60 matches and it all came down to the very last ball! Such was the final of the tenth edition of the IPL as the two sides simply battled it out at Hyderabad. At the end of the day, however, it was the Mumbai Indians who held their nerves in a nerve wrecking final. Scoring just 128 on board, thanks mainly to a gutsy knock from Krunal Pandya who gave the bowlers something to defend.
The chase, however, brought up some simply baffling tactics to the fore as the Rising Pune Supergiant top order struggled to get going and Steven Smith especially got stuck in and that just added to the scoreboard pressure. With 23 needed off two overs and eventually 11 runs off the last one over, the veteran Mitchell Johnson, who bid adieu to international cricket two years ago, was given the responsibility of bowling the final over. Johnson sealed the game up in style as Mumbai just got home by a solitary run, to clinch their third title.
Skipper Rohit Sharma was relieved after the final, and he mentioned having the belief to win, as a crucial factor.
“I was quite nervous, to be honest, but the guys pulled off a great game,” said Rohit. “To defend 130 was a great effort. I am very happy. We never needed to change our plan. If you take one wicket, two, three could come. We discussed that. We bowled great variations. A lot of credit to the bowling unit.”
“When you have bowlers like Bumrah and Malinga in the side, the belief is always there. Our spinners too, throughout the season, have been bowling well. This final will be special for me because of the way the team fought. Hats off to all the guys,” said Rohit.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya was the Man of the Match, and he opened up on his game plan for the big day.
“I really feel great that I contributed in two big games. Wickets fell at the other end when I was batting. So I wanted to bat deep because the pitch was slow. It’s how you prepare before the start of the tournament. It feels great to be Man of the Match in my first IPL final. I have to give a lot of credit to Nitin Patel for getting me fit in time for the playoffs,” said Pandya.