Final-ball thriller sees Mumbai home

22 May 2017

Mumbai Indians claim IPL title after Mitchell Johnson heroics snatch win from Pune

Indian Premier League 2017, Final


The result: Mumbai Indians 8-129 (Krunal 47, Unadkat 2-19) defeated Rising Pune Supergiant 6-128 (Smith 51, Johnson 3-26) by one run.

The match in a tweet: Mitchell Johnson snatches victory out of Pune’s hands, clinching the unbelievable win with a scintillating final over to hand Mumbai title No.3

The finish: The equation was simple, Mitchell Johnson had ball in hand, Steve Smith was at the crease with Manoj Tiwary and 11 runs were required from the final over. Things started horribly for the bowler as Tiwary clipped Johnson through square leg for a boundary, despite the quick asking captain Rohit Sharma for coverage in the area. The next ball saw Tiwary depart as Keiron Pollard took a brilliant catch on the long-on fence, followed by the departure of Steve Smith who picked out Ambati Rayadu on the cover boundary with a shot that had looked destined for a maximum. It was then up to countryman Dan Christian to finish the job against Johnson requiring six from the final two balls, only managing two off each delivery and falling one run shy to a tie, sending Mumbai into hysterics and completing an over to remember for the Australian veteran.

Six balls that won Mumbai the title

The restriction: When Steve Smith and Ajinkya Rahane were settled, things looked bleak for Mumbai. The two compiled a 50-run stand for the second wicket and the equation was a mere 59 runs from the final 48 balls for the Supergiant to take the trophy. But the three overs that followed went for just 12 runs as Karn Sharma, Krunal Pandya and Lasith Malinga held their nerve against Smith and MS Dhoni to get the match back on level terms. From there each bowler contributed before Mitchell Johnson delivered the over that will be forever remembered in the annals of IPL folklore.

Smith switches things up in losing cause

The saviour: There needed to be a hero with the bat and 26-year-old Krunal Pandya stepped up in the final for Mumbai. As batsmen collapsed around him, the left-hander was a calming presence rotating the strike and finding the boundary at regular intervals. His 50-run partnership with brother Hardik proved match-winning as Krunal plundered three boundaries and two sixes in his knock of 47, the only Mumbai batsman to pass 25 for the innings. Entering at 3-41 after seven overs had been bowled, the allrounder didn’t leave until the final ball of his side’s innings, the difference between a win and a loss for the Indians.

The Aussie Pack: The Australian contingent of the IPL final were the main drawcard, with each of the four players representing the Green and Gold having major contributions. Fielding first, Dan Christian and Adam Zampa both claimed two top-order scalps each for the Supergiant, with Christian and Steve Smith both having superb run outs to their name. Smith’s contribution with the bat was a lone hand, 51 from 50 balls keeping his side afloat in what eventuated to be a tough chase. Mitchell Johnson will be remembered as the match-winner though, a vital unbeaten-13 runs topped by 3-26 with the ball, holding his nerve with the final six deliveries to hand deliver a title to Mumbai.

Aussies do it all in IPL decider

The catch: It was the catch that won the match for the Mumbai Indians. Mitchell Johnson delivered a ball outside the off-stump before Steve Smith duly dispatched it towards the cover fence for what looked like a certain six that would've tied the match with three balls remaining. But the script was written a little differently as Ambati Rayudu moved superbly to his right and claimed a tough chance to see the back of the Pune skipper for 51 and bring 17-year-old Washington Sundar to the crease. Indians captain Rohit Sharma praised the catch post-match saying it played a pivotal role in the side's triumph.

The winners: To the winner goes the spoils, and those spoils amount to a handy A$3.1million which will be divided between players and backroom staff. Mumbai’s third title comes after their victories in 2013 and 2015, with Rohit Sharma at the helm in the trio of triumphs. Mitchell Johnson has now also tasted success again, after being part of the successful Indians team in their first title win. As for the Rising Pune Supergiant, that’s all for now, unsuccessful in their bid for an extension in the league with their temporary status revoked with the pending return of the Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.

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