Mumbai Indians (MI) produced an emphatically triumphant performance to wallop Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs in Kolkata to win the eighth edition of the Indian Premier League. This is MI’s second IPL crown. The first was in 2013, beating the same opponent at the same ground.
The win marked the climax of an incredible turnaround of the Mumbai team’s fortunes in the tournament. They had suffered four straight defeats at the start of the season. The team responded heroically by winning 10 of the next 12 games.
For the Chennai outfit, the defeat confirmed a recurring woe that has followed them right through this rollercoaster season: lack of batting firepower. However, what perhaps played a big part in losing this final could be the illogical decision to bat first after winning the toss. MS Dhoni won the toss and stunned everybody by announcing that he was going to bowl first.
The first over of the match suggested that Dhoni could be right after all. Parthiv Patel got run out and just one run was scored in that over. But Rohit Sharma marched out with all guns blazing and slammed 16 runs in the second over. R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were greeted with disdain. Rohit and Lendl Simmons raced to 61 for one at the end of power play.
The spread of field after the power play did not put a brake on scoring. The Mumbai batters hit a six or four in virtually every over. After the first 10 overs they were 98 for one. Dwayne Bravo, introduced only in the 12th over, got the wicket of Rohit Sharma. Rohit had looked in sublime touch and completed his half century in just 24 balls. Dwayne Smith accounted for Lendl Simmons (68 off 45 balls) in the very next ball.
For a brief while it looked as if CSK was going to make a comeback in to this match. However, Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu continued the mayhem. Pollard scored 36 off 18 balls and Rayudu remained unbeaten with 36 off 24 balls. MI finished with 202 for five in 20 overs.
CSK needed a hurricane start to chase down this mammoth total. But Dwayne Smith and Michael Hussey flowed like staccato breeze. Lasith Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan and Vinay Kumar maintained excellent line and length. The Chennai openers found it hard to hit boundaries. Hussey got out in the fifth over when he tried to his way out of trouble.
Smith forged a 66-run partnership with Suresh Raina in 43 balls. But the asking rate kept on mounting. It reached a stage they had to try to hit practically every ball. They tried to do that and perished in heaps. Harbhajan Singh, Malinga and McClenaghan chipped away with wickets as a Mumbai win became a certainty even before the 15th over.
Some lusty hitting by Mohit Sharma in the final over reduced the margin of defeat. CSK finished with 161 for eight in 20 overs. It was a thoroughly dominant performance from Mumbai Indians that outclassed Chennai Super Kings.
Rohit Sharma was the man of the match for his charmingly breezy half century.