Mumbai Indians clinch a thriller to win third IPL title
By Krunal Gandhi, MyCricketHighlights Cricket Writer
Final: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, May 21 - 2017, Cricket Highlights
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As a spectator, one expects any match - whether it may be ODI, T20, or Test - to be a thrilling contest and if that match is a final, the expectations are even higher. So when the top two teams in the tournament collided on Sunday, the Hyderabad crowd and millions watching around the world eagerly anticipated the IPL final, between Mumbai Indians and Rising Pune Supergiant, to be a nail-biter one. And the players from both the sides ensured that the fans weren't disappointed a bit, as they were involved in a humdinger of a contest.
Mumbai Indians won the all-important toss and elected to bat first. However, their start was not as the expected as they lost both their openers in the third over. It was Jaydev Unadkat, who first got rid of Parthiv Patel and then took a brilliant caught and bowled to dismiss Lendl Simmons. The other bowlers also bowled really well as they didn't allow the Mumbai batsmen to free their arms and score easy boundaries. As a result of this, the batting side could only score 16 runs in the first 5 overs.
In the last over of the powerplay, Rohit Sharma was finally able to get some boundaries flowing as he struck four of them on the bowling of Lockie Ferguson. The partnership between him and Rayadu seemed to be working well for MI, but a direct hit from Steven Smith brought an abrupt end to the 33-run stand. Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard soon followed Rayadu and it was Adam Zampa, who accounted for both the wickets. The dismissal of Pollard was a well-thought out plan between bowler, the skipper and MSD. After all, it was him who introduced such a fielding position (very straight fielder down the boundary line) when he was captaining CSK.
The troubles of MI multiplied after a few overs time, as they lost two more wickets - that of Hardik Pandya and Karn Sharma - and were now reeling at 79/7. At this stage, the RPS had a great chance to bowl the opposition out, but a certain Krunal Pandya was in no mood to give up the battle that easily. He along with Mitchell Johnson strung a valuable partnership of 50 odd runs to help their team reach a somewhat respectable total of 129. The manner in which Krunal paced his innings was wonderful to see. He wanted to bat till the last over and by scoring a 38-ball 47, he succeeded in the task.
The target was certainly an easy one, but with the pitch behaving abnormally and the pressure of the final, it was by no means going to be a walk in the park for the Pune batsmen. Likewise MI, the start of RPS was also shaky as they lost Rahul Tripathi in the third over of the innings. But after that, there was hardly any success for the Mumbai bowlers till the 11th over, as the pair of AjinkyaRahane and Steven Smith stitched a 54-run partnership to take their team halfway through the target.
Rahane's fine knock of 44 was ended by Mitchell Johnson; however, the credit of the wicket should go to Pollard who took a brilliant catch diving forward. His wicket helped the MI bowlers to string a couple of tight overs together and slow down the scoring rate. In the next two overs, Steven Smith and MS Dhoni were able to score only 6 runs, which increased the pressure and also the asking rate going into the last 5 overs.
Krunal Pandya was brought to bowl his final over and the Pune pair capitalised on the opportunity as they scored 14 runs off his over. With 33 runs required off the last 4 overs, RPS had the upper hand up until this point. However, things changed quickly as in the very next over, Jasprit Bumrah got MSD caught behind and provided his team with an important breakthrough.
Lasith Malinga followed it up with another excellent over and conceded just 7 runs, which made the job even tougher for Smith and Co.
23 runs were required off 12 balls and it was Jasprit Bumrah, who was entrusted with the responsibility of bowling the penultimate over. He bowled 4 excellent deliveries and conceded only singles off them, but missed the yorker on one instance, which allowed Smith to swing his bat and hit a straight six down the ground. This changed the equation once again in RPS favour, as they now required 11 runs to get off the final over.
ManojTiwary started off the over with a bang as he struck a boundary on the very first ball. 7 from 5 and the Supergiant were the firm favourites to clinch the title. But there was still one last twist left in the tale. The next two deliveries from Mitchell Johnson changed the course of the match as he didn't only bowl dot deliveries, but also got both, Tiwary and Smith, back into the pavilion. The wicket of Smith was a massive, massive one and once he was dismissed, the game just took a U-turn.
Only 3 runs came off the next two balls, which meant Daniel Christian had to strike a boundary to get his team over the finishing line. He failed in doing so and could only score 2 runs off the last ball, as a result of which, the Mumbai Indians won the match by one run.
The match was certainly worthy of a finale and although it was a low-scoring contest, it was not short on the excitement meter. There was drama till the last ball was bowled and both the teams had an even chance of winning the championship.
Rising Pune Supergiants
- Ajinkya Rahane
- Rahul Tripathi
- Steven Smith (c)
- Manoj Tiwary
- MS Dhoni (wk)
- Daniel Christian
- Washington Sundar
- Lockie Ferguson
- Shardul Thakur
- Jaydev Unadkat
- Adam Zampa
- Lendl Simmons
- Parthiv Patel (wk)
- Ambati Rayudu
- Rohit Sharma (c)
- Krunal Pandya
- Kieron Pollard
- Hardik Pandya
- Karn Sharma
- Mitchell Johnson
- Jasprit Bumrah
- Lasith Malinga