Perfect Endgame: Mumbai Indians clinch 4th IPL Title – CSK had just returned from two-year suspension. MS Dhoni’s men, over the years, had made it a habit of coming back from improbable situations and win games.
Chennai Super Kings made sure they returned with a bang, scripting one of the most memorable comebacks in the history of the league in their first-ever match of IPL 2018.
Chasing 166 against the then defending champions Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede Stadium, Chennai Super Kings were reeling at 84 for 6 after having lost their master finisher, MS Dhoni for just 5.
It seemed CSK’s much-anticipated comeback wasn’t going according to script. There were disappointed faces, wearing yellow in the crowd and in front of the television sets.
Jadhav, Bravo help CSK follow familiar script
However, Dwayne Bravo stepped up and pulled off a miracle and helped CSK announce their return to the IPL in the best possible way. Smashing 68, including 7 sixes, from just 38 balls, Bravo took them closer to the finish line.
However, the big-hitting West Indies all-rounder got out in the penultimate over and CSK were 9 down but an injured Kedar Jadhav, who had retired hurt earlier in the chase, walked in to complete the heist.
CSK needed 7 in the last over. MI needed just 1 wicket. Kedar Jahdav faced 3 dot balls against MI left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman but it seemed he believed the match could only go one way after Bravo’s heroics. A six and a boundary were hit off the 4th and the 5th balls.
The Super Kings were pumped up. The Wankhede crowd went silent and the Mumbai Indians dressing room was shell shocked.
MI’s struggles with close matches in IPL 2018
The 1-wicket defeat seemingly dealt a big blow to Mumbai Indians’ IPL 2018 campaign. MI went on to lose quite a few close matches throughout the season and missed the playoffs by just 2 points. The dominant narrative surrounding MI’s last season was their inability to close out matches.
They did not seize the crunch moments in the IPL 2018 opener against CSK and suffered a heartbreaking loss. Throughout the season, they struggled at peaking at the right moments.
On the other hand, CSK didn’t look back after getting out of jail as early as the campaign opener. Dhoni’s men went on to win the title on the return to the league, making it a fairytale comeback.
A year later, MI complete 4-0 whitewash against their arch-rivals. History created
Cut to 2019, Mumbai Indians, it seemed, had their plans laid out for their arch-rivals and familiar foes, Chennai Super Kings.
Mumbai Indians comfortably outclassed Chennai Super Kings at home and then successfully invaded their fortress, Chepauk.
After completing a double over CSK in the league stages, MI met their arch-rivals once again in the Qualifier 1 after the two IPL powerhouses finished inside the top 2 of the IPL 2019 points table.
CSK have often looked unbeatable on the slow Chepauk pitches but MI proved they aren’t going to be bullied by the Men in Yellow. CSK were handed a 6-wicket thrashing at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in the Qualifier 1.
The wicket was sluggish once again but MI gave CSK a taste of their own medicine. CSK were restricted to just 131 and Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan got the job done for MI with a match-winning 80-run stand for the 2nd wicket.
Captain Rohit Sharma, after winning the first qualifier, took pride in their performances over CSK and insisted that MI had an all-conditions attack and that helped them crack the Chepauk code.
Ahead of the final, a telling stat dominated the narrative in the lead-up to the big night. No team had beaten CSK more than 3 times in a season. CSK don’t often commit mistakes. If even they do, they don’t repeat them.
MI beat CSK in their own game, lift 4th title
Nonetheless, MI showed once again they were not bothered about numbers and reputation as they went on to beat CSK in their own game, once again.
MI beat CSK by 1 run in the IPL 2019 final and become the most successful IPL franchise.
CSK were well-placed in their chase of 150 at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
CSK’s big-match player Shane Watson was at it again as he had smashed 76 from just 56 balls before CSK needed just 9 runs in the final over.
When Lasith Malinga, who had leaked 42 runs in his first 3 overs, came on to bowl the final over of the match, the odds were stacked in favour of CSK.
However, it was Mumbai’s turn to pull off a heist. Watson had survived several chances before the final over but he was run out in the 4th ball of the final over.
CSK needed 2 runs in the final ball. Malinga ran in and executed a perfect slower ball. Shardul Thakur, who is by no means, a mug with the bat, missed it. MI appealed. The umpire raised his finger without hesitating. The Mumbai dugout rejoiced. Their Chennai counterparts sank in disappointment.
Revenge was served cold.
Player of the Final
Jasprit Bumrah, for his spell of 4-0-14-2.
Orange Cap: David Warner
Purple Cap: Imran Tahir
Most Valuable Player: Andre Russell
Emerging Player: Shubman Gill