Mumbai Indians created history by becoming the first team to win the IPL for a record three times when they beat Rising Pune Supergiant, the team they had lost to thrice earlier in the tournament, by one run in the final in Hyderabad on Sunday night.
MI defended a modest 130-run target on the back of a magnificent bowling effort from Mitchell Johnson who was playing his fifth game of the season, and successfully defended 11 off the last over and finished with a figure of 3/26 to outshine an equally impressive knock from Steve Smith (51). This is also the first time since 2008 that a team finishing first in the points table has lifted the trophy.
On a decent enough surface to bat on, MI batsmen struggled to an extent as they could score just 16 runs in the first five overs, their lowest in that period. After five overs, Mumbai were 16/2. Rohit’s short-yet-entertaining knock was cut short when he holed out to Thakur off Adam Zampa. At 79/7, all doors seemed to be shutting for Mumbai Indians, before Krunal Pandya did the sensible thing to try to stay until the end, which he did.
The big shots finally came out in the last three overs, and he got 13, 10 and an extremely crucial 14 runs in the final three before departing for 47 – with three fours and two sixes – off the last ball of the innings.
MI was desperate for wickets, and it was evident from the fact that Rohit employed six different bowlers to bowl the first six overs and he was not disappointed by Bumrah. Rahane’s dismissal surprisingly gave Mumbai Indians a slice of life. All of a sudden, the bowlers found their length and run-scoring became tight. They were neck to neck by the end of the 15th over – Supergiant were 83 in comparison to MI’s 81.
Mumbai had slowed things down and Malinga, off-colour this season, started bowling those quick yorkers.
Sachin Tendulkar after his game said that maybe Malinga didn’t have a great season but he is an asset for the team and has always proved vital. That one over from him changed the game for the blue army.
” Simply amazing. The first half wasn’t great for us. We got together during the break and Mahela gave a nice speech. We believed that we could pull this off. The fielding was great under pressure. I have always believed in the saying, once a champion, always a champion. He (Malinga) has done well for us for a number of years. I was so sure that he was going to do something great tonight. He might not have had a great season, but he is one guy who can change it in one over.”