What more do you expect from Mumbai Indians? Respite is not even in their dictionary, as they broke the Delhi top-order into smithereens and even after Pant-Iyer special, they could only get 156 on board. In the second innings, it was a walk in the park, as Mumbai chased it down in the 19th over.
DC 5/10 - A big match final and then your in-form opener Marcus Stoinis walks off for a duck, sums up Delhi’s start to the final. If that doesn’t, then Rahane walking off should and if even that doesn’t make sense, Dhawan decided to join them in the hut, as the score read a paltry 41 on board. TERRIBLE START.
MI 9/10 - Contrasting starts for both franchises in the final, Delhi were awfully fidgety and Mumbai were staggeringly dominating. Right from the first over, Rohit stepped down the track and smashed a six. If Rohit was good, Quinton de Kock was even better, with 20 runs from his first 11 deliveries. Even after de Kock’s dismissal, Suryakumar Yadav ensured that MI finished on 61, chasing 157. A BIG WIN!
DC 9/10 - What do you do when the wall is closing on you? BREAK THE GODDAMN WALL and that’s what Delhi did with Rishabh Pant and Iyer. They took on the bowlers positively, with singles and doubles and when the opportunity came up, Pant took the punt and smashed Krunal Pandya for two massive sixes. 118/4, 77 runs in the middle-phase and Delhi were up and running.
MI 10/10 - Can’t complain, there was not one wrong step away from probably Rohit’s stupid mistake to sell SKY down the river. Mumbai were light-years ahead of Delhi in the middle-phase of the run chase, with Rohit and Suryakumar Yadav doing all the hard work for them. 65 runs and that was enough, more than enough to cement them their fifth IPL final victory against a hapless Delhi side.
MI 8/10 - BRILLIANT. This was MUMBAI INDIANS at their best! 118/4, Delhi surely would have looked at a score of well-above 160 to give them a sniff of a chance in the second half. However, Mumbai executed their plans brilliantly, bowling the right lengths, mixing between Tests and T20s, getting three wickets and just conceding 38 runs in the final five overs, despite a set Iyer still at the crease. Terrible batting and excellent bowling ended Delhi’s innings at 156/7.
DC N/A - By the time the death overs were announced, Delhi bowling attack was already dead and were looking for respite to get away from this massacre that is the IPL final. Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma just completed the remaining formalities as the celebration began in the 13th over of their run-chase. And for Delhi, there was indeed a lesson to learn.
Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai are ‘match-up’ specialists
At the toss, Rohit Sharma announced that Jayant Yadav finds a place in the XI instead of Rahul Chahar, which spurred a lot of surprising responses. However, for Mumbai, they are always aware and alert to all kinds of match-ups that are on offer and Jayant was just another one of them. Marcus Stoinis vs Trent Boult, Shikhar Dhawan vs Jayant Yadav. Both of them worked really well for the Mumbai Indians, with the left-arm seamer accounting early on for a poking Marcus Stoinis, who walked off for a first-ball duck. In the fourth over, the blockbuster of the match-up was still awaiting, when Jayant's ‘not-spinning’ delivery hit the middle stump and timber-red the end of Dhawan’s stay at the crease. An inspired match-up from an inspirational skipper for the four-time IPL champions.
Rishabh Pant finally breaks the shackles
It was long incoming but never quite arrived but today was no ordinary day for Rishabh Pant and Delhi Capitals. They were under the pump early on, at 22/3, dangling like a rabbit to a carrot. Coming into this encounter, Pant had scores of 21, 8*, 3 and 2*, which was nowhere close to even 1% of his potential. This season it has looked like Pant was always trying to break the shackles but the opponents with their match-ups got the better of him. However, today there was a serious chance for the southpaw to get back into his groove, with Krunal Pandya and Nathan Coulter-Nile bowling against him. While he spent his first few deliveries knocking the ball for a single and double, in the tenth over of the innings, in an unexpected manner, he walked down for two sixes, which changed the game’s pace. From there on, he never looked back until he was dismissed for a 38-ball 56. If counter-attacking is an art, Pant is a really good artist.
Delhi’s bowling ‘woes’ exposed yet again
Delhi have a really good bowling unit, which is a no brainer but their weakness this season has been very well documented by the IPL teams. Now, for example, look at their bowling display against Sunrisers Hyderabad, once David Warner and Wriddhiman Saha started attacking them, they couldn’t have a grip over the encounter. Unlike the other sides, they have failed to make a comeback once the other team gets going. Rabada’s pathetic average in the powerplay was once again exposed, so was their over-dependence on Ashwin and Axar Patel. The reluctance to use Anrich Nortje more in the first six also put them under loads of pressure and once Pravin Dubey wasn't bowling well, there was no pressure on MI to take the risk. Delhi really need to sort out their bowling woes before the next season, especially their Indian pace contingent, which has put all kinds of pressure on their foreign unit.
Rishabh Pant’s wicket was arguably the biggest turning point in the encounter, not for just the prize of his wicket but for what happens after a set batsman walks off in a big final. At 118/3, the game was clearly dragged back by Delhi but once Pant walked the long walk, they were reduced to just 156 runs, a definite turning point in the context of a big game.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Awful for seven franchise fans!
Fans of seven franchises in unison supported the DC but their top-order didn’t quite support them in the same ferocious manner the fans got behind their backs. Once their top-order was gone, we were all blessed by a blissful knock from Pant after the Boult-beauty early on. In the second innings, once again we were all hooked to our TV screens to watch Rohit bat the way he bats, absolute genius. But for all the other franchise fans who were rooting against Mumbai, it was just a stupid stupid clash, horribly one-sided.