IPL 2017: How Mumbai Indians became three time champions
After having lost thrice in succession, Mumbai Indians (MI) battled all odds to beat Rising Pune Supergiant by one run in a nail-biting encounter to bag their third IPL crown at Uppal
Mumbai Indians' pacer Jasprit Bumrah celebrates after dismissing Rising Pune Supergiant's MS Dhoni in the IPL-10 final at Uppal, Hyderabad yesterday. Pic/PTI
After having lost thrice in succession, Mumbai Indians (MI) battled all odds to beat Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) by one run in a nail-biting encounter to bag their third IPL crown at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here yesterday.
Krunal Pandya steers one during his 47 off 38 balls. Pics/PTI,AFP
With just 129 to defend, MI bowlers restricted Pune to 128 for 6 after Steven Smith & Co looked like coasting along nicely at one stage.
It was death-over specialist Jasprit Bumrah who again rose to the occasion and dismissed dangerman MS Dhoni when Pune needed 32 runs from 23 balls with eight wickets in hand to turn things around.
Pune's Adam Zampa celebrates the wicket of MI's Keiron Pollard
After that, Lasith Malinga and Bumrah bowled two more tight overs to leave Pune needing 11 runs in the last six balls. Mitchell Johnson went for a four off the first ball of the final over, but picked the wickets of Manoj Tiwary and Steven Smith in two balls to infuse more drama into the proceedings. With four to get from the last ball, Daniel Christian and Washington Sundar could manage to run just two as Pune fell short by one run despite Smith's fighting 51 from 50 balls with two fours and two sixes.
Pune skipper Steven Smith hugs MS Dhoni after Pollard's wicket
The wicket was not easy to play strokes but with just 130 to get for a win, all Pune needed to do was play percentage cricket, and that's what they did. So despite losing Rahul Tripathi early to a dubious umpiring call, Pune skipper Smith and Ajinkya Rahane kept the team on the chase. Perhaps the scenario would have been different had Krunal Pandya latched on to that easy chance from Rahane in Lasith Malinga's first over when the batsman was on 14.
MI skipper Rohit Sharma in one of those many tense moments
But they added 54 runs in 56 balls instead and after Rahane (44 off 38 balls with five boundaries) departed, caught by Kieron Pollard in the deep, MS Dhoni, walked in to the loudest cheers from the crowd, and looked like finishing the job till Bumrah came in the way. Earlier, Krunal must have played one of the most important knocks in his IPL career so far. His 38-ball 47, with three fours and two sixes, and his 50-run partnership with Johnson off 35 deliveries gave MI something to bowl at. Because except that one over from Lockie Ferguson, when MI skipper Rohit Sharma picked four boundaries, they never really got going.
There is no stopping Jaydev Unadkat in this IPL and once again he gave Pune the kind of start they wanted. He picked two wickets in his firs two overs giving away just five runs to push MI on the backfoot. Unadkat didn't give any width and Parthiv, who had accumulated most of his runs in this IPL with the cut and pull shot, played a poor pull shot this time and the ball ballooned to mid-on for an easy take. Unadkat's catch off his own bowling to dismiss Lendl Simmons may go down as one of the best catches in IPL history. For a six feet plus fast bowler, to dive so low and take the catch was not easy.
Then came that excellent direct-hit run out of Ambati Rayudu by Smith from mid-off and MI was fighting with their backs to the wall. Aussie leggie Adam Zampa then accounted for two of MI's most dangerous and important batsmen — Rohit and Pollard — in the space of five deliveries to wipe away any hope of a fightback. And once MI lost Hardik Pandya, trapped in front by Christian, and Karn Sha rma was run out, it became pretty evident that Pune won't have to chase much for a win. What followed was a completely different story in the end.
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