By BV Swagath
Mumbai Indians drubbed Chennai Super Kings in an unusually one-sided final for a maiden IPL Trophy. Needing to chase 149 on a slow pitch, Chennai Super Kings slipped into a disastrous position of 39 for 6 inside 8 overs. An explosive fifty from Skipper MS Dhoni could only reduce the margin of defeat to 23 runs and helped CSK to a modest 125 for 9.
Both the teams experienced disastrous starts from their respective top orders. Mumbai Indians lost big fish Dwayne Smith in the fourth ball of the match, lbw to a Mohit Sharma inducker that stayed low. Aditya Tare was dismissed in the second over for a first ball duck, bowled after playing all around a full length inswinger from Albie Morkel. Skipper Rohit Sharma had a soft dismissal, pushing early on the up to spoon a return catch to Morkel to leave Mumbai Indians at a precarious 16 for 3 in 3.2 overs.
Dinesh Karthik and AT Rayudu steadied the ship for a while before the former got bowled dragging a Chris Morris indipper onto the stumps with Mumbai at 52 for 4 in the 10th over. Rayudu went on to score a solid 37 from 36 balls before he was bowled by Dwayne Bravo just after the Time Out. Mumbai Indians at 100 for 5 in 15.1 overs had their hopes wrested on Kieron Pollard who delivered the goods under pressure. Pollard struck 7 fours and 3 sixes in an unbeaten 60 from 32 balls. The Caribbean made most of the little strike that he could get towards the end, which included a couple of sixes to wrap up the innings and lift Mumbai Indians to a fighting total of 148 for 9.
Dwayne Bravo, the Purple Cap holder was expensive leaking 42 off his 4 overs but managed to take four wickets. Mohit Sharma with 4-0-26-1 on the trot and Chris Morris with 4-0-25-1 did a great job for MS Dhoni.
The run chase for CSK was a disaster as the scoreboard within no time read 3 for 3 in 1.4 overs! In consecutive deliveries of the first over of their innings, CSK lost the big wickets of Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina to Lasith Malinga. While Hussey had his leg stump cleaned up by a late inswinging yorker, Raina was softened up by a nasty short ball around his throat. In the 2nd over, Mitchell Johnson lured S Badrinath into a false drive to have him caught behind.
Despite the early blows, CSK had depth in its batting but that didn’t matter as they kept on losing wickets in a hurry. Dwayne Bravo was next to depart flicking Rishi Dhawan to mid on and that was followed up by a big hit from Ravindra Jadeja off Harbhajan under pressure that was held at long off. CSK reduced to 36 for 5 had their final nail in the coffin when opener Murali Vijay (18 from 20 balls) was caught trying to fetch a pull from outside off to a fiery short ball from Johnson.
Skipper MS Dhoni who was hiding himself in the dug out amidst the carnage had come in as late as five down. Dhoni showed what a great batsman he is in the shorter format of the game by bludgeoning the Mumbai bowlers whenever he could but it was just too late with the required rate already beyond anyone’s reach and with hardly any wickets left. Dhoni finished the game with an unbeaten 63 from 45 balls with 3 fours and 5 sixes. CSK managed to delay the inevitable at 125 for 9 in 20 overs to go down by 23 runs.
Kieron Pollard got the Man of the Match for his all-round performance of 60* and 1 for 34. The Player of the Series award surprisingly went to Shane Watson of the Rajasthan Royals.
Toss and Teams: Mumbai Indians have won the toss and elected to bat first in the IPL 6 Final against the Chennai Super Kings at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Both the teams are unchanged from their last games. The pitch for the contest is on the drier side and it could assist the slow bowlers big time.
Mumbai Indians: Dwayne Smith, Aditya Tare, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Rohit Sharma (C), Kieron Pollard, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, Rishi Dhawan, Mitchell Johnson, Lasith Malinga, Pragyan Ojha
Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (C&WK), Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Chris Morris, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma