Super Kings overpower fighting Mumbai for first IPL trophy


Mumbai : Chennai Super Kings overcame a resolute Sachin Tendulkar, playing with five stitches on his right hand, and a sensational Kieron Pollard to beat Mumbai Indians by 22 runs in a nail-biting final to win the Indian Premier League at a packed D.Y. Patil Stadium at Navi Mumbai Sunday night.

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Super Kings, electing to bat, scored 168 for five with Suresh Raina smashing an unbeaten 57 off 35 balls.

Despite captain Tendulkar’s (48 off 45 balls) heroics and Pollard’s (27 off 10 balls) ferocious hitting in the end, Mumbai Indians ended up with 146 for nine in 20 overs.

Pollard put Mumbai Indians on the brink of an improbable win when he struck two fours and two massive sixes off Chennai’s best bowler Doug Bollinger in the 18th over that went for 22 runs.

The burly West Indian took the guard when Mumbai were staring down the barrel and needed 55 runs off 18 balls at that stage.

Pollard in Bollinger’s over brought Mumbai back in the reckoning, but the home team lost the initiative in the penultimate over bowled beautifully by Albie Morkel.

Ambati Rayudu was run out after a mix-up and Pollard soon followed on the last ball of Morkel’s over as Mathew Hayden picked a blinder inside the circle.

Super Kings, who had lost in the first IPL final to Rajasthan Royals, broke in celebration, even as the home crowd fell silent.

It was Tendulkar who kept Mumbai Indians in the hunt.

Mumbai lost Shikhar Dhawan with only one run on the board, before Tendulkar and Abhishek Nayar (27) added 66 runs for the second wicket.

Tendulkar cut loose when he struck two spectacular boundaries off Morkel. The master batsman quickly shuffled across the off-stump and picked the backward square-leg region for the first. The second four was a classic cover drive that penetrated the field with precision.

After a few dry overs, Nayar struck two consecutive sixes off Shadab Jakati.

But just when it looked Mumbai were picking up the momentum, they lost two wickets in the 12th over, bowled by part-time off spinner Raina.

Nayar was run out when he tried to steal a single which was never there and Dhoni made no mistake. Harbhajan Singh, who was promoted up the order for some quick scoring, was trapped lbw.

Rayudu and Tendulkar kept pace with the asking rate with some clean strikes, but Mumbai Indians got two more jolts in the 15th over. This time Tendulkar was dismissed as he lofted left-arm spinner Jakati to long on only to find Murali Vijay’s hands. The master batsmen ended as the highest run scorer in the tournament with 618 runs.

Earlier, Raina rode on his luck as he was dropped twice in his 35-ball innings that included three fours and three sixes.

Super Kings got off to a slow start with Murali Vijay (26) and Matthew Hayden (17) sharing a 44-run opening stand in as many balls.

Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath (14) added 19 runs before the latter was dismissed by Dilhara Fernando (2-23).

Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (22 off 15 balls) then added 72 runs for the fourth wicket. Dhoni struck two fours and one six but was caught by Fernando after mishitting a full toss from Zaheer Khan.

Raina then used the long handle in the end with the final five overs fetching Super Kings 60 runs.