The Mumbai Indians were crowned the 2015 IPL champions for the second time in three years, after defeating perennial achievers the Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs in Kolkata on Sunday.
CSK were looking for a record-breaking third IPL title, and after topping the group-stages, MS Dhoni’s men were expected to secure the title in their sixth final. Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians however – despite losing their first four games of this year’s tournament – would recover to go on and finish second, before beating CSK twice to earn the crown.
The Mumbai Indians won by 25 runs in last week’s qualifier for the final against the same opposition, and they batted first yet again in the repeat showdown at a vibrant Eden Gardens. The match appeared to be following a similar pattern as Lendl Simmons smashed another 50. Parthiv Patel was dismissed for a duck but the partnership between Simmons and Sharma produced 120 runs in just 11 overs.
The pair then fell in successive deliveries to bring CSK back into the contest, but the carnage continued, thanks to Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu. They both struck 36, hitting six sixes between them. The side produced the goods with the bat when it mattered most, finishing on 202-5 – their highest total for this year’s campaign.
In response, Australian veteran Mike Hussey departed for just four off nine balls, and while Dwayne Smith and Suresh Raina managed to build a meaningful stand, the game started to run away from the men in yellow as the run rate only started to go above six an over in the eighth over.
Smith reached 57 before a rejuvenated Harbhajan Singh trapped him lbw. Dhoni was introduced at No 4, but not even the best finisher in the game could rescue his side. Wickets fell at regular intervals as Raina and Dwayne Bravo fell for 28 and 9 respectively.
Faf du Plessis – South Africa’s only representative in the final – was used reluctantly. He came in at No 7, but he failed to get the side going again to depart for just one. The overseas pair of Mitchell McClenaghan and Lasith Malinga took five wickets between them as the collapse continued.
Mohit Sharma hit 20 runs off the final over, but that merely took a bit of the gloss off a dominant display from the Mumbai Indians, to turn around their poor start to the tournament in emphatic style.