Mumbai Indians lift IPL trophy by one run

Wednesday 15th May 2019 06:59 EDT

Mumbai Indians lifted the IPL trophy for the fourth time by defeating Chennai Super Kings by one run in the final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad – a second such finish for them – they had defeated Pune Warriors by the same margin in 2017. In Chennai, Mumbai had an opposition that’s weathered many a storm, but in not refusing to give up or give in, Mumbai are now in a league of their own.

As is their wont, Chennai turned the contest into a gripping finale and Rahul Chahar nearly cost them the game when he reprieved Shane Watson with the opener going great guns on 55. The Aussie smashed two overs for 20 runs each off Lasith Malinga (16th) and Krunal Pandya (18th) to negate all the good work Rahul Chahar had done by restricting Chennai to 72 for two at the halfway stage - they eventually had to rest content with 148/7.

When Watson finally fell with two deliveries to go for 80 (59b, 8x4, 6x4), Chennai still needed four. His 51-run partnership with Dwayne Bravo was not enough to see CSK cross the line with Lasith Malinga sounding the death knell by denying two runs off the last ball.

The start was just as exciting as the finish after the Mumbai skipper had no hesitation to bat first. But if Mumbai’s 149 for eight was not a big total, Chennai had not reckoned with Mumbai’s bowling arsenal that slowly tilted the scales in their favour by choking runs in the middle.

Faf du Plessis was the initial aggressor, while Shane Watson took his time, but with Suresh Raina running out of luck, Ambati Rayudu coming a cropper and skipper MS Dhoni run-out going for a second on an overthrow, Mumbai cleverly wrested the initiative through Chahar’s excellent returns of one for 14, which included 13 dot balls and just one boundary.

Du Plessis hit Krunal Pandya for two fours and a six in the fourth over. However, Du Plessis gave away his wicket in the same over which ended his 26 run inning off just 13 balls. After the fall of Dhoni, Raina and Rayudu, Dwayne Bravo joined Watson. Jasprit Bumrah provided his side with some relief as he got hold of Bravo (15) and ended his 51-run stand with Watson. Ravindra Jadeja then took the field but Bumrah continued to bowl a superb spell but because of De Kock's mistake, Chennai got four runs added to their scoreboard as he let go the ball after Jadeja missed the shot. In the last over, Shane Watson got run out which ended his impeccable knock of 80 runs off 59 balls. Shardul Thakur then came out to bat and smashed the ball for two which brought the game to a point where Chennai needed two runs off just one delivery.

But Malinga, who was the most expensive bowler from Mumbai's side as he conceded 49 runs, got the wicket of Shardul Thakur which handed over Mumbai their fourth IPL title. Earlier, Mumbai Indians, who opted to bat first after winning the toss, had a decent start as the openers, Quinton de Kock and skipper Rohit Sharma, played steadily. De Kock came out furiously on Deepak Chahar in the third over as he hammered him three sixes owing to which, Chahar conceded 20 runs in the over.

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