Bangladesh Test captain Mominul Haque tests COVID-19 positive
10 Nov 2020
Delhi Capitals 156/7 in 20 overs (Shreyas Iyer 65*, Rishabh Pant 56; Trent Boult 3-30, Nathan Coulter-Nile 2-29)
Mumbai Indians 157/5 in 18.4 overs (Rohit Sharma 68, Ishan Kishan 33*; Anrich Nortje 2-25) by 5 wickets.
Mumbai Indians defended their crown by schooling Delhi Capitals to annex their fifth IPL title, another feather to the cap of undoubtedly the best T20 franchise on the planet. The bricks of MI's commanding five-wicket win in Dubai were laid by their bowlers who hunted in a pack to stifle DC to an underwhelming 156/7. Rohit Sharma then anchored the chase and helped Mumbai to not just buck the trend of victory in odd years (2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019), but also paralleled CSK for the only other big achievement left to be ticked off - a successful title defence.
Cometh the hour, cometh Rohit
Having elbow greased to numbers that weren't daunting by any stretch of the imagination, DC prayed for the dew gods to shower benevolence. Though Jayant Yadav mentioned in a sideline talk about its negligible presence, there was none sparing them from MI's initial flutter chaperoned by Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock.
The skipper had blown more cold than hot throughout the round-robin phase but delivered the goods when it mattered the most. His step-out yank off Ravichandran Ashwin in the first over somehow steered clear of the long-on fielder before de Kock thrashed Kagiso Rabada black and blue, hoarding 18 off his first bite at the cherry. The rubber stamp on Sharma's homecoming to form was drummed soon as Anrich Nortje's bouncing adventures soared high and handsome over cow corner. An inspired bowling change or sheer beginner's luck, whatever you call it, but Marcus Stoinis deployed his midas touch to elicit a nick from de Kock's slash to kindle the glimmer of hope.
Suryakumar Yadav was quick to remind Stoinis of his hierarchy in the bowling strata, standing tall to punch through covers before using the pace on offer to ramp-flick his signature six over fine leg. Axar Patel and Pravin Dubey tied the leash in unison but Sharma hoisted the leggie for two sixes to propel MI in the driving seat at 88/1 at the halfway stage. Though what's even a summit clash without a few twists in the tale.
Rohit and run-outs, a love saga for the ages
Suryakumar Yadav willingly proved the sacrificial lamb as Rohit jetted off for a non-existent run, trimming short his junior counterpart's glitter for 15. Interestingly, it was the third instance of Rohit and Yadav being the protagonists of such an episode of miscommunication this season and the axe has fallen on Yadav on each occasion.
Delhi's barren run elongates
Despite Axar conjuring figures of 4-0-16-0, cakewalk is what you associate with an equation seeking 41 off 36. Ishan Kishan knelt on his haunches to clobber Stoinis into the sightscreen before heaping further misery on Dubey with consecutive fours. Substitute Lalit Yadav produced a moment of magic in the green pastures of mid-wicket, zipping from the gears and bellyflopping to pluck an absolute blinder inches from the surface, putting the kibosh on Sharma's seamless artistry for 68. Alas, it was a bit too late for any sort of brilliance to impede MI from getting their hands on the coveted silverware. 10 now required off 18, Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya bit the dust but Kishan and Krunal Pandya chugged along to finish the job with eight balls to spare.
Yadav call-up a bolt from the blue
The jigsaw puzzle fitted perfectly for DC in Qualifier 2 and hence they placed their trust in the same combination to bring home elusive glory. MI too refrained from a lot of chopping and changing, save for a tactical rejig as off-spinner Jayant Yadav emerged from the shadows to negate the slew of left-handers in the rival camp. It is cricket's holiest gospel that of pounding runs on the board in crunch games and Shreyas Iyer must've thanked the heavens after the coin's flight spun in his favour. "We'll bat," he said without missing a beat. Rohit Sharma felt losing the toss was a blessing in disguise as he wasn't certain of his plan of action.
Boult puts hamstring conjecture to rest
Dark clouds hovered over Trent Boult's fitness late until match eve and murmurs of Marcus Stoinis saving the best for the last had gripped the air replete. A reversal of fortunes, quite an incredible one for that matter, set the tone on the very first ball of the game. The wiry left-arm hit the deck hard as his away-slanter cramped Stoinis for room and grazed the splice before thudding into Quinton de Kock's mitts overhead. Golden duck for Stoinis, an early incision worth its weight in gold for MI.
Partner-in-crime Jasprit Bumrah licked his lips at fine-leg as DC's opening domino fended reluctantly to submission. Shikhar Dhawan danced to the tunes of his new-ball hymn, teasing the slip cordon with a heart-in-your-mouth waft and jamming his bat down in the nick of the time to keep an inswinging snorter at bay. MI didn't just smell blood but saw it. Ajinkya Rahane proved the next casualty to the bombshell, feathering behind to Boult's wayward delivery that he'd glance for four in his sleep.
Yadav rises to the occasion
Skipper Sharma found merit in throwing the Yadav gauntlet against Dhawan, even if it meant fiddling with Boult's rhythm, and the manoeuvre worked like a charm. The southpaw unfurled the slog-sweep from his repertoire only for the flatter trajectory to make a hash of his stumps. DC's tattered cartwheel could've dealt a turn for the worse had Ishan Kishan latched on to Iyer's flaming swat at cover point off Nathan Coulter-Nile. A touch chance went begging, yet MI would take an opposition in the rut at 41/3 after the PowerPlay any day of the week.
Pant-Iyer jolted awake from their slumber
DC were headed full and straight towards ignominy when Iyer and Rishabh Pant, a pair of misfiring domestic talents, chose the most wondrous of nights to strike form. They picked the pieces up with steady accumulation off Yadav and Krunal Pandya before Pant cut loose to smoke the latter for two blast-from-the-past maximums in the 10th over, the ailing scorecard feeded a syringe of glucose at 75/3.
Sharma folded the spins twins back in his pocket and called upon Kieron Pollard's military-mediums to the rescue. Albeit to no avail with a tap leak of 13 runs, a nice little four and an audacious six sneakily arresting the momentum from MI's clench. Pant raised his bat to an opportune fifty courtesy his trademark lap-scoop but his endeavour of hooking Coulter-Nile landed down backward square's throat for 56.
MI's death-operation too hot to handle
Much to DC's relief, Iyer looked a dasher in his element. A couple of premeditated shuffles saw Bumrah being ravaged through the off-side, pinging them to healthier zones of 136-4 after 17th. Shimron Hetmyer fell prey to Boult's slower bouncer and Axar Patel to Coulter-Nile's as MI filed a notice of their savagery at death. Merely a single ball completed the aerial journey into the tiers in the last three as DC had to make ado with the psychological advantage of breaching the 150-barrier. Although within the deep recesses of their hearts, they all but knew that their efforts were a bit too shallow to vie for a gold medal.
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