Lasith Malinga kept his nerve with the final ball as Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by one run to clinch a record fourth Indian Premier League title Sunday.
After Shane Watson hit a blistering 80, Chennai needed two runs off the last ball to overtake Mumbai’s 149/8 but the Sri Lankan veteran trapped Shardul Thakur lbw to claim the landmark win.
Malinga gave away 49 runs in his four overs but the last two overs by the Sri Lankan and fellow pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah who took 2/14, were decisive. West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard smashed an unbeaten 41 off 25 balls to set up the Mumbai total after they elected to bat first.
“The team that panics less does better. It was a team performance,” said Pollard as the Mumbai players celebrated on the pitch.
Watson batted through the Chennai innings until he was run out in the final over going for a reckless second run. He smashed four sixes and eight fours in his 59-ball knock. Ishan Kishan sent Chennai captain MS Dhoni back to the dugout with a direct throw at the bowlers’ end to put the defending champions in trouble at 82/4. Dhoni made just two.
Earlier, Chennai leg-spinner Imran Tahir took 2/23 to surpass fellow South African Kagiso Rabada as the top IPL bowlers chart this year with 26 wickets. Tahir was also the first 40-year-old to appear in an IPL final.
Deepak Chahar took three wickets while fellow quick Shardul Thakur took two. South Africa captain Faf du Plessis then came all guns blazing to give Chennai a brisk start with his 26 off 13 deliveries.
Indian batting legend Sachin Tendulkar, an advisor to the Mumbai team, nervously watched the finale, frequently burying his head in his hands. “The key moment was Dhoni’s run-out,” he said.
“But also in patches when Bumrah bowled those critical balls to even out Malinga’s one poor over was also crucial.
“And the last over, I thought Malinga finished the game out beautifully.”
Mumbai won the IPL in 2013 and 2015 – both against Chennai – and again in 2017 when they beat Rising Pune Supergiant by one run.
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