Mumbai Indians edged Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run in the 2017 Indian Premier League (IPL) final to lift their third title at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday night. After winning the match, Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma ushered praise on his bowlers for defending the small target.
Mumbai Indians batting first scored a paltry 129 runs for 8, Pune in reply got off to a good start as opener Ajinkya Rahane and skipper Steve Smith played sensibly but Mumbai Indians bowlers managed to pull things in their favour, keeping Pune batsmen in check. Jasprit Bumrah, Lasith Malinga, and Mitchell Johnson, all came to the party as Pune could only manage to score 128 for 6 at the end of their quota of 20.
Talking about his bowlers’ performance in the match skipper Rohit Sharma said, “There was assistance from the pitch, so it was a matter of exploiting the conditions. When three overs were left, I had confidence in the bowlers. They have always done the job wherever they’ve played. It was about giving freedom to them because they’re the masters and they’ve done it before. I just told them to do whatever they want and set the field accordingly.”
Pune batsmen, especially Steve Smith (51), was keeping the thing in right place while Mumbai bowlers kept the other end in check. In the final delivery, Pune needed to score fours runs, but they manged to take only three runs. Hence, they lost the final by one run.
“I’m calm now. It was a great game of cricket. I’m sure the spectators enjoyed it. To be able to defend a score like this was a brilliant effort, I couldn’t ask for more. Whenever you’re defending a total like that, the first thing you’ve to do is believe. I told the boys if we could do it against KKR (105) there was no way we couldn’t do it here,” said Sharma after winning the match.
“The way we fought was absolutely amazing. We thought we can defend, we have the bowlers,” said Jasprit Bumrah.
At the same time, Mitchell Jonhson, who took two wickets in the last over, said, “I wasn’t thinking much. I had a clear plan, to bowl at the stumps. Pressure situations are you are playing the game for. I have done that before. It’s my second time (IPL titles).”
Mumbai ‘icon’ Sachin Tendulkar described the outcome of the low-scoring match as “simply amazing.” “The first half wasn’t good for us. But we thought right and the performance followed. Some amazing bowling and great fielding in the pressure situations.”
(With PTI Inputs)