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IPL 6: Mumbai Indians crowned new IPL champions

The night belonged to Mumbai Indians as the Rohit Sharma-led outfit outclassed Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs to be crowned the new IPL champions.  

Mumbai Indians were clearly the better side despite not the best of starts as they completely demolished the Super Kings at Kolkata's Eden Gardens on Sunday night.

Chennai, who are mired in spot-fixing controversy after the arrest of owner N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, had a disastrous start to their innings, losing two wickets in the very first over. Lasith Malinga claimed the wickets of Orange Cap holder Mike Hussey and Suresh Raina. It was clear the Gods favoured Mumbai on the day with Chennai losing two more quick wickets to be doddering on 35 for four. From there it was a trek to the inevitable.

Harbhajan, Malinga

Lasith Malinga (left) and Harbhajan Singh celebrate the fall of a CSK wicket. Pic/AFP

Meanwhile, batting legend Sachin Tendulkar announced his retirement from tournament. He said, after the match, "This is my last IPL, and this is a perfect way to end IPL."

The summit clash was almost over when chasing 148, Chennai Super Kings' innings crumbled at the start and it was only CSK skipper MS Dhoni who delayed the unavoidable end.

This was Chennai Super Kings' fifth time in the IPL finals. They have won two and been the runners-up twice now.

Skipper Dhoni has now lost back-to-back IPL finals despite being the lone man standing in the end with an unbeaten 63.

As soon as the last delivery was bowled by Pollard, senior pros Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting along with Team Mentor Anil Kumble rushed to the ground.

Just like 2011 World Cup final, Tendulkar did a lap of honour with the teammates like Harbhajan carrying him on their shoulders.

Malinga (2/22) and Mitchell Johnson (2/19) set the tone before Harbhajan Singh (2/14) joined in the act as it was a rare batting disaster for the IPL heavyweights who featured in four straight, five overall, finals.

Four of their batsmen including Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja got out for noughts while tournament top-scorer Michael Hussey (1) was dismissed first-up by a perfect Malinga toe-crusher to set the tone.

With the team reeling at 57 for seven after 11th over, there was no chance for the 'Men in Canary Yellow' to make a comeback although Dhoni did try his best.

For Mumbai Indians, Eden Gardens remained a happy hunting ground with six wins from seven outings this season as it Rohit Sharma and Co.

Down with a wrist injury, Tendulkar however celebrated every moment of their triumph as the trophy was like a 'farewell gift' for the 40-year-old.

Mumbai Indians earned a prize purse of Rs 10 crore, while runners-up Chennai Super Kings were awarded Rs 7.5 crore in the Rs 25 crore prize money tournament.  

Earlier, Pollard stood tall among the ruins with an unbeaten half-century to help Mumbai Indians post a 148 for nine. Pollard hit two huge sixes over long on and long off to end the proceedings as he smashed a 32-ball 60 not out studded with seven fours and three over-boundaries to push MI's total close to 150.

It was a good toss to lose for Dhoni as his seamer duo of Mohit Sharma (1/26) and Albie Morkel (2/12) gave them a dream start rocking Mumbai Indians for 16/3 in the fourth over.

Kieron Pollard, MS Dhoni
Kieron Pollard plays a shot on the off-side during his match-winning 32-ball 60. Pic/AFP

Later, it was Dwyane Bravo who earned the 'Orange Cap' in style with his four-wicket blitz that rattled the Mumbai Indians batting.

The two-time defending champions played to their reputation as the Dhoni's men played without being affected by the controversy and the script just went their way at a jam-packed Eden Gardens.

The embattled Super Kings could not have asked for a better start with season's 'find' Mohit dismissing Dwayne Smith (4) in the first over.

The dangerman Smith was trapped right in front when an in-cutter had him plumb in the fourth ball. The young Mohit almost had another in the same over when Dinesh Karthik had an outside edge, this time off an away swinger, but it was a little wide of Ravichandran Ashwin, the lone slip fielder.

Aditya Tare's (0) stint lasted for one ball ball with Morkel rattling the youngster's leg-stump in the first ball, and came back in the next over to dismiss Rohit Sharma (2) in a soft manner as the Mumbai skipper's woeful run continued with the bat.

The young Mohit justified the faith on him as he kept things tight on one end running through his full quota with 1/26 but it was an otherwise silent Morkel who roared back to form.

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