Indian Premier League

No stopping the Mumbai Indians juggernaut

Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma stole the thunder from his more famous Chennai Super Kings counterpart Mahendra Singh Dhoni by inspiring his team to an emphatic win in the final of the Pepsi IPL-8 here at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

Rohit, under whom MI turned a new page winning the maiden title at the same venue and against the same opponent in 2013, repeated the feat with a 41-run win to make it a double after the break of one season.

MI rode on some fine batting performance by Lendl Simmons (68) and Rohit himself, who scored a quick-fire 50, to notch up 202 for five in the allotted 20 overs. With its batting unit not quite upto the challenge, Super Kings succumbed almost without a fight and could reach only reach 161 for eight in its quota of 20. The final saw Super Kings failing to extricate itself from the batting doldrums, which seemed to have hit it once it reached the qualifiers and following the departure of the explosive New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum. An ageing Michael Hussey could not repeat his previous innings success. The innings vacillated like a rudderless ship in the absence of someone who could take up the responsibility of leading an aggressive chase.

Dwayne Smith, who was with Mumbai Indians when it last won the title, was the only CSK batsman who could withstand the bowling attack but he scored a somewhat slow 48-ball 57 in a situation where the team needed to score over 10 runs per over right from the start. Suresh Raina (28) and Dhoni (18) made some efforts, but could do little to alter the situation for Super Kings.

Explosive batting

Dhoni’s confidence in his bowlers was undermined by the efficiency of the Mumbai Indians stars like Rohit and Simmons who turned the match on its head with their explosive batting.

Rohit, one of the most accomplished batsmen in the country, showed his mastery in aggression just when the situation merited it most.

Super Kings had a dream start with Nehra looking to begin from where he had left off in his match-winning performance in Qualifier 2 against Royal Challengers Bangalore. A brilliant piece of fielding from Faf du Plessis saw Parthiv Patel departing for a ‘duck’.

As the opener pushed the ball towards mid-on for a quick single, the South African batsman came up with a sharp dive and flicked the ball under-arm in one action even while being off-balanced to hit the bails.

Dhoni’s decision to field after winning the toss backfired as two of Mumbai Indians best batsmen — Rohit and Simmons — taking the bowlers to task. Taking the cue from his captain, Simmons went on the rampage from the second over of Mohit Sharma, which fetched 16 runs. He maintained a high intensity in scoring till the end of the 12th over when the 119-run partnership was broken.

The 68-ball stand saw a glut of boundaries and sixes as the two hardly spared any of the Super Kings bowlers.

Rohit departed immediately after reaching his 50 (26b, 6x4, 2x6) before Simmons (68, 45b, 8x4, 3x6) followed suit in the next ball, the first ball of the 13th over by Dwayne Smith, who was introduced by Dhoni for the first time in the tournament.

Refusing to bow down to the sudden change in situation with fall of successive wickets, Kieron Pollard (36) and Ambati Rayudu (36 not out) shared a 71-run partnership for the fourth wicket to help Mumbai Indians reach the second highest total of 202 in the IPL finals.

CSK still has the highest (205) which it had scored when lifting the title last time by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore at home in 2011.

“It was all about how we stayed together in tough times (when MI lost four matches in a row) and is the result of how we executed our plans well.

“So, it is not about how you start, it is about how you finish,” said the Mumbai Indians icon, the legendary Sachin Tendulkar.

IANS adds

Andre Russell wins most valuable player award

Following is the list of prizes awarded at the Indian Premier League presentation ceremony after the final at the Eden Gardens here.

Champions Mumbai Indians — Rs 15 crore.

Runners up Chennai Super Kings — Rs 10 crore.

Third Royal Challengers Bangalore — Rs 7.5 crore.

Fourth Rajasthan Royals — Rs 7.5 crore.

Fairplay tropyhy — Chennai Super Kings

Fastest fifty award — Andre Russell.

Maximum sixes award — Chris Gayle.

Orange Cap (maximum runs) — David Warner.

Purple Cap (maximum wickets) — Dwayne Bravo.

Most valuable player — Andre Russell

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Printable version | Oct 28, 2021 7:20:05 AM |

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