Mumbai Indians hold their nerve in last-ball thriller to win IPL 2017

Sport360 staff 22/05/2017

Mitchell Johnson kept his nerve to guide Mumbai Indians to their third Indian Premier League [IPL] title after they got the better of Rising Pune Supergiant by one run in a thrilling finale in Hyderabad on Sunday.

With Pune needing 11 to win in the last over, the over got off to a great start for the batting side as Manoj Tiwary [7 off 8 balls] managed to find the boundary off the first delivery. Johnson came back strongly as he took the wickets of Tiwary and Steve Smith [51 off 50 balls] off back-to-back deliveries to give Mumbai the upper hand.

The wicket of Smith was especially important as the Pune skipper looked like he was playing a match-winning knock, having scored his third fifty of the tournament. If there is one regret that Smith might have, it might be that he did not accelerate earlier on in his innings as he took a lot of deliveries to get his eye in.

The equation came down to four runs needed off the final delivery with Dan Christian on strike and the Australian all-rounder could get only two which meant that Mumbai had won the IPL for the third time.

Earlier, after electing to bat first, Mumbai got off to a disastrous start as Supergiant pacer Jaydev Unadkat, who has had quite the season with the ball, got the better of both openers - Parthiv Patel [4 off 6 balls] and Lendl Simmons [3 off 8 balls] - in just the third over of the innings.

From there on, the Mumbai batsmen struggled to get their timing right on what was a slow pitch. Rohit Sharma [24 off 22 balls] tried to bring some momentum into Mumbai’s innings as he hit four fours off a single over off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson.

But they were soon pegged back as Smith produced a brilliant piece of fielding to run Ambati Rayudu out for 12. Adam Zampa then got the wickets of Rohit and Kieron Pollard [7 off 3 balls] as Pune continued to pile on the pressure and Mumbai were in big trouble at 65-5.

Hardik Pandya [10 off 9 balls] and Karn Sharma [1 off 5 balls] were soon dismissed, but Krunal Pandya was on hand to help Mumbai get to a competitive total of 129-8.

While wickets kept falling at the other end, Krunal kept his calm and scored 47 from 38 deliveries, which ended up being a crucial knock in the context of the match. It was not a surprise that he was named as the Player of the Match later on.

In reply, Pune lost the wicket of Rahul Tripathi [3 off 8 balls] early, but Ajinkya Rahane [44 off 38 balls] and Smith built a 54-run partnership and looked on course to chase down the target.

Some tidy bowling from Mumbai in the middle overs got them right back into the game and, in a rare occurrence, MS Dhoni wasn’t able to get his team home in a chase as he was caught-behind off the bowling of Jasprit Bumrah for a 13-ball 10 in the 17th over.

In the end, Pune fell short by the narrowest of margins in a nerve-wracking contest.

Johnson and Bumrah took three and two wickets respectively while Lasith Malinga and Karn Sharma conceded just 21 and 18 runs respectively from four overs each.

After the win, Mumbai captain Rohit was full of praise for his bowlers.

“To be able to come and defend (around) 130 was a great effort from the team, something which I was expecting because we’ve got a great set of bowlers,” he said.

“We stuck to our plans, we always knew that the wicket was not easy (to bat on). So, if you take one wicket, two-three were going to come. A lot of credit goes to the bowling unit.”

BRIEF SCORES

Mumbai Indians 129-8, 20 overs [Krunal 47, Rohit 24, Unadkat 2-19, Zampa 2-32] beat Rising Pune Supergiant 128-6, 20 overs [Smith 51, Rahane 44, Johnson 3-26, Bumrah 2-26] by one run.

Player of the Match - Krunal Pandya.

Most Valuable Player (of the season) - Ben Stokes.

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Five best overseas players in IPL 2017

Sport360 staff 21/05/2017
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Ben Stokes, Hashim Amla, and Rashid Khan had superb seasons [Sportzpics]

Although there are only four spots for them in a playing XI, the overseas players’ contributions play a huge role in defining the success of a team in the Indian Premier League.

Here, we look at the five overseas players who performed the best in IPL 2017.

DAVID WARNER 

It has been another fabulous IPL season for David Warner as he managed to score 641 runs from 14 matches at an average of 58.27.

Such numbers are all set to ensure the Sunrisers Hyderabad captain wins the Orange Cap for the second time in three seasons.

Warner’s best performance came in Sunrisers’ home fixture against Kolkata Knight Riders where he scored 126 from just 59 deliveries, which was his first century since joining the franchise in 2014.

David Warner graph

HASHIM AMLA

Over the years, there have been some questions raised about Amla’s ability in T20 cricket despite having a very good record in the format at the international level.

In this year’s IPL, Amla further proved his credentials in the shortest form of the game as he notched up two centuries.

Before leaving the tournament for national duties, the Kings XI Punjab opening batsman scored 420 runs at an average of 60.00 and a strike-rate of 145.83. And in the process, he proved that batsmen with proper techniques can prosper in the tournament.

Hashim Amla graph

STEVE SMITH

Steve Smith came into the tournament in superb form and he has been in good touch with the bat, as well as with his captaincy, in the ongoing season.

In 14 matches, the Australian batsman has managed 421 runs which makes him the second highest run-scorer among overseas players this season. It is also his best runs tally in a single season in the IPL.

Smith has consistently got off to starts this season but will be a little disappointed that he has only two half-centuries to show for it.

Steve Smith graph

BEN STOKES

Although Ben Stokes is reputed as one of the finest cricketers on the planet today, there were some doubts if he would be worth the $2.16 million that Rising Pune Supergiant acquired him for at the IPL auction.

Stokes proved all the doubters wrong with some splendid performances with both bat and ball that were pivotal in Pune reaching the playoffs.

The England all-rounder amassed 316 runs and picked up 12 wickets in what was an outstanding season for him, which included three Man-of-the-Match efforts.

Ben Stokes graph

RASHID KHAN

Khan’s splendid performances for Afghanistan saw him acquired by Sunrisers for $620k at the IPL auction earlier this year.

Despite being just 18 and playing in the IPL for the first time, Rashid was able to trouble some of the top batsmen in the world, with a lot of them finding it hard to pick his googly.

Having taken 17 wickets from 14 matches this season, Rashid was definitely one of the stars of the tournament.

What was most impressive about the Afghanistan leg-spinner was that he conceded just 6.62 runs per over which was among the best in the league.

Rashid Khan graph

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LIVE IPL Final: Rising Pune Supergiant vs Mumbai Indians

Sport360 staff 21/05/2017
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Scroll down for the scorecard [Sportzpics]

Mumbai Indians won the toss and elected to bat first against Rising Pune Supergiant in the Indian Premier League [IPL] final.

Both teams have made no changes to their playing XIs from their respective previous matches.

You can follow every ball of the action with our in-play scorecard, commentary, and stats below.

We want to hear from you too, so share your thoughts with us by commenting at the bottom of the page or via Twitter and Facebook as the game progresses.

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