Mumbai Indians crowned VIVO IPL champions 2017

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SUMMARY: Mumbai Indians 129-8 off 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 47, Rohit Sharma 24, Jaydev Unadkat 2-19, Adam Zampa 2-32, Daniel Christian 2-34) vs Rising Pune Supergiant 128-6 off 20 overs (Steven Smith 51, Ajinkya Rahane 44, Mitchell Johnson 3-26, Jasprit Bumrah 2-26).

This was, barring a WWE-style rebirth, Rising Pune Supergiant’s last ever IPL game. They made sure it went the distance, all the way to the last ball, despite keeping Mumbai Indians down to the lowest first-innings total in an IPL final. Somehow, Pune managed to drag a chase of 130 to the last ball.

The first ever IPL final had come down to the last ball too. Then, nine years ago, Sohail Tanvir pulled L Balaji for a single to win it for Rajasthan Royals.

Now, Mitchell Johnson bowled to Daniel Christian with Pune needing four to win. Bowling from around the wicket, Johnson went full and straight. Christian whipped it away to the left of deep square leg. J Suchith, the substitute fielder, fumbled at the boundary, allowing a second run. That wouldn’t do for Pune. They needed four to win, and three to tie.

Mitchell Johnson made a telling blow in the final over, removing the dangerous Steven Smith

The batsmen chased a desperate third with Suchith’s throw almost already in Parthiv Patel’s gloves. Once Parthiv collected it safely, only one result was possible. Mumbai Indians, playing their fourth final, wrapped up their third title, winning by one run.

Jasprit Bumrah took out MS Dhoni at a crucial stage

Krunal Pandya was Mumbai’s hero with the bat, his 38-ball 47 dragging them from 79 for 7 to an eventual 129 for 8, a total that would enable their bowlers to scrap all the way. Then, helped along by Pune’s ODI-style top-order approach, those scrapping bowlers managed to make the required rate creep steadily upwards – with five overs to go, Pune were only two down but needed 47 from 30.

Given Mumbai’s death bowling, this was definitely not over. Jasprit Bumrah took out MS Dhoni in the 17th over. Then Lasith Malinga and Bumrah again ensured Pune would only get two boundaries across the 18th and 19th. That left Steven Smith, batting on 51, and Manoj Tiwary 11 to get from the last over.

Despite taking a boundary off his first ball, they couldn’t quite do it against Johnson.

Mumbai bat, Mumbai falter

Krunal Pandya topscored for Mumbai Indians

Six of the nine previous IPL finals had been won by the team batting first. Perhaps that and how it was difficult to chase in Hyderabad was why Rohit Sharma went against his team’s record this season of eight wins in 11 games while chasing. That too when they only had a 3-2 record while batting first.

Perhaps it had something to do with Mumbai’s record against Pune: they had met three times this season, and Pune had won all three times, twice while batting first.

It seemed, right through Mumbai’s innings, that they had some mental scars from all those defeats to Pune. A first-ball leave from Lendl Simmons set the tone for a cautious start on a slower-than-usual Hyderabad surface, with only seven coming off the first two overs, against Jaydev Unadkat’s back-of-a-length cutters and Washington Sundar’s flat, stump-to-stump offspin.

Then Unadkat dismissed both openers in the third over – a short ball cramping Parthiv Patel’s attempt to pull, a slower ball clipping Simmons’ leading edge and popping back for a diving return catch.

Mumbai never really recovered from there, despite Rohit Sharma smacking Lockie Ferguson for four fours in the sixth over. Adam Zampa removed Rohit and Kieron Pollard in the 11th over, and Mumbai were 65 for 5.

Krunal gives Mumbai a chance 

Christian trapped Hardik Pandya lbw in the 14th, playing across the line, and Karn Sharma was run out in the next over, in most comical manner. Dropped by Christian diving to his left at slip, he ran out of his crease in a panic anyway. It seemed to sum up Mumbai’s state of mind.

Krunal, though, seemed to be achieving some clarity of thought. For now, he was simply thinking of extending the innings as far as he could. It took until the 19th over for him to hit his first six, straight back over Unadkat’s head. Then he swiped and slogged Christian for a four and a six in the last over, off which Pune scored 14. Still, their total was 14 short of the previous-lowest first-innings total in an IPL final.

That had come in 2009, when Deccan Chargers defended 143. (ESPNCricinfo)

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