Harbhajan spins it Mumbai Indians’ way


Sachin Tendulkar ended his limited-overs career with a glittering trophy in hand as Mumbai Indians defeated Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs in the final to claim its second Champions League T20 crown, at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday night.

After Chennai Super Kings’s feat in 2010, Mumbai became the second team to win the IPL and CLT20 titles in the same year.

Asked to bat first, Mumbai set an imposing target of 203 and banked on Harbhajan Singh’s four-wicket haul to stop Rajasthan at 169.

Sachin Tendulkar’s last innings in coloured clothing, though short-lived, underlined the oft-repeated cliche about the permanency of class. Three well-placed boundaries from the maestro’s blade cheered up the packed stadium. He glanced and drove Shane Watson to fine leg and cover for consecutive fours before having his off-stump being uprooted spectacularly in the next delivery.

Opener Dwayne Smith again took up the responsibility of setting the platform for Mumbai. He played sensibly, punishing the lose deliveries and showing respect to the good ones.

Kevon Cooper and Pravin Tambe bowled tidy lines to deny Mumbai a boundary for five overs before Smith broke the shackles, hitting Watson for three fours on the trot.

Pravin Tambe got rid of Smith and Ambati Rayudu in successive overs to surpass Sunil Narine as the most successful bowler of the tournament with 12 scalps.

Rohit Sharma struck three fours and two huge sixes in his 14-ball 33. Glenn Maxwell provided further fillip to the Mumbai innings with 37 from just 14 balls.

Maxwell’s late thrust helped Mumbai cross the 200-mark.

Faced with a mammoth task, Rajasthan batsmen took the challenge head on. The early loss of Kushal Perera, the replacement for an injured Brad Hodge, had no impact on Rajasthan’s progress.

Sanju Viswanadh had the Mumbai camp worried with some destructive batting. The youngster maintained his composure and rode his fabulous timing to blast the Mumbai bowlers all over the ground, for four fours and an equal number of sixes in his quickfire 60.

Ajinkya Rahane, who scored his fourth fifty in a row, and Sanju enjoyed their time out in the middle as Rajasthan made the most of the first six PowerPlay overs collecting 71 runs.

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma ran out of ideas, as he used six of his bowlers by the seventh over and posted five of his fielders at the ropes.

Pragyan Ojha broke the second-wicket stand in the 12th over when Harbhajan caught Sanju at short third man.

A little later, Harbhajan came up with a three-wicket burst — Rahane (65), Stuart Binny (10) and Cooper (4) — in the 17th over to effectively end the contest.

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Printable version | May 26, 2017 8:18:07 PM |