Mumbai :Lasith Malinga delivered the killer blow as the Mumbai Indians (MI) defeated bitter rivals Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by one run to lift a record fourth Indian Premier League (IPL) title in a rip-roaring final at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
With two runs needed off the final delivery, Malinga bowled a slower yorker to perfection, trapping Shardul Thakur (2) right in front to send his teammates, including skipper Rohit Sharma, into delirium as Shane Watson, whose breathtaking 80 went in vain, sunk in his seat in the Chennai dugout.
Chasing a modest 150 for victory, Watson, who was dropped on 56 by Rahul Chahar, carried Chennai
s hopes with a belligerent 80 off 59 balls, his innings laced with eight fours and four sixes. But once he was run out in the fourth ball of the final over, it was Sri Lankan Malinga who showed his class to snatch the crown from the defending champions. In the last five overs, Chennai needed 62 runs off 30 balls. Watson then hit Malinga for a hat-trick of fours to trim the equation down to 42 off 24 balls. There was no stopping the veteran Australian, who scored a hundred in the final to help Chennai win the IPL last year, as he clobbered Krunal Pandya for three back-to-back sixes in the 18th over which cost Mumbai 20 runs. Mumbais best bowler Jasprit Bumrah (2/14) then bowled a brilliant penultimate over, sending Bravo (15) back in the hut after the latter gave Quinton de Kock a simple catch behind the stumps. However, de Kock missed an easy catch to gift Chennai four byes in the last ball of the over.
Earlier, Faf du Plessis (26) and Watson gave Chennai a steady start before Krunal got the former stumped by de Kock by luring him to come down the wicket.
With du Plessis gone for 26 off 13, Watson and Suresh Raina (8) shared a 37-run stand for the second wicket as Chennai seemed to be cruising.
Rohit then gave the ball to Rahul Chahar (1/14) who started Chennai
s downfall by trapping Suresh Raina (8) in front. Ambati Rayudu (1) could not add much to the tally, getting caught behind off Bumrah. The game-changing moment came in the 13th over when MS Dhoni (2) was caught short of the crease by Ishan Kishan, with replays showing it to be a close call. Watson and Bravo then joined hands for a 51-run partnership for the fifth wicket which was finally broken by Bumrah. From there on, it was a see-saw battle which eventually saw Mumbai continue their dominance over Chennai in what was their fourth final meeting. Earlier, Deepak Chahar (3/26) and Imran Tahir (2/23) starred with the ball as CSK restricted MI to 149/8, even as Kieron Pollard hit an unbeaten cameo (41* off 25) down the order. (Also read: Chennai's Imran Tahir pips Delhi's Kagiso Rabada to claim Purple Cap) Pollard, who was dropped on 25 by Suresh Raina, was the top-scorer for Mumbai as he hammered three fours and three sixes. For Chennai, Shardul Thakur also picked up two wickets for 23 runs. But Pollard hogged the limelight for the wrong reasons in the last over when as a mark of protest against the umpire not calling a wide in the previous delivery, he walked across -- even leaving the pitch -- to face the fourth ball before Dwayne Bravo pulled out. Opting to bat, Mumbai were off to a flying start riding on de Kocks power hitting. The South African stumper-batsman took on in-form Deepak Chahar in the third over, smashing three sixes to score 20 runs off the over.
Quinton de Kock looked to be in the mood as he slapped Shardul for a six in the fifth over. But the pacer had his revenge in the next ball when he cramped de Kock for room with a quick delivery that the batsman lobbed to Dhoni who took an easy catch. The Proteas batsman clobbered four sixes en route his 17-ball 29.
In the next over, Dhoni became the wicket-keeper with the most dismissals in IPL history when he dived forward to take Rohit
s catch off Deepak Chahar who outfoxed the Mumbai captain with a knuckleball. Rohits patchy form in the IPL continued as he could only manage 15 off 14 balls, hitting one four and a six.
Mumbai, who suddenly seemed to be in some sort of trouble at 45/2 after the Powerplay, were dented further by Imran Tahir who accounted for Suryakumar Yadav (15), the star of Mumbai
s last game, and Ishan Kishan (23) as Krunal Pandya (7) was sent back in between by Shardul who took a brilliant catch off his own bowling. With five overs remaining, Mumbai were 102/5 but Deepak Chahars brilliance restricted them to a score of below 150 despite Pollard smashing two fours off the last two deliveries.
ICC World Cup 2019: Team India to don new jersey for away matches
The hype surrounding the ongoing World Cup in England and Wales is on an escalation with the tournament only a week away. The mega event is scheduled to get underway on May 30 and Team India is deemed as one of the favourites to get their hands on the coveted trophy. All the teams wear special kits for the World Cup and the Indian team also had unveiled their jersey for the tournament, however, there’s an addition to it.
As per the ICC’s World Cup schedule, the teams have home and away matches. The Men in Blue will not actually be completely Blue when they play those away games. The Indian team will play with a new and differently coloured clothing for all the away matches in the tournament. Their first match is against South Africa on June 5 at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
Their away matches are versus Afghanistan on June 22 at The Rose Bowl in Southampton and versus hosts England on June 30 at the Edgbaston in Birmingham. As many as four teams- England, India, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan- have blue as their preferred colour. However, since England are the hosts, the other teams will have to change their colours when they lock horns with the Eoin Morgan-led Brits.
Different outfits for Team India
India’s jersey is yet to be released and will see the players wear a darker blue in the front, whereas orange will dominate the sleeves as well as the back.
On the other hand, teams like Pakistan, Bangladesh and South Africa have a common colour – green jerseys. As a result, these teams will also need to look for alternatives for a few matches in the tournament. Australia, Windies and New Zealand should not have to change the colours since they already having distinct jerseys.
The opening match of the World Cup will be played between hosts England and South Africa at the Kennington Oval in London. Apart from India, England are also on the expected winner’s list for the 50-overs tournament as they are ICC’s number-one ranked ODI team at the moment.
ICC World Cup 2019: Sachin Tendulkar picks his semi-finalists ahead of WC
Legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar has given his opinion into which four teams he feels will enter the semi-finals of the ICC World Cup 2019 which is scheduled to be played between May 30 and July 14 in England and Wales.
“India, England, Australia should be in the semis. The fourth could be one of New Zealand or Pakistan,” Tendulkar was quoted as saying by ESPN Cricinfo. ((Complete coverage of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019))
Earlier, speaking to Hindustan Times, Tendulkar had said India have a well-balanced squad and they are capable of pulling off something special in UK.
“We have a balanced team which can go out and do something special. The whole team has to chip in, there will be some performers (in different situations, who must say) ‘this is my game; I am batting well or bowling well’. Support is needed from the other end also,” the Master Blaster said.
Tendulkar also heaped praise on wicket-keeper batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni and said he has a big role to play for Team India.
“Not only in batting, also behind the stumps. He has got the best view; the batters are always looking for the gaps and what areas to target. Standing behind the batsmen, he can see that. He has plenty of suggestions to make and that would come in handy,” Tendulkar said.
“His contribution will be in the form of an experienced keeper observing the game and making suggestions. Also, his experience while batting—how to play those critical moments, how to rotate the strike, when to strike, and when to just build a partnership—will count.”
The first match of the World Cup will be played between England and South Africa on May 30 while India open their campaign against South Africa on June 5.
Before that, the ‘Blue Brigade’ will take on New Zealand and Bangaldesh in two practice matches on Saturday and Tuesday respectively.
India’s 15-member squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.
Shakib tops ICC ODI all-rounders list
Dubai: Senior Bangladesh cricketer Shakib Al Hasan Wednesday jumped to the top of the latest MRF Tyres ICC ODI rankings for all-rounders, which doesn’t feature a single Indian in the top-10 chart.
Shakib, 32, grabbed the top spot just ahead of the ODI World Cup after showcasing fine form during the tri-nation series in Ireland, which Bangladesh famously won to claim their first title in a multi-nation tournament.
In the three matches of the series, Shakib totalled 140 runs, including two unbeaten half-centuries and also picked up two wickets.
Shakib now has 359 points, 20 clear of Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan, the previous holder of the top ranking, who has now slipped to No. 2.
Rashid’s Afghanistan team-mate Mohammad Nabi completes the top three, with 319 points.
Pakistan are the only other team to have two players in the top 10, with Imad Wasim at No. 4 and Mohammad Hafeez claiming the seventh spot.
They are separated by New Zealand’s Mitchell Santner (No.5) and England’s Chris Woakes, who leapfrogged four places to No. 6.
West Indies captain Jason Holder is their top-ranked all-rounder at number eight spot followed by Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza and Angelo Mathews of Sri Lanka.England’s Ben Stokes missed out on the top 10 by one spot, finishing eight points behind Mathews.
Kedar Jadhav, who is part of India’s World Cup team and is recovering from a shoulder injury, is the best-placed Indian at joint 12th spot alongside South Africa’s Andile Phehlukwayo and Moeen Ali of England.
Hardik Pandya completes the top 20 list.
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