Mumbai Indians held their nerves to beat Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run in a nail-biting final to win their third Indian Premier League title at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Defending a modest total of 129 runs – Mumbai bowlers were exceptional as they restricted Steven Smith and Co to 128/6.
Pune needed 11 off the last over to win until Mitchell Johnson found himself on a hat-trick after dismissing Manoj Tiwary and Steven Smith of the second and third ball of the over after being smashed to the boundary of the first ball of the over.
Supergiant then needed four runs to win off the last ball. Australian all-rounder Dan Christian managed to get the ball away on the leg side, but the throw from the deep was accurate enough for Parthiv Patel to break the stumps before Washington Sundar could come back for a third run, which would have led to a super over.
Pune were given a good start at the top by Ajinkya Rahane, who scored 44 of 38 deliveries but Rahane was dismissed in the 12th over and that is where the match turned. A slow and sluggish partnership between Steven Smith (51) and MS Dhoni (10) meant the asking rate started to go up.
Mumbai bowlers bowled brilliantly in the middle overs and that worked in the favour of Rohit Sharma and Co. Smith tried his best to bring Pune back in the match by hitting some crisp boundaries but eventually failed to take his team through.
Earlier, Rohit opted to bat after winning the toss but MI batsmen barring Kruna Pandya failed to deliver with RPS bowlers firing on all cylinders. Pandya top-scored with a crucial 47-run knock while skipper Rohit got the start and made 24 but could not make most of it.
Put into bowl, Pune bowlers were right on the money from the word go and gave nothing away in first few overs and chipped in with wickets consistently. Jaydev Unadkat’s dream edition just got better as he dealt twin blows in the third over removing both the openers Parthiv Patel (4) and Lendl Simmons (3) within a space of three deliveries.
Patel mistimed a pull and gave catch to Shardul Thakur at mid-on while Simmons was outsmarted by a slower which Unadkat smartly snapped inches off the surface of his own bowling. MI were struggling at 8 for 2 when Rohit and Ambati Rayudu were in the middle for the two-time champions.
But the duo failed to get going with Washington Sundar again proving to be exceptional during the Powerplay overs as he gave just 13 runs from his four overs. With 16 for 2 in 5 overs – Rohit picked up Lockie Ferguson as he hit him for four boundaries to get a move on but it didn’t lasted long as Rayudu was run out thanks to direct hit from Steve Smith.
Rohit followed him soon back to the dressing room as he failed to hit half-tracker from Adam Zampa which he pulled to mid-wicket fence where Shardul Thakur took a well-judged catch. Kieron Pollard hit a first-ball six off Zampa but failed with the second attempt as was taken in deep by Manoj Tiwary. He made 7.
MI were tottering at 56 for 5 with Pandya brothers in the middle. On the day when it mattered most, Hardik played across the line to Dan Christian and was adjudged leg-before. Karn Sharma was the next to go when he was run out leaving Mumbai struggling at 79 for 7.
Krunal held on to his nerves and with the tail helped Mumbai to post 129 on the board. Jaydev Unadkat (2/19) and Adam Zampa (2/32) shared four wickets between them for Pune Supergiant.