Chennai: Skipper Harbhajan Singh led from the front as Mumbai Indians came up trumps by comprehensively defeating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 31 runs to win a low-scoring Champions League Twenty20 final here today.
It was great achievement for the Mumbai based IPL franchise who missed the services of regular skipper Sachin Tendulkar.
Batting first on a track that got lower and slower with passage of time, Mumbai Indians managed 139 but that was challenging enough for the Men in ‘Red and Gold’ who were shot out for 108 in 19.2 overs.
The moment last man Raju Bhatkal was dismissed, it was celebration time with Tendulkar and team owner Nita Ambani rushing in to congratulate the team
The manner in which Tillekaratne Dilshan (27, 20 balls, 5×4) started with a blazing cover drive off Lasith Malinga, it looked like RCB will finish with a flurry.
Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh then played a masterstroke that suddenly turned the tide. He gave Malinga an extra over instead of the usual two he bowls in his first spell. Malinga yorked Dilshan with his very first delivery and the slide started from there.
Credit should be given to skipper Harbhajan (3/20 from 4 overs), Kieron Pollard (1/21 from 4 overs) and young leggie Yuzvendra Chahal (2/9 from 3 overs) for keeping things tight as well as picking wickets at regular intervals.
Law of averages caught up with Chris Gayle (5) although he got a debatable leg before decision off Harbhajan when he plonked his frontfoot way forward. A lot depended on Virat Kohli (11) but a cross-batted heave off Harbhajan brought about his downfall.
Almost all the RCB batsmen were guilty of misreading the nature of the pitch as they tried to hit everything out of sight offering simple catches.
Earlier, the Royal Challengers Bangalore restricted Mumbai Indians to a modest 139 on track which was difficult for batting.