The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad witnessed the best thriller of IPL 2019 on Sunday night. It was a fitting finale as Mumbai Indians (MI) clinched the trophy defeating reigning champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 1 run.
Despite Shane Watsons’s heroics (80 off 59), Chennai ended up as the losing side, courtesy some brilliant bowling by MI in the last two overs. Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) can be given the credit to win MI the title for the fourth time.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians: 149/8 in 20 overs (Kieron Pollard 41 not out, Quinton de Kock 29; Deepak Chahar 3/26, Imran Tahir 2/23) vs Chennai Super Kings: 148/7 in 20 overs (Shane Watson 80, Jasprit Bumrah 2/14)
Here are 5 talking points from the nail-biter:
Kieron Pollard’s dissent
In the last over of MI innings, Dwayne Bravo bowled well outside the tramline. The ball could have been given wide on any other day, but umpire Nitin Menon was in no mood to stretch his arms and it was counted as a dot ball. Getting irked by the decision, Pollard threw his bat in the air before catching it back. The drama was not going to end as Pollard went on to take strike well away from the stumps and near the wide-line before pulling away as Bravo ran in. Eventually, both the on-ground umpires Nitin Menon and Ian Gould walked to Pollard, and it was only after that the Trinidadian went back to his normal stance.
Imran Tahir’s purple cap
Imran Tahir with 26 wickets won the purple cap of IPL 2019. The figures of 2-23 in the finale helped him bag the honour. Tahir became the 2nd spinner after Pragyan Ojha (IPL 2010) in the history of IPL to achieve the feat. The leggie was superb throughout CSK’s journey till final, providing the important breakthroughs.
Jasprit Bumrah’s spell
Posting an above par score of 149/8 in 20 overs, MI needed a miracle from their ace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, and the bowling spearhead bowled his heart out. Bumrah gave just 14 runs in his quota of four overs with the two important breakthroughs — claiming the wickets of Ambati Rayudu and Dwyane Bravo. Along with this, he almost had the wicket of Shane Watson in his bucket as the latter edged the former’s short ball but Rahul Chahar failed to take the catch.
Run-out of MS Dhoni
In a bid to sneak in an extra run, MS Dhoni encountered a direct hit from Ishan Kishan at the bowling end. Hardik Pandya was the man stationed at the receiving end of the throw. He took the risk of leaving the ball to let it hit the stumps and gave the hapless Mumbai some hope.
The run-out decision was referred to third umpire Nigel Llong who took all the time in the world to give his verdict in the controversial case. The decision could have gone either way but this time Dhoni was the victim. The decision board read “out” and suddenly MI were back in the game.
Last over thriller
CSK needed 9 runs off the last 6 balls and skipper Rohit Sharma, with a heavy heart, handed the ball to Lasith Malinga. Malinga who was butchered by the duo of Watson and Bravo for 20 runs in his previous over, was on the money in the last over.
Malinga conceded just 7 runs off the first 5 balls, accompanied with Watson being run-out, and it led the match to a last-ball thriller.
Shardul Thakur was the man facing Malinga and the yorker specialist delivered a slower off-cutter to plumb Thakur right in front of the sticks. The ball was followed by a huge appeal and umpire raised his finger. With this win, Mumbai clinched their 4th IPL title, beating CSK third time in an IPL final.