Mumbai Indians Win Their Fourth IPL Title Degeating Chennai Super King On The Last Ball


New Delhi: Through twists and turns befitting the plot of a bestseller, the Indian Premier League final was decided off the last ball with spectators holding onto the edge of their seats and players chewing off their fingernails. Lasith Malinga turned hero from villain after conceding 20 runs in his previous over, trapping Shardul Thakur leg-before when Chennai Super Kings needed two runs of the last ball.

Shane Watson opened Chennai’s batting, stood like a rock when wickets kept falling and tore into the Mumbai’s bowling later, only to miss two balls in the end. Mumbai Indians turned the table in those two deliveries. With Jasprit Bumrah operating in tandem with Malinga, Mumbai held their nerve better but this was more a victory of cricket as an entertainer, and of the belief that experience always matters.

Two stats loomed big before the final. Twice in their three previous victories had Mumbai Indians batted first after winning the toss. And this season, they had won four out of the five times Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma had stayed unbeaten in the Powerplay. Sharma, more a boardroom strategist, didn’t hesitate to bat. Dhoni was only happy to play along, knowing well fielding wasn’t their strength.

Restricting Mumbai Indians to 149 therefore, was more than what Dhoni could have asked for. Kieron Pollard applied the touch up as expected, with a 25-ball 41 but this was an innings where Mumbai were never going ballistic from both ends as they lost wickets at regular intervals. Quinton de Kock walloped Chahar for three sixes but Sharma departed three deliveries after Shardul Thakur broke the opening partnership. Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan couldn’t convert their promising starts.

In good form throughout the tournament, Hardik Pandya couldn’t stay on till the end, leaving Pollard to do whatever he could to push Mumbai’s case. Chennai started like Mumbai. Faced with two openers who preferred to grind out, Mumbai Indians looked lost, conceding overthrows when every run required steadfast defence.


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