MS Dhoni was magnificent, says Steve Smith after Rising Pune Supergiant reach IPL 2017 final

first_imgSteve Smith applauded MS Dhoni’s 40 not out off 26 balls after Rising Pune Supergiant reached their maiden Indian Premier League final beating Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium on Tuesday.MS Dhoni’s explosive innings at the end, which was laced with 5 sixes, steered Pune to a competitive total of 162 .”It was a big day and big players stepped up. I thought MS was magnificent at the end with Manoj Tiwary. Rahane batted beautifully at the start to give us a chance to have a launch pad at the end,” Smith said in the post-match presentation.About the 41 runs that Pune scored in the last two overs, Smith said that it released some pressure of the bowling.”That was the momentum we needed going into the bowling innings. I thought the execution was fantastic. It was a slow wicket and it was difficult to time the ball but MS and Manoj did a terrific job to get a few over the fence and get us to that total,” Smith said.Smith said that with Ben Stokes gone, they were a batsman less and had to plan their batting accordingly.”With Stokesy gone, we got Lockie Ferguson and so we had to be a little conservative with our batting but we timed the run well and to get to 160 was a very good total,” Smith added.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.advertisement”You need to peak at the right time in tournaments like this. We’ve played some really good cricket, coming back from a big win against Kings XI Punjab. Proud of the boys to have stepped up today. We didn’t let them hit a lot, bowled back of a length and tried to take the pace off the ball and that’s worked for us right throughout the tournament and tonight,” Smith said.Smith said that though the wicket did get some dew later on but the wicket remained quite the same throughout the match and that helped.Smith also applauded the efforts of Washington Sundar, who returned with the figures of 4-16-3 and picked the crucial wickets of Rohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard.”Magnificent (talking about Sundar). Big stage and it’s never easy when batters are trying to go after you but his lengths were magnificent. He’s been very good for us throughout the tournament and hopefully he can have another good one for us in the final.” (Rohit gutted after Mumbai Indians’ worst batting performance)Sundar, on the other hand, said that Dhoni, who reached his record seventh IPL final, has been supportive to him and hoped to lift the trophy.”I think it’s very heartening for me to do well against a big team on a good stage, in front of a packed crowd. Owe this to my parents, their prayers are the reason I did this. I think keeping things simple makes me do things like this. Mahi bhai has been supportive. Right now, I am not looking to be experimental. I am just looking to go there and back myself. I think we could lift the trophy in the finals as well,” Sundar said after receiving the man-of-the-match award.Smith added that they would like to relax a bit in the 4-day break they’ve got and hoped that they can be the better team in the final and lift the IPL trophy.last_img read more