Lasith Malinga produced an incredible last over to defend nine runs as Mumbai Indians claimed undisputed supremacy in the IPL by securing their fourth title with a narrow one-run win over Chennai Super Kings in a pulsating final on Sunday.
CSK needed nine runs off the last over but the experienced Lankan paceman Malinga kept his nerve to concede eight. He trapped Shardul Thakur leg before in the last ball after Watson (80 off 59) got run out two balls earlier.
Before that 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.
CSK had made a steady start by reaching 53 for one in the Powerplay but Mumbai bounced back in the middle overs, removing a struggling Suresh Raina (8 off 14) before getting rid of Rayudu to have CSK under the pump.
The biggest moment came of the game in the 13th over when Dhoni was run-out trying to steal an extra single. An alert Ishan Kishan was spot on with his direct hit and he just about managed to get the better of Dhoni.
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.
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 and keeping the faith in the team’s most successful pacer this season.
Pollard at the other end did not get enough strike in the death overs. He finally 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 to spoil a tidy last over by Bravo.