A clinical performance by Mumbai Indians (MI) made sure they retained their Indian Premier League (IPL) title by winning it for a record fifth time, in Dubai on Tuesday (November 10). MI beat first-time finalists Delhi Capitals (DC) by five wickets to become the only side to win consecutive IPL trophies since Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011.
Both the captains – Rohit Sharma and Shreyas Iyer – stepped up for their respective teams but at the end, Rohit Sharma’s magnificent 68-run knock nullified Shreyas Iyer’s fifty.
A brilliant three-wicket haul by Trent Boult restricted DC to 156/7. In response, an in-form MI line-up had no trouble chasing it down with with seven balls to spare.
“I’m quite happy with how things went the whole season. We said at the start that we need the winning habit. We couldn’t have asked for anything more, right on the money from ball one and we never looked back,” said Rohit at the post-match presentation.
“I had to find the balance to get the best out of the players. I’m not someone who can run behind them with a stick, and it’s important to instill confidence in them.”
DC Struggle, Rebuild, Struggle Again
Iyer won the all-important toss and opted to bat first. The decision didn’t go in DC’s favour as they were reduced to 22-3 in 3.3 overs. Marcus Stoinis (0), who was impressive as an opener in the Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, couldn’t replicate his performance in the summit clash and was dismissed on the very first ball of the game.
Shikhar Dhawan (15) and Ajinkya Rahane (2) were back to the pavilion in the next couple of overs, leaving DC in all sorts of trouble. However, Iyer rose to the occasion and along with Rishabh Pant added stability to DC’s innings.
Pant, who had been criticised for failing to do anything substantial with the bat, silenced his critics with 56 off 38, which included four fours and two sixes. He shared a 96-run partnership with Iyer before being removed by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 15th over.
MI bowlers made a comeback and gave away just 38 runs in the last five overs. They also picked up three wickets as DC failed to get to 170-180. Iyer remained unbeaten on 65.
MI then started aggressively, with Quinton de Kock smashing three fours and a six off Kagiso Rabada in the second over.
De Kock (20) and Rohit added 45 for the opening wicket, before the former fell to Stoinis in the fifth over.
Suryakumar Yadav, the No. 3 batsman, played sensibly for his 19 but got into a terrible mix-up and sacrificed his own wicket for Rohit in the 11th over.
Luckily, it didn’t have any negative effect on the MI captain as he led by front and played a match-winning knock. DC did pick a couple of quick wickets towards the end but it was too late as Ishan Kishan (33*) and Krunal Pandya (1*) helped MI cross the finishing line.
For DC, Anrich Nortje bagged two wickets, while Rabada and Stoinis scalped one each.
Trent Boult was adjudged the Player of the Match.
Brief Scores: Delhi Capitals 156/7 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 65*, Rishabh Pant 56; Trent Boult 3-30, Nathan Coulter-Nile 2-29) lost to Mumbai Indians 157/5 in 18.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 68, Ishan Kishan 33*; Anrich Nortje 2-25) by five wickets.
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