Mumbai Indians won the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the second time in three years thanks to a stupendous batting performance followed by some immaculate bowling as they drubbed Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs in Sunday’s final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
The Indians, who beat the same opponents at the same venue in the 2013 final, walked away with the trophy and Rs. 200 million in prize money.
Mumbai posted a whopping 202 for five after being put in to bat, thrashing the reputed Chennai attack all around the ground.
Despite losing the wicket of Parthiv Patel in the first over, skipper Rohit Sharma hit 16 runs off the second over from Ashish Nehra to set the tempo for a huge score.
With every over, Mumbai moved from strength to strength, with opener Lendl Simmons top-scoring with 68 from 45 balls with eight boundaries and three sixes. Rohit scored a whirlwind 50 off just 26 balls with six boundaries and two sixes as he and Simmons put on 119 for the second wicket in just 11.1 overs.
Kieron Pollard scored 36 runs and Ambati Rayudu an unconquered 36 as they added another 71 off 6.4 overs for the fourth wicket to swell the Mumbai total.
Chennai’s bowlers gifted the batsmen easy full tosses and wide deliveries. At one stage it looked like they would post a total of more than 230, but for Dwayne Smith and Dwayne Bravo’s tight overs in the middle.
Chasing a run rate of 10.10 runs per over, the Super Kings lost Michael Hussey, their hero in their last match against Royal Challengers Bangalore, in the fifth over to a low catch by Jagadeesha Suchith off Mitchell McClenagham for four.
Smith and Suresh Raina took their time to settle down. But after scoring a meagre 67 from the first ten overs, Chennai batsmen opened up. Raina hit sixes off Harbhajan Singh and Hardik Pandya, while Smith raced to his half-century.
Harbhajan then trapped Smith leg before for 57 to end the 66-run partnership and, with his team needing 114 from just 48 balls, Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni walked in.
Harbhajan removed Suresh Raina, stumped by wicketkeeper Parthiv for 28, and when Dhoni also fell, bowled by a Lasith Malinga rocket for 18, Mumbai’s victory was a mere formality.
Earlier, Dhoni, after winning the toss, surprisingly elected to field.
The match got off to a sensational start, with Parthiv run out by a spectacular throw from Faf du Plessis from the fifth ball of the first over. Du Plessis, flying like a bird, swooped on to the ball and in one motion hit the bails at the non striker’s end.
Skipper Rohit went for his shots right away. It was a treat to watch Rohit and Simmons use their feet and, with powerful shots, accelerate the run-rate.
Rohit hit Bravo, the highest wicket-taker of the tournament, for two boundaries in his first over, but in the last ball of that over he fell caught by Ravindra Jadeja at long on for 50.
The task of maintaining the run spree fell on Pollard and Rayudu. They too thrashed the wayward Chennai bowling attack.