Mumbai: The DY Patil stadium was stunned into silence soon after midnight. The men in yellow went berserk in the middle as MS Dhoni’s captaincy had overshadowed the bravado of Sachin Tendulkar in the big final on Sunday. The Super Kings came up trumps by 22 runs in what was a cracker of a game.
Suresh Raina set Chennai up with a brilliant half-century and chasing 169, Sachin Tendulkar’s determined knock kept Mumbai in the hunt for a long time before Dhoni’s master moves and a super effort in the field gave the clear advantage to Chennai. But, they had to survive a Kieoran Pollard avalanche that threatened to steal the game but Dhoni was not to be pipped for the second time in an IPL final.
Tendulkar, who had five stitches on his right hand three days ago, played a magnificent innings under pressure as he kept the Chennai bowling at bay and till the time he was in the middle, Mumbai knew they had an upper hand.
Tendulkar along with Abhishek Nayar (27 off 26) put on 66 runs for the second wicket, but once Dhoni ran out Nayar, the game was in the balance. However, two runs short of a well-deserved half-century, Tendulkar played a false shot and Murali Vijay accepted the catch gleefully.
Tendulkar’s 48 came off 45 balls that had seven boundaries.
Harbhajan Singh’s promotion up the order did not work as he fell for one. Saurabh Tiwary (zero) and JP Duminy (six) buckled under pressure. Mumbai surprised everybody by keeping Kieron Pollard in the dugout till the end.
When Pollard walked into the middle, 55 runs were needed off just three overs. But Pollard relished the situation it seemed as he launched into Doug Bollinger to pick 22 runs. Mumbai looked to pull off a miracle at that stage but Albie Morkel bowled a super penultimate over as Ambhati Rayadu (21 off 14) and Pollard (27 off 10) both fell.
Mumbai needed 27 runs in the last over, and that was never going to happen with Bollinger bowling to the Mumbai tail. Mumbai Indians ended up with the score of 146-9.
Earlier, the whole of Mumbai breathed a sigh of relief as Sachin Tendulkar walked out to the middle for the toss but it was MS Dhoni who had the luck with the toss as Chennai elected to bat for the crucial game.
Raina plonked an unbeaten half-century to set the Mumbai Indians a challenging 169-run target. After keeping a tight lid on Chennai for the first half of the innings, Mumbai slipped at the death as Raina went ballistic to hit 57 not out off just 35 balls.
Mumbai’s opening bowlers kept Chennai in check as Matthew Hayden (17 off 31) and Murali Vijay (26 off 19) were off to a sedate start. Vijay smashed two sixes before Dilhara Fernando snared him in the eighth over. Chennai scored at less than six-runs-a-over for most part of their innings.
Hayden’s vigil in the middle ended when he miscued Kieron Pollard and soon Subramanium Badrinath too fell in a similar fashion. Chennai were in tatters at 67-3 in the 12th over.
But when you have MS Dhoni on the other side, expect the unexpected. Dhoni launched a brilliant counterattack to shift the pressure onto the Mumbai bowlers. The skipper blasted two sixes, one of which was a sensational one-handed flourish, in his 15-ball 22. Raina too turned on the heat from the other end as the duo smashed 72 runs off just 45 balls to set up Chennai.
Mumbai did themselves no favour by dropping Raina twice (on 12 and on 28) in two overs, which proved decisive in the end with Mumbai running the Chennai total close.