May 26, 2013 7:11:32 pm
Mumbai Indians finally annexed their maiden Indian Premier Legue title upstaging a jittery Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs in the final here today to bring the curtains down to a tarnished sixth season of the cash-rich league.
Mired in spot-fixing controversy after the arrest of owner N Srinivasan’s son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan,Chennai Super Kings found the 149-run target,usually an easy ask by their standard,a little too much as they finished on 125 for nine on a difficult track.
Kieron Pollard (60 no and 1/34,1 catch) was the man-of-the-match for his all-round effort.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni now lost back-to-back IPL finals despite being the lone man standing in the end with an unbeaten 63.
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As soon as the last delivery was bowled by Pollard,senior pros Sachin Tendulkar,Ricky Ponting along with Team Mentor Anil Kumble rushed to the ground. Just like 2011 World Cup final,Tendulkar did a lap of honour with the teammates like Harbhajan carrying him on their shoulders.
Lasith Malinga (2/22) and Mitchell Johnson (2/19) set the tone before Harbhajan Singh (2/14) joined in the act as it was a rare batting disaster for the IPL heavyweights who featured in four straight,five overall,finals.
Four of their batsmen including Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja got out for noughts while tournament top-scorer Michael Hussey (1) was dismissed first-up by a perfect Lasith Malinga toe-crusher to set the tone.
With the team reeling at 57 for seven after 11th over,there was no chance for the ‘Men in Canary Yellow’ to make a comeback although Dhoni did try his best.
For Mumbai Indians,Eden Gardens remained a happy hunting ground with six wins from seven outings this season as it Rohit Sharma and Co.
Down with a wrist injury,Tendulkar however celebrated every moment of their triumph as the trophy was like a ‘farewell gift’ for the 40-year-old who may not be around in the next season.
Mumbai Indians earned a prize purse of Rs 10 crore,while runners-up Chennai Super Kings were awarded Rs 7.5 crore in the Rs 25 crore prize money tournament.
The packed Eden bleeded blue in the summit clash as Mumbai Indians found themselves at ‘home’ even while defending a modest 149.
The intent became quite clear in the very fourth ball when Malinga,’the slinger’,bowled Michael ‘Mr Cricket’ Hussey (1),the ‘Orange Cap’ holder (733 runs),with his typical toe-crushing yorker.
A second wicket in the next ball when Suresh Raina (0) was dismissed softly had the Eden crowd on its feet with chants of ‘Mumbai Mumbai’ all over the stands as Malinga had an ominous first spell that read 2-0-8-2.
It was then Johnson’s turn to join the party as the Aussie deceived Subramaniam Badrinath (0) with his away swinger as he chased the delivery down to Karthik to make it 3/3 in the second over.
It appeared quite a surprise how the fans,who were chanting KKR mantra — ‘Korbo Lorbo Jeetbo Re’ — a few days ago,switched allegiance and turned blue from purple.
Dwayne Bravo (15) and Murali Vijay (18) looked to repair but it seemed to be a Mumbai Indians day.
Sharma brought in young Rishi Dhawan and he dismissed Bravo who was looking dangerous with three boundaries.
Chennai once again lost three wickets in a huff — Bravo,Ravindra Jadeja (0),and Murali Vijay (18) in four runs — to be reduced to 39/6 in the eighth over.
Surpsingly when it needed the most,Dhoni dropped him to no 7 and had his blitz but it was too late with him waging a lone battle as the task became improbable with 58/8 and the asking rate climbing past 11-mark.
Earlier,Kieron Pollard stood tall among the ruins with an unbeaten 32-ball 60 (7×4,3×6) as Mumbai Indians posted a
It was a good toss to lose for Mahendra Singh Dhoni as his seamers duo of Mohit Sharma and Albie Morkel (2/12) rocked Mumbai Indians top order with 16/3 in the fourth over.
Later,it was Bravo who earned the ‘Orange Cap’ in style with his four-wicket blitz in 42 runs that rattled the Mumbai Indians batting as the West Indian became the leading wicket-taker with 32 scalps in season six.
The two-time defending champions played to their reputation as the Dhoni’s men played without being affected by the controversy and the script just went their way.
The embattled Super Kings could not have asked for a better start with season’s ‘find’ Mohit dismissing Dwayne Smith (4) in the first over.
The dangerman Smith was trapped right in front when an in-cutter had him plumb in the fourth ball.
Aditya Tare’s (0) stint lasted for one ball ball with Morkel rattling the youngster’s leg stump in the first ball,and came back in the next over to dismiss Rohit Sharma (2) in a soft manner as the Mumbai skipper’s woeful run continued with the bat.
Morkel ripped apart the top order in a fine first spell (3-0-12-2) that ensured that Mumbai Indians were under pressure going less than six runs an over at midway stage.
From Mumbai’s perspective,Rayudu (37) did not do anything silly as he along with Pollard stitched an important 48-run fifth wicket partnership that came off 34 balls.
Before it could ring an alarm bell Dhoni brought in Bravo to effect as the West Indian uprooted Rayudu’s middle stump.
The scalp earned Bravo the Orange Cap by being the leading wicket taker with 32 dismissals.
But Bravo went on to concede 17 runs in the 18th over with Harbhajan Singh’s eight-ball 14 to help Mumbai’s run-rate go past seven-mark.
That Pollard stood tall at the other end became the difference in the end as they upstaged the two-time former champions in style.
Chennai Super Kings
MEK Hussey,M Vijay,SK Raina,MS Dhoni (c & wk),RA Jadeja,S Badrinath,DJ Bravo,JA Morkel,CH Morris,R Ashwin,MM Sharma
AP Tare,DR Smith,KD Karthik (wk),RG Sharma (c),KA Pollard,AT Rayudu,Harbhajan Singh,R Dhawan,MG Johnson,SL Malinga,PP Ojha
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