IPL Finals: Mumbai Indians lift trophy in a last ball thriller

The final ball was a heart-wrenching affair and so was the final over. The match, however, seemed pretty one-sided from the beginning to the commencement of the very last over.

 PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak
PTI Photo by Shailendra Bhojak

Vikrant Jha

Last ball of the 10th edition of the Indian Premiere League (IPL) and just four required for Pune to win. Veteran Australian pacer Mitchell Johnson runs in from around the wicket, balls it on the pads of his fellow countryman, Dan Christian. Christian’s inside edge finds Jagdish Suchith who fumbles it in the deep and batsmen try to sneak in a three to push the match into super-overs, Parthiv Patel receives the throw from Suchith and unsettles the timber, and in that fashion, Mumbai Indians (MI) lift their third trophy by a virtue of one run and become the first ever team to do so.

After being hit for a boundary of the first ball of the ultimate over, Johnson returned to his prime picking up Manoj Tiwary and Steve Smith of consecutive deliveries. With 7 needed of the last three, Pune batsmen sneaked in a Bye. Dan Christian could just manage to sneak a brace of the final two deliveries and Mumbai emerged victorious by a virtue of just one run.

The final ball was a heart-wrenching affair and so was the final over. The match, however, seemed pretty one-sided from the beginning to the commencement of the very last over. Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS), except for the toss, controlled the proceedings of the match as soon as they took the field for Mumbai to bat first. They looked confident from the word go as they had bettered their opponents thrice this season before the final encounter.

The confidence paid off when Jaydev Unadkat removed Parthiv Patel of the first ball of the third over and, just three balls later, he picked up a spectacular catch to get rid of Lendl Simmons. Ambati Rayudu’s poor call for a single, coupled with a brilliant direct hit from Steve Smith, accounted for Mumbai’s third before Skipper Rohit Sharma and Krunal Pandya started the rebuilding work.

Rohit Sharma, before throwing his wicket away, scored 24 runs while Krunal Pandya used the opportunity to bat till the end and helped his team put up a respectable total of 129 with his well-paced inning of 47 from just 38 balls.

Pune, too, lost its first wicket in the third over off the chase as the umpire misread the height of the ball in a LBW decision which forced young Rahul Tripathi to be Jasprit Bumrah’s first scalp of the day. Captain Steve Smith joined Ajinkya Rahane, who was dropped in the fourth over by Krunal Pandya off Lasith Malinga, and added 54 runs together for the third wicket. Rahane’s fall of wicket, however, shifted the direction of the match as the new man, MS Dhoni and skipper Smith found it difficult to find the timing at the fag end of the match where the pitch had slowed down to its worse.

Smith’s men still looked to be the favourites only for the legendary Lasith Malinga to unleash his almost forgotten death-over magic in the 17th over, just after Jasprit Bumrah had yet again marked the arrival of a legacy with a three-run 17th where he also dismissed finisher Dhoni.

Malinga conceded just seven and gave his team 22 to defend of the last two. Bumrah delivered another master class to give away just 12 of the penultimate over. Johnson finished the game with his best performance of the season, where he featured in the playing XI just thrice.

Mumbai Indians, with their third trophy, are now the most successful team ever in the IPL. Rohit Sharma, too, has proven himself as a legendary IPL Captain as he has led Mumbai to the glory on all three occasions. Rohit, in total, has featured in four IPL finals and has finished on the winning side all four times. MS Dhoni, on the other hand, has featured in seven IPL finals and his teams, however, have managed to cross the line just twice.

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Published: 22 May 2017, 12:02 PM