Mumbai Indians gave a fitting farewell to Sachin Tendulkar’s T20 career by notching up a comprehensive 33-run victory over Rajasthan Royals to clinch the Champions League Twenty20 title in New Delhi.
This is the second CLT20 title for the IPL-6 winners,having won the 2011 edition.
Chasing a massive 203-run target,Royals folded for 169 even after a fabulous start that saw them scoring 100 runs in nine overs.
Tendulkar and Royals skipper Rahul Dravid,both of whom having announced quitting the T20 game after Sunday’s match,were out for low scores.
Despite openers Ajinkya Rahane (65) and Sanju Samson (60) chipping in with quickfire half-centuries,Mumbai Indians bowlers came up with impressive bowling performance towards the fag end of their innings to have the last laugh.
India discard Harbhajan Singh finished with impressive 4-0-32-4 with three wickets coming in just one over,which proved to be the turning point of the match. Kieron Pollard chipped in with three wickets for 31.
From 155 for three in 16 overs,the Royals collapsed dramatically to lose as many as six wickets for just 14 runs.
Earlier,Mumbai Indians batsmen fired in unison to post 202 for six.
After a solid start by opener Dwayne Smith (44) and a valuable 33 off 14 balls by skipper Rohit Sharma in the middle,Glenn Maxwell’s 14-ball 37 cameo in the end took the IPL champions past 200-run mark.
This was the highest total for the Mumbai Indians,who scored 142 runs in their last 10 overs,in the Champions League Twenty20.
The Royals made their intentions clear from the very beginning.
Dravid took a more logical stance by not coming to bat in the top order,which has been his usual position in T20,in what was an emotional farewell for him in competitive cricket.
But the move,unfortunately,did not pay expected dividends in the end.
Having begun by hitting two fours in the very first over of their innings,opener Kusal Perera perished for eight.
But Rahane and Samson took off from the word go with the latter being the more dominating of the two. The two put on a solid 109-run stand for the second wicket in just 67 balls.
Samson chose Harbhajan for special treatment,extracting 16 runs from his over and set the ball rolling. He and Rahane stole another 14 runs in the next over.
Samson was unstoppable as he hit Nathan Coulter-Nile for 17 runs to enable Royals register their fifty off just 4.3 overs. The duo went on punishing the bowlers for anything short and the hundred came in the ninth over.
There was a golden chance to claim Samson’s wicket when he was on 53 but Glenn Maxwell dropping off Coulter-Nile’s bowling.
Pragyan Ojha gave Mumbai Indians the breakthrough,taking the wicket of Samson with Harbhajan taking a good catch at the short third man. Samson departed for a 33-ball 66,studded with four fours and an equal number of sixes.
Rahane,meanwhile,continued to go for his shots with Shane Watson at the other end. But Watson’s departure resulted in run-rate beginning to dip.
Even as Rahane and Binny tried hitting at every ball,pressure got the better of them and Harbhajan saw off Rahane with Smith taking a simple catch at the boundary before bowling out Binny for 10.
Surprisingly Dravid,who came at eighth position in the batting order,got out for just one.
Thereafter,it was just a matter of time before the Royals innings folded in 18.5 overs.
Earlier,it was a team effort by Mumbai batsmen. Besides other important partnerships Maxwell,whose knock included adding 41 runs for the sixth wicket with Dinesh Karthik (15 not out) in 2.2 overs towards the fag end.
For the Royals,Pravin Tambe was the only impressive bowler with figures of 4-0-19-2.
Put in to bat by Rajasthan Royals,the in-form opener Smith gave Mumbai Indians a perfect start,hitting a six over deep mid-wicket in the third ball of the very first over to set the tone.
The other opener,Tendulkar,who is playing his final Twenty20 match,took an over to get settled down before he opened up. He started off with a four in James Faulkner’s over,a perfectly timed cover drive.
The 40-year-old right handed batsman then followed it up with two successive boundaries in the first two deliveries off Shane Watson’s over before the ball crashed into his off-stump to cut short his innings that saw him score a 13-ball 15,including three hits to the fence.
Even as the senior batsman walked back into the pavilion in coloured cloths for one last time,his teammates and the full house crowd at the Feroze Shah Kotla here gave him a standing ovation.
Tendulkar’s departure slowed down the rhythm a bit with Ambati Rayudu adopting a cautious approach,relying mostly on singles and twos. Despite that Mumbai Indians managed to bring up their fifty in 6.5 overs,maintaining a decent run rate.
The 41-year-old leg-spinner Tambe,who has emerged as the surprise package of Champion League T20,managed to put breaks in the MI scoring.
The boundaries suddenly dried up and Mumbai crawled to 60 at the half-way stage. After hitting a boundary in the fifth over,they failed to score any more four in the next five overs. They scored just nine runs from three overs.
But once Shane Watson came back for his second spell,Smith chose to launch his attack again,smashing three boundaries all around the park in his first three balls of the over to steal 15 runs.
Tambe,however,bowled Watson out in the very next over for a well-made 44 off 39 balls with the help of five fours and a six.
Rayudu continued in the able company of Rohit,who continued to display his fine form after joining his partner in the middle. Both the batsmen picked up the momentum yet again.
In Stuart Binny’s over,the duo snatched 16 runs,hitting two fours and a six to release the pressure. Mumbai’s 100 came in 13.1 overs when Rayudu hit a four off Tambe,lofting it over the bowler’s head.
But Tambe,who is having a dream run in this competition,saw him off with the third ball of the same over. Rayudu scored a 24-ball 29,studded with four hits to the fence.
Hard-hitting Kieron Pollard,who joined Rohit,wasted no time and the two batsmen straightaway got down to business.
Firing on all cylinders,the duo scored 15 runs in Rahul Shukla’s over before punishing Cooper for 20 runs,as both Pollard and Rohit hit a six each in his over.
It was Faulkner,who got the leg stumps of dangerman Pollard to get him out.
Glenn Maxwell,who replaced Mitchell Johnson in this game,began with a four and a six and then topped it up with 20 runs in Shukla’s over.
Despite Rohit departing in the first ball of Shukla’s over,Maxwell hit him for two sixes and a four. He,along with Karthik,then kept on punishing the bowlers to take MI to a huge total.
While Rohit hit three fours and two sixes,Maxwell chipped in with four boundaries and two sixes.