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Mumbai clinch third IPL title in last-ball finish



Mumbai Indians 129 for 8 (Krunal 47, Unadkat 2-19, Zampa 2-32, Christian 2-34) beat Rising Pune Supergiant 128 for 6 (Smith 51, Rahane 44, Johnson 3-26, Bumrah 2-26) by 1 runs

This was, barring a WWE-style rebirth, Rising Pune Supergiant’s last ever IPL game. They made sure it went the distance, all the way to the last ball, despite keeping Mumbai Indians down to the lowest first-innings total in an IPL final.

Somehow, Pune managed to drag a chase of 130 to the last ball.

The first ever IPL final came down to the last ball. Then, nine years ago, Sohail Tanvir pulled L Balaji for a single to win it for Rajasthan Royals.

Now, Mitchell Johnson bowled to Daniel Christian with Pune needing four to win. Bowling from around the wicket, Johnson went full and straight. Christian whipped it away to the right of deep square leg. J Suchith, the substitute fielder, fumbled at the boundary, allowing a second run. That wouldn’t do for Pune. They needed four to win, and three to tie.

The batsmen chased a desperate third with Suchith’s throw almost already in Parthiv Patel’s gloves. Once Parthiv collected it safely, only one result was possible. Mumbai Indians, playing their fourth final, wrapped up their third title, winning by one run.

Krunal Pandya was Mumbai’s hero with the bat, his 38-ball 47 dragging them from 79 for 7 to an eventual 129 for 8, a total that would enable their bowlers to scrap all the way. Then, helped along by Pune’s ODI-style top-order approach, those scrapping bowlers managed to make the required rate creep steadily upwards – with five overs to go, Pune were only two down but needed 47 from 30.

Given Mumbai’s death bowling, this was definitely not over. Jasprit Bumrah took out MS Dhoni in the 17th over. Then Lasith Malinga and Bumrah again ensured Pune would only get two boundaries across the 18th and 19th. That left Steven Smith, batting on 51, and Manoj Tiwary 11 to get from the last over.

Despite taking a boundary off his first ball, they couldn’t quite do it against Johnson.

More to follow…

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