MAY 12, 2019
Brief Scorecard: Mumbai Indians 149 for 8 (Pollard 41*, Chahar 3-26) beat Chennai Super Kings 148 for 7 (Watson 80, Bumrah 2-14) by one run
Kieron Pollard lifts Lasith Malinga on his shoulders after victory – BCCI
HYDERABAD – In a deeply tactical and wildly chaotic final, Lasith Malinga turned around a horror night in an exceptional final over to hand Mumbai Indians their fourth IPL title. The match went this way and that – both batting sides arguably underperformed, technology gave the third umpire a nightmare, catches went down and run outs were missed – before it came down to Chennai Super Kings needing nine to win off the final over. Malinga – three overs for 42 until then, a dropped catch, ordinary fielding and a missed run out to his name – turned up one final time with creaky joints to concede just seven. With two required off the last ball, he bowled the most magical slower-ball yorker to win it for Mumbai when most bowlers would have been happy to bowl a slower wide ball to try to ensure the tie first.
On a night when experience came to the fore, Shane Watson nearly enjoyed a similar fairy-tale. Trusted through what can conventionally be seen as a horror run, Watson carried Super Kings in the final with 80 off 59, twice undoing Mumbai’s good work with his targeted assault of Mumbai bowlers, but his physical struggles got the better of him in the last over. With five required off three balls and with Malinga nailing his yorkers, Watson set off for a suicidal second, not only running himself out but also leaving Ravindra Jadeja stranded at the non-striker’s end. It was perhaps time for Jadeja to say no to that second.
If Chahar doesn’t get you, Thakur will
Winning the toss and deciding to bat because of the pressure of the final, Mumbai came out full of intent to not let Super Kings bowl Deepak Chahar for three straight overs in the Powerplay. Quinton de Kock went after Deepak in the third over, hitting him for three sixes, and MS Dhoni was forced to go to Shardul Thakur in the fifth over. De Kock hit him for a six fourth ball of the over. Now Mumbai were close to pushing Deepak and Super Kings out of their comfort zone; all they needed was to not lose a wicket in the next two balls. De Kock didn’t pay much mind to this by-play, and went for another six, gloving the ball to Dhoni. This allowed Deepak to come back in the sixth over, and he responded beautifully with a knuckle ball that got the wicket of Rohit Sharma for 15. What’s more, he made that sixth over – usually the most difficult in the Powerplay – a maiden. From 45 for 0 in 4.4, Mumbai went to 45 for 2 at the end of the Powerplay.
Chennai Super Kings dished out a disciplined bowling performance under pressure to restrict Mumbai Indians to 149 for eight in the 2019 IPL final on Sunday. (Source: PTI)
Dhoni teams up with data
Well he might not have, but he did exactly what a data analyst might have asked him to do. He usually reserves Dwayne Bravo for the death, and bowls Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir through the middle. In this game, Bravo’s match-up against Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard was not suitable for Super Kings so Dhoni bowled two of his overs by the 10th over. You could excuse de Kock for not being aware of the by-play, but Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan were clearly guilty of letting Super Kings play the game they wanted to. They just played out three overs without much intent, dawdling to 58 for 2 in nine overs on a pitch that could not be termed slow.
Cat and mouse continues
The tactical contest continued with Tahir getting Suryakumar in his first over – the 12th – and Mumbai delaying the introduction of Hardik and Pollard. Out came Krunal Pandya, and Thakur came back to get him. Soon Tahir had Kishan for the fifth time in five innings they have come up against each other. It was now down to Pollard and Hardik against Super Kings’ death bowlers.
Dhoni’s tactics continued to test Mumbai. He had picked six bowlers just for this reason: he wanted options if it got chaotic. Now he refused to give Bravo to Pollard and Hardik. Instead, Deepak and Thakur bowled. Even though Thakur went for 16 in the 18th over, Deepak pulled things back with a four-run 19th over that also got him two wickets. Despite a 20-run over, he ended with 26 runs in his four overs. Hardik out of the way, Dhoni finally went to Bravo, who managed to get under Pollard’s skin thanks to pin-point field sets and a couple of lenient calls on the wide. Pollard, though, managed to get better of the frustration by hitting the last two balls for fours.
Watson, du Plessis put Mumbai under pressure
Mumbai, too, had bowling options at their disposal, but they were put under pressure. Faf du Plessis went after Krunal, whose match-up against Watson was favourable for Mumbai. Watson in response took apart Malinga. Krunal, though, got du Plessis stumped with a wide delivery. However, at 53 for 1 at the end of the Powerplay, Super Kings were favourites.