In a match befitting a tournament final, the Mumbai Indians defeated the Chennai Super Kings by the slimmest of margins – by 1 run – to be crowned champions of VIVO IPL 2019. In the Final played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium on Sunday, the Mumbai Indians posted a below-par 149-8 batting first, and then restricted the Super Kings to 148-7. Lasith Malinga had two runs to defend off the final delivery; after a miserable day in the field, he landed a perfectly-disguised slower delivery to dismiss Shardul Thakur LBW.
There was a pattern to how both innings unfolded; both teams got off to brisk starts,but lost wickets in a heap and therefore lost their way in the middle period. Kieron Pollard helped MI finish on a high, whileShane Watson played a scintillating knock that nearly took CSK across the line.
At the start of the chase, Faf du Plessis dominated the opening partnership – just like he’d done in Qualifier 2; CSK’s opening pair added 33 in four overs, of which du Plessis’ contribution was 26. Watson and Suresh Raina added 37 runs for the second wicket and helped CSK consolidate, but losing three wickets for 12 runs set themback.
It was at this point that Watson took matters into his own hands. The Australian launched into Lasith Malinga and Krunal Pandya, andput his team in the driver’s seat; but his run out – with two balls remaining in the innings – gave the Mumbai Indians the opening they needed. MI gladly took that opportunity and sealed the match.
For MI, JaspritBumrah (2-14) was sensational with the ball, while Rahul Chahar (who dismissed Suresh Raina to trigger a middle-overs collapse) was economical. Mitchell McClenaghan bowled with plenty of fire, butdidn’t have any wicket to show for his good work with the ball. Krunal Pandya and Malinga picked up a wicket each.
Earlier in the evening, after opting to bat first, the Mumbai Indians openers began cautiously – scoring just two singles off the first over – before they turned the heat on. Captain Rohit Sharma was the first to tee off when he deposited a short delivery from Shardul Thakur into the stands at square-leg. In the third over, Quinton de Kock joined in, hitting Deepak Chahar for three sixes. The runs continued to flow for MI as Rohit collected a boundary off Harbhajan Singh in the fourth over and de Kock collected a six off Thakur in the fifth over. But in a sudden turn of events, MI lost both openers in the space of four deliveries.
The MI innings had derailed, and the rebuilding job was done by Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, who added 37 runs at run-a-ball. And then again, a second collapse meant MI had no momentum heading into the backend of the innings.
Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya added 39 runs in quick time before the latter was trapped in front of the stumps. It was then left to birthday boy Pollard to take MI to a respectable total; the Trinidadian made 41 not out – the top score of the innings. MI finished their twenty overs at 149-8.
The Super Kings pulled things back spectacularly after being taken to the cleaners early on; after conceding 45 in the first 4.4 overs – at 9.64, they only conceded 104 in the remaining 15.2 overs at 6.78 runs per over. Deepak Chahar was the most successful bowler, returning figures of 3-26, while Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir picked up two wickets each.
Standout Batting Performance
Kieron Pollard came out to bat after MI had slipped to 89-4 in the thirteenth over; the Trinidadian didn’t take too many risks early on and waited for the loose ball to come his way. His first opportunity came in the fifteenth over when Imran Tahir didn’t land, and Pollard duly sent it on its way into the sight-screen. Tahir was at the receiving end again in the seventeenth – this time a half-tracker was sent into orbit. Pollard’s third and final six of the night was a pull off a short delivery from Thakur in the eighteenth. Despite keeping strike for the whole of the last over, Pollard could only collect two boundaries – off the final two balls of the innings, to finish 41 not out; his 25-ball knock contained three boundaries and as many sixes.
Shane Watson appears to save his best for the final. Following his match-winning century in the 2018 Final, the Australian once again produced a scintillating knock. Watson’s knock waswell-constructed; he was 42 from 42 balls at the start of the sixteenth over, at which point he stepped on the accelerator. He first got stuck into Malinga – who repeatedly kept bowling full and wide, and Watson was only too happy to collect boundaries through thirdman and point. In the eighteenth over, he got stuck into Krunal Pandya and hit him for three consecutive sixes – over cover, down the ground and over midwicket. Watson had nearly pulled off the chase for CSK; when 5 were needed from the last three balls, he squeezed a wide yorker, completed one run easily, but following a misunderstanding with Ravindra Jadeja set off late for the second run, that led to his run out. Watson hit eight boundaries and four sixes in his 59-ball 80.
Standout Bowling Performance
Jasprit Bumrah, who bowled his four overs in three spells, was the standout bowler in the match. The MI pacer’s match figures read 4-0-14-2. On a pitch which was hard and flat, on which batsmen could trust the bounce, Bumrah bowled the hard lengths and clocked good speeds regularly to keep the CSK batsmen in check; more than 90% of his deliveries were back of a length, and his average speed in the match read 141.7kph. The 25-year old bowled 13 dot balls and did not concede a single boundary in his spell.
Earlier, Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur returned combined figures of 8-1-63-5 for CSK. Both bowlers took some hit early on, but came back strongly to put their team in a good position.
Chahar, who had conceded 22 in his first two overs, finished with excellent figures of 3 for 26. Brought back into the attack to bowl the sixth over, he deceived Rohit Sharma, who edged a knuckle ball to the wicket-keeper, andcompleted the over without conceding a run. He came on to bowl the 19th over and picked up two wickets; he trapped Hardik Pandya in front of leg-stump with a full-length inswinger, and then had his cousin Rahul Chahar caught at mid-off.
Thakur (4-0-37-2) provided CSK with their first breakthrough when he landed a quick bouncer, which de Kock attempted to pull, but only managed to glove it to Dhoni behind the stumps. Thakur’s next wicket was that of Krunal Pandya, who was beaten for pace attempting to play a pull shot; the bowler called for the catch, ran several yards in his follow through and completed an excellent catch. Thakur had figures of 2 for 21 after three overs, before two Pollard sixes and four singles in his final over ruined his figures.
Mumbai Indians: 149-8 (Kieron Pollard 41*, Deepak Chahar 3-26) defeated
Chennai Super Kings: 148-7(Shane Watson 80, JaspritBumrah 2-14) by 1 run.
Player of the Final
Jasprit Bumrah, for his spell of 4-0-14-2.
Orange Cap: David Warner
Purple Cap: Imran Tahir
Most Valuable Player: Andre Russell
Emerging Player: Shubman Gill