The Mumbai Indians completed a thrilling one-run victory over the Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL final on Sunday.
The Mumbai Indians won the toss and chose to bat. They made a sluggish start to the innings as they crept to 7-0 after two overs. At the start of the third over, Jaydev Unadkat had Parthiv Patel caught by Shardul Thakur for four.
Two balls later, Unadkat took a ridiculous catch off his own bowling, diving full-length to his left before plucking the ball just above the ground to see the back of Lendl Simmons.
Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu then came together at the wicket as their team posted the lowest five-over score in this year’s tournament, 16-2.
A 16-run sixth over added a bit of respectability to the score. A further nine runs off the next over built some momentum for the Mumbai outfit. But their momentum was lost just as quickly as it had been built when Steve Smith’s direct hit got rid of Rayudu for 14, which left Mumbai struggling on 41-3 after 7.2 overs.
Adam Zampa then removed the MI captain, the dangerous Rohit Sharma, for 24 off 22 balls (four fours), after some amazing footwork on the boundary by Thakur allowed him to complete a great catch. Kieron Pollard followed shortly thereafter as Mumbai limped to 66-5 after 11 overs.
Hardik Pandya was the next to go when Dan Christian had him trapped lbw, MI reeling on 78-6. Christian was in on the action again, this time in the field to dismiss Karn Sharma. After fumbling the ball at slip, he pulled off an exhilarating bit of recovery work to run Sharma out and leave the Mumbai Indians in even worse disarray.
Mitchell Johnson (13) and Krunal Pandya (47) combined to ensure Mumbai posted a score that was defendable. They fought a lone battle to add fifty runs for the eighth wicket.
The pair took RPS for 24 runs off the final two overs that helped their side post a respectable but below-par 129-8 in their 20 overs.
Jaydev Unadkat was the pick of the Supergiant’s bowlers, as he finished with figures of 2-19 in four overs.
In reply, Pune took 17 runs off the first 13 balls before Rahul Tripathi fell, out lbw to Jasprit Bumrah for only three.
Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith allayed any fears of a nervous start to the chase, as they advanced Supergiant’s score to 38-1 after six overs.
The pair showed that they were prepared to knock the ball around and chip away at the total. RPS brought up their fifty after nine overs.
Smith and Rahane continued to keep the scoreboard ticking to bring the score to 58-1 at the halfway stage.
The 50-partnership was brought up in the 12th over, but the celebration was short-lived when Johnson had Rahane caught by Pollard for 44 off 38 balls, including five fours.
At the 14-over mark, the required rate stood at 8.83 runs to the over. The pressure began to mount on MS Dhoni and Smith as they struggled to find the boundary to alleviate the pressure.
Needing a big over to stay in touch, Smith and Dhoni delivered just that in the 16th over. The pair hit Pandya for 14 runs. First Dhoni played the ball past backward point for a boundary, before Smith struck an outragous six off the penultimate ball of the over.
However, Dhoni then lost his wicket off the second ball of the next over when Bumrah had him caught behind by Patel for ten.
RPS got themselves into an unnecessary tangle as the equation read 23 off just twelve balls. A six off the second-last ball of the over and a two off the last meant RPS needed 11 runs off the final over.
A boundary off the first ball was offset by Manish Tiwary’s wicket off the next, the drama far from over. The Mumbai challenge was revitalised further with the very next ball when Smith was caught on the boundary for 51 off 50 (two fours, two sixes) to hand Johnson his second wicket in as many balls. The tension had now reached fever-pitch.
A bye off the hat-trick ball and two off the next meant the Supergiant needed a boundary off the final ball.
The last ball was struck into the deep by Christian which allowed the batsmen to scamper for two runs. Their efforts to complete the third run which would’ve sent the game into a super over were in vain, as Christian was run out by Patel.
The Mumbai Indians got their first win over RPS this season and completed one of the most unlikely victories in IPL-final history in the process.