The Pune Warriors shocked the Mumbai Indians in front of their home fans, by defending a score of just a 129 runs.
Mumbai, having just come off a convincing win against IPL defending champions, the Chennai Super Kings, were looking to make short work of the Warriors.
Mumbai captain, Harbhajan Singh, won the toss and chose to bowl first, since he thought that the pitch would not change too much during the match.
Pune captain, Sourav Ganguly was more than happy to have a bat first, saying that he felt as if the heat would become a factor later into the match, while at the same time stating the pitch would also be beneficial to spin bowlers.
The Mumbai crowd went berserk as their team played at home for the first time in this edition of the IPL.
Mumbai, gave the crowd more reason to celebrate, after completely ripping through the top order of the Pune batting lineup, with Manish Pandey, captain Ganguly and Wayne Parnell failing to make any significant contributions.
Robin Uthappa, breathed some life into the Pune innings, smashing 36 runs off 33 balls, which included three beautiful boundaries.
Uthappa, was also involved with a highly valuable partnership with Australian batsman, Steven Smith, who went on to make 39 from 32 deliveries, hitting four cracking boundaries of his own.
Smith, was also part of a last minute 23 run partnership with Murali Kartik, who delivered most of the damage, and ended up being undefeated on 14 runs from just nine deliveries, with one four and a massive six to his name.
Smith, was named as the Man of the Match, and said: “Tough start, we lost a few early wickets, Robin and I decided to stay on and try and get to 140. Good job by the bowlers to defend the low score. Good way to start the tournament and we hope to carry on the momentum and it was great to play in Mumbai for the first time.”
Mumbai pace duo, Lasith Malinga and Munaf Patel, claimed two wickets each, while Harbhajan Singh, Pragyan Ojha and Kieron Pollard picked up a wicket each, as Pune were restricted to just 129 runs.
Facing a rather simple target of 130 runs to win, the Mumbai openers, Richard Levi, who played a scorching innings against Chennai, and Ambati Rayudu, were looking to make a quick start to the match.
However, it was the Pune bowlers who made the quick start, as they dismissed the opening pair in quick succession.
Rohit Sharma, who has been known to save Mumbai in the past, was also dismissed extremely early into his innings, making just one run.
Mumbai fans looked both shocked and worried, as they could not believe what was taking place in front of their eyes.
However, James Franklin and wicketkeeper, Dinesh Karthik, worked well together to produce a 49 run partnership, in which Karthik blazed his way to 32 from 32 balls, smacking four boundaries and a six, before getting out.
Franklin, himself, also perished on 32, during which he only hit a single boundary, as he tried to increase the run rate to get Mumbai closer to their target.
With continuous strikes, the Pune Warriors, pulled ever closer of stunning the Mumbai Indians on their home ground.
But, Mumbai captain, Harbhajan Singh, put up one last fight, making 16 runs from 15 balls, hitting two boundaries, before he too succumbed to the pressure of the Pune bowlers.
Pune, were quick to clean up the Mumbai tailenders, as they registered an astounding 28 run victory against one of the top competitors in this year’s IPL.
Pace bowler, Ashok Dinda, was responsible for most of the damage done to Mumbai, as he took four wickets, which was well supported by the two wickets from Murali Kartik, and a wicket each by Marlon Samuels, Wayne Parnell and Rahul Sharma.
Mumbai captain, Harbhajan Singh, thought that his team should have easily chased down the target, and said: “We did not rotate the strike in the middle of the innings, we did not get a good start, all credit to Dinda and Kartik. Pune was the better side.”
Pune captain, Sourav Ganguly was ecstatic with the win, but, noted that this was still the early stages of their campaign.
“The pitch was dry, thought it would turn, good batting by Steven Smith. Good start alright, but it is a long tournament, 15 more matches to go,” he said.
With Pune making an emphatic statement against one of the best sides in the tournament, they will be looking to carry the momentum into their next match against the Kings XI Punjab on April 8, while Mumbai, will look to regain their composure when they face the Deccan Chargers on April 9.