Mumbai Indians are the Indian Premier League champions for a second time after they beat Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs at Eden Gardens.
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The Super Kings may have finished at the top of the table during the first stage of the competition, but Mumbai’s victory in the first semi-final meant that this game was anyone’s guess.
MS Dhoni won the toss, and put the Indians into bat. And it looked like a very smart decision as they took the first wicket with just the solitary run on the board. Parthiv Patel tried to steal a single after hitting the ball almost straight to Faf Du Plessis at mid-on. He would not have expected the South African to be able release the ball in almost the same movement as the dive with which he stopped the ball. The direct hit meant that Patel was well short of his ground, and gave the two-time champions the perfect start.
However, the dismissal brought Rohit Sharma to the crease. He and Lendl Simmons put on an 119-run partnership. In the process, both players went past fifty. The Indian brought his half-century up with a drive through point.
But, Chennai managed to wrestle some of the control back, dismissing both men in consecutive balls. Dwayne Smith got his countryman with his first delivery of this year’s competition.
Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu helped the side recover from the brief blip to cash in on the groundwork that their teammates had laid. Both men hit 36, with Pollard’s innings coming off just 18 balls before his dismissal in the penultimate over. Rayudu was there at the end, and helped Mumbai reach a daunting 202/5 from their 20 overs.
In reply, Chennai started slowly, and never threatened to keep up with the rate. They lost Mike Hussey early, leaving Smith and Suresh Raina to try and put a fight together.
Their time together at the crease added 66 runs, but by the time Smith fell for 57, the writing was starting to be written on the wall.
When Raina fell not long after, it seemed captain Dhoni would be their only hope. Unfortunately, he was unable to pull off something special on this occasion and fell to Lasith Malinga.
The final few overs saw more wickets and little resistance until Mohit Sharma smashed 21 off just seven deliveries. By then however, it was too little too late. Mumbai sealed the comprehensive victory and lifted the trophy for the second time.