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Mumbai crush Chennai in the Final to win Second IPL title

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harbhajan_iplThe Mumbai Indians have been crowned Indian Premier League champions once again, hammering the Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs in a one-sided final at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday.

The Indians, who were bottom of the Premier League standings, unable to buy a win in the early stages of the tournament, completed a fairytale turnaround to emerge champions in Kolkata today.

Chennai won the toss and raised a few eyebrows by deciding to field, a complete turnaround from skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's preferred approach in big games where he usually opts to put the runs on the board. Both teams named unchanged sides from their last outings with Mumbai sticking with the side that beat Chennai in the first qualifier on Tuesday, while Chennai keeping faith with the side that beat Bangalore in Ranchi on Friday.

The game started well for Chennai with them getting rid of Parthiv Patel for naught in the first over with Faf du Plessis scoring a direct hit as the wicketkeeper-batsman tried to pinch a single to mid-on.

From that moment on though, everything went in favour of the men in blue for the next 3 hours. After pinching just a single from the opening over of the match, Mumbai exploded in the rest of the powerplay, scoring 60 runs from the next 5 overs as the usually reliable Ravichandran Ashwin was smashed out of the attack.

Lendl Simmons continued his fine form with the bat, making 61 from 45 balls at the top of the order for Mumbai, and was given excellent support by his skipper Rohit Sharma, who made a 26-ball half-century to set Mumbai on their way. The duo added 119 runs for the second wicket in a little more than 11 overs, but fell in quick succession as Mumbai continued to keep their foot on the accelerator.

Kieron Pollard and Ambati Rayudu took over from the departed duo and made matching 36s to take Mumbai narrowly past the 200 run mark, an excellent achievement in a big game. Mumbai finished at 202-5 with Chennai sneaking in some wickets towards the end of the innings, but their bowling analysis were a total shambles with no bowler covering himself in any kind of glory as they were all dispatched to all corners of the ground with equal disdain.

Chennai needed a quick start if they were going to be competitive in the final, but lost veteran Michael Hussey for a painstaking 4 from 9 balls in the fifth over. Their other opener, Dwayne Smith top scored with 57, but he took way too long to score his runs, and that meant that Chennai had their backs to the wall for the better part of the contest.

Suresh Raina made 28 from 19 balls before he was stumped off Harbhajan Singh, with the usually influential left-hander never really looking in control, and when MS Dhoni was bowled by Lasith Malinga for 18, the contest seemed as good as over.

Dwayne Bravo was sent up the order for once, but could only chip in with 9, while the demotion for Faf du Plessis down to no.7 was a poor call by the team management, and Chennai's most consistent performer of the summer contributed just 1 run to the team's cause in their biggest game of the tournament.

Mohit Sharma (21* from 7 balls) threw his bat around towards the end of the innings as Chennai finished with 161-8 from their 20 overs, losing the final by a massive margin in what had virtually turned into a no-contest.

The win for Mumbai is their second in IPL history, and amazingly sends them level with Kolkata and Chennai as the most successful teams in the history of the tournament. Chennai, meanwhile, who have been the most consistent team in the 8 seasons of the IPL will be bitterly disappointed at having lost yet another final.


Mumbai Indians: Parthiv Patel (wk), Lendl Simmons, Rohit Sharma (c), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Ambati Rayudu, Harbhajan Singh, J Suchith, Mitchell McClenaghan, Vinay Kumar, Lasith Malinga

Chennai Super Kings: Michael Hussey, Dwayne Smith, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Pawan Negi, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ashish Nehra

Mini Scorecard:

Mumbai Indians 202-5 (20 overs, 10.10rpo)

L Simmons 68 (45) D Bravo 2-36 (4)

R Sharma 50 (26) D Smith 1-17 (2)

Chennai Super Kings 161-8 (20 overs, 8.05rpo)

D Smith 57 (48) M McClenaghan 3-25 (4)

S Raina 28 (19) L Malinga 2-25 (4)

Mumbai Indians win by 41 runs

File Photograph Copyright: Gayatri Naik