the wickets. He is traditional and the way he finished it off was very good. This gives us an opportunity to give us some time to interact together, it's a fun-loving bunch, the support staff have also put in a lot of effort," said Dhoni.