IPL 2019 Final Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings: ‘Age is just a number’, and the saying was once again proved correct on Sunday as ace speedster Lasith Malinga bowled a near-perfect final over to guide Mumbai Indians to a memorable one-run victory over defending champions Chennai Super Kings in the final of Indian Premier League (IPL) in Hyderabad. Courtesy this win, Mumbai became the first team to clinch the coveted IPL title for the fourth time in the history of the league. After Shane Watson’s magnificent knock of 80 (59 balls) lashed out with 8 boundaries and 4 maximums, Malinga, who had gone for 20 in his previous over, gave away only 7 in the final over of the season to seal a sensational victory for the ‘men in blue and gold’. (MATCH HIGHLIGHTS)

After fortunes shifted both ways, Chennai needed 9 off the final over but the Sri Lankan veteran showed why he was rated as the ‘best death overs bowler’ in the history of white-ball cricket as he delivered again in the final showdown. Kieron Pollard top-scored for the Mumbai side with his unbeaten 41-run knock while opener Quinton de Kock scored 29 to propel the men in blue to a challenging 149/8 in 20 overs. Deepak Chahar accounted for three batsmen while Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir took two wickets each for CSK. (SCORECARD)

For MI, Jasprit Bumrah kept Mumbai in the hunt with his tidy overs and two wickets, getting rid of Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu. The premier Indian pacer produced 13 dot balls in his testing overs. Young leg-spinner Rahul Chahar also played a key role in the middle overs as he too created pressure by bowling 13 dot balls.

In the 12-year history of the T20 extravaganza (IPL), no team had ever defeated Chennai 4 times in an IPL season. Mumbai had got the better of CSK in the league stages twice and had crushed them in the first qualifier before the nail-biting win in the final.

Earlier, Super Kings dished out a disciplined bowling performance under pressure to restrict Mumbai Indians to 149. After opting to bat, Mumbai ended up with a below-par total despite Kieron Pollard’s unbeaten 25-ball 41. Apart from Chahar (3/26), who was impressive again and fellow pacer Shardul (2/37) played his part to perfection. The spinners, Harbhajan Singh (0/27) and Imran Tahir (2/23), too played a crucial role in limiting Mumbai Indians.

The Rohit Sharma-led side was dealing in sixes early on in their innings with the in-form de Kock collecting three sixes out of the four hit in the first three overs. After a frugal first over, Chahar went for 20 runs in the following one with the South African wicket-keeper batsman going for his strokes on a true surface.

Thakur was not spared either as de Kock clobbered him over deep-midwicket for his fourth six before top-edging a short one to Dhoni in the same over.

All of a sudden, a promising start got converted into a wobbly one with Rohit getting caught behind off Chahar three balls later, leaving Mumbai at 45 for two in the sixth over. The Mumbai captain got deceived by a slower one but he still went for the drive, only to edge it to Dhoni.

It was a brilliant a comeback from Chahar after being hit for 20 in his previous over and credit to Dhoni for bringing him back into the attack from the other end and keeping the faith in the team’s most successful pacer this season.

With two new batsmen at the crease, the runs dried up before Ishan Kishan hit Dwayne Bravo for two boundaries to take Mumbai to 70 for two in 10 overs.

Just when it seemed Kishan and Qualifier 1 hero Suryakumar Yadav will produce a much-needed partnership, two wickets falling in quick session for the second time in the innings, pegging Mumbai back. Suryakumar played on leggie Tahir before the new batsman, Krunal Pandya, was dismissed with a good running catch from Thakur off his own bowling.

It got worse for Mumbai when Kishan tried to deposit a Tahir googly out of the park and his mis-hit went into the safe hands of Suresh Raina at the cover, leaving Mumbai at 105 for two in 15 overs. Two of the biggest hitters in the game, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, were in the middle to put life into the innings and take their team to a fighting total.

CSK, who had done most things right up till, gave a breather to Pandya as Raina dropped a regulation catch at cover. The dangerous Pandya made his opponents pay smashing Thakur for two sixes in the same over before getting out.

Pollard at the other end did not get enough strike in the death overs. He faced all six balls in the final over and did not take the single off the first three deliveries after not being able to clear the boundary. He got the much-needed fours off the final two balls but it was not enough spoiled a tidy last over by Bravo.

Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians – 149/8 in 20 overs. (K Pollard not out 41, Quinton de Kock 29; D Chahar 3/26, I Tahir 2/23, S Thakur 2/37).

Chennai Super Kings – 148/7 in 20 overs. (S Watson 80; J Bumrah 2/14).