It’s the Indian Premier League 2019 final most experts had predicted, it’s the finale the broadcasters were dreaming of, it’s a clash between the two most successful teams in the history of the T20 tournament, it’s Chennai Super Kings versus Mumbai Indians.
When Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s CSK take on Rohit Sharma’s MI at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday, it’ll be the fourth time the two teams will be meeting this year. While Mumbai have won all three encounters so far, one won’t be surprised if Chennai steal the show on the biggest stage.
Both Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians have lifted the IPL trophy thrice. Over the years, they have established themselves as the two biggest powerhouses of the tournament. The clash on Sunday, thus, gains that much more prominence as the winner will go clear at the top of the most successful franchises list.
This will also be the fourth time the two teams will be meeting in the IPL final. Of the 10 years that CSK have participated in the tournament, they have reached the final a staggering 8 times. Mumbai, on the other hand, have made four IPL finals.
Mumbai have the edge over Chennai as far as head-to-head in the final is concerned. Rohit and Co have beaten Dhoni’s men in two of the three finals. And the only time Mumbai lost an IPL final to Chennai, it was Sachin Tendulkar and not Rohit who was leading them.
Surprisingly, though, as evenly as the two teams match-up against each other, none of the three finals that they have played contested in together have gone down to the wire.
Here’s a look at the three times CSK and MI have played each other in an IPL final:
2010 – CSK won by 22 runs
MSD won the toss and decided to have a bat at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai. Openers Murali Vijay and Matthew Hayden gave the men in yellow a decent start. But the visitors dug themselves a hole by going from 44 for no loss to 67/3. It was Suresh Raina’s unbeaten 57 off 35 that propelled Chennai to a competitive total of 168/5.
In reply, Mumbai got off to a disastrous start with Shikhar Dhawan perishing for an eight-ball duck. Captain Tendulkar and Abhishek Nayar then put on a 66-run stand for the second wicket. However, that was going to be Mumbai’s highest partnership for the night. Chennai went on to win by 22 runs and Raina was declared the Player of the Match. It was the first time CSK lifted the IPL trophy.
2013 – MI won by 23 runs
This time it was Mumbai who won the toss and opted for the tried and tested method of putting runs on the board in a crunch game. But they were almost knocked out of contention early in the contest after being reduced to 16/3 in the fourth over. Kieron Pollard, batting at No 6, gave the total a semblance of respectability by scoring a brilliant 60 not out of just 32 balls. MI finished with 148/9 from their 20 overs, a well below-par score at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Dwayne Bravo 4/42 from his four overs.
Chennai would’ve fancied their chances of lifting a second IPL trophy but the chase ended up being a disaster. Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson bowled fiery opening spells and CSK were reduced to 6/39 in the seventh over. Dhoni scored a valiant 63 not out off 45 but his team fell short by 23 runs. Pollard was declared Player of the Match for his rescue act and Mumbai Indians had their first title in the bag.
2015 – MI won by 41 runs
Chennai won the toss this time around but Dhoni decided to do something different and opted to field first. Mumbai got off to a horror start with Parthiv Patel walking back in the first over without disturbing the scorers. But that was going to be the only blemish in the Mumbai innings as they went on to post a mammoth 202/5 at the Eden Gardens. Their other opener, Lendl Simmons, got a 45-ball 68, skipper Rohit scored a 26-ball 50, and Pollard and Ambati Rayudu chipped in with 36 runs each at the death.
The CSK chase never really got going as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Dhoni promoted himself up the order but even that didn’t work. Opener Dwayne Smith, 57 off 48, was the highest scorer for Chennai as Mumbai registered a comfortable 41-run victory. Left-arm seamer Mitchell McClenaghan, 3/25 from four overs, was the wrecker-in-chief with the ball for MI, but it was Rohit who received the Player of the Match award for his blazing knock.