Mumbai win 2019 IPL with last-ball triumph
May 12, 2019 | 10:12 PM
by Times News Service
Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by one run to win the 2019 Indian Premier League. Photo: Mumbai Indians

Hyderabad: Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by one run to win the 2019 Indian Premier League and become the most successful team in the history of the tournament.

Before this game, both teams had three titles to their names, with Chennai being the title holders. Mumbai however can now claim to be the best team in the IPL, after a last-ball victory at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, where it was they who won the toss and elected to bat first.

The Mumbai Indians’ batting line-up had several promising starts, but none failed to truly materialise. Opener Quinton de Kock may have hit a whirlwind 29 runs that saw four sixes off his bat, but he was given poor company by captain Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav, both of whom were dismissed for 15 runs apiece.

Ishan Kishan tried to bring some respectability to the score, with a quick 23 off 26 deliveries, and when Krunal Pandya was dismissed for seven runs, it fell to West Indian Kieron Pollard to take matters into his own hands. Displaying the swashbuckling batting performances that West Indians are traditionally known for, Pollard smashed 41 unbeaten runs off just 25 deliveries, in an innings that featured three fours and three sixes.

But while Pollard managed to remain at the crease, his teammates made the walk back to the pavilion one by one. Hardik Pandya was the first to leave, and he was shortly re-joined by fellow Indians Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar. Veteran New Zealander Mitchell McClenaghan was one of three players dismissed for ducks.

It was Deepak Chahar who had done much o f the damage for Chennai Super Kings, as he took three wickets off four overs at the expense of 26 runs. Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir both picked up two wickets each.

In response, Chennai began in a solid manner. Faf du Plessis scored a brisk 26 runs off 13 balls, as he hit three fours and a six, but it was his strike partner Shane Watson who led by example.

The veteran Australian nearly stayed until the end of the innings, with a sensational 80 runs off 59 deliveries. He smashed eight fours and four sixes to power the Chennai innings through.

It was a good thing he did, because the wickets kept tumbling around him: Suresh Raina (8), Ambati Rayudu (2) and fellow India national cricket team player MS Dhoni (2) all departed for single digit scores, with only Dwayne Bravo reaching double figures as he contributed 15 runs.

By this time, many of those in the stadium were fervently praying to the heavens. Camera shots showed Nita Ambani of Reliance Industries, the principal owners of the Mumbai Indians, bowed in prayer for a victory. The wives of several cricketers, including MS Dhoni, were also addressing the heavens, as were hundreds of the audience members who’d turned up for the game.

CSK needed 17 runs from the last 10 balls, and despite the steady fall of wickets, it seemed like they would win the game after a slow start. Ravindra Jadeja came out to bat, and provided stable support to Watson.

But Watson himself would not last much longer: in a hasty decision to take a quick single with just four runs required for victory, he came off worse as Krunal Pandya flung the ball at the stumps, with his accurate direct hit meaning he had been dismissed near the end.

Shardul Thakur came to the crease and took two runs off the penultimate ball, to leave Chennai with two runs from the last delivery. With the last ball of the game, though, Lasith Malinga dismissed him leg before wicket to seal the 2019 Indian Premier League for the Mumbai Indians and name them the most successful team in the history of the competition. Malinga picked up one wicket in the game, as did Pandya and Chahar. Jasprit Bumrah would have two to his name.

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