Mumbai Indians outplay Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2015 finals: CSK, Dhoni flop
Though the home side was not in the final, Kolkata cricket fans were in their usual exuberant mood once again in the IPL 8 finals. The match will be remembered by one of the best matches of the tournament and though the favorites fell flat, the game won.
No one was in doubt that the Mahendra Singh Dhoni led, Chennai Super Kings were the favorite to win the tournament. There is no denying the fact that being led by Dhoni brings the aura of invincibility with him, but last night it was different. Despite his overwhelming presence he couldnâ€™t ensure the success of his side in the biggest and the most paying cricket tournaments in the world.
I am sure after last nightâ€™s win in the Indian Premier League 2015, Mumbai Indian fans will start loving the ground. This is the place that has given them many formidable successes and last nightâ€™s crushing defeat that Mumbai Indians wrought on Dhoniâ€™s side was simply unbelievable.
From the word go, Mumbai Indians were on top. Mumbai Indians posted an imposing 202 for five as skipper Rohit Sharma (50) and Lendl Simmons (68) rattled up a 119-run stand off just from 67 balls after being invited to bat. The Mumbai captain, who has an ODI world record of 264 and also a debut Test hundred at the Eden Gardens, yet again exploded at his favourite venue. Sharma (6 fours, 2 sixes) and Simmons (8 fours 3 sixes) plundered 19 boundaries in their partnership. After Sharma and Pollard’s dismissal in consecutive balls, burly West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard (36) and Ambati Rayudu (36 not out) led the side past 200.
Then they also performed with the ball too. Mumbai bowlers complimented the good work of the batsmen as they took the fizz out of Chennai’s chase with a very disciplined effort. They straitjacketed the Chennai batsmen, restricting them to 161 for eight as seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh took the key wickets of Dwayne Smith (57) and Suresh Raina (28) in two overs. Kiwi pacer Mitchell McClenaghan (3/25) took three wickets while his Sri Lankan pace colleague Lasith Malinga (2/25) scalped two batsmen. Mumbai had won their first title in 2013 at this very venue, defeating the same rivals. Chennai have now lost four finals (2008, 2012, 2013, 2015) in six appearances.
On the other hand Chennai Super Kings flopped in almost all the aspects of the game. Chasing the huge target, CSK opted to take it easy and concentrated on building a platform after losing Michael Hussey (4) early. Smith and Raina bided their time and looked to consolidate but it meant that they managed only 31 runs from the first six overs. The required run-rate kept on going up and shot past 13 at the midway mark. Smith completed his half-century in 45 balls but only to be trapped lbw by Harbhajan in his penultimate over. Having made a grand comeback into the Bangladesh-bound Test side, Harbhajan completed his spell in style by dismissing Raina. Looking to step out, Raina was brilliantly deceived by the veteran off-spinner who bowled a wide ball and wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel did the rest behind the stumps.
Others were of no use either. With Hussey, Smith and Raina back in the pavilion, and skipper Dhoni not looking in his usual elements, it looked as good as over for the yellow brigade who choked in an IPL final for a fourth time. Talk about Sharma and his sizzling love-affair at Eden Gardens, and he has done nothing wrong at the ground. A stunning 177 on Test debut, an ODI world record of mindboggling 264, an IPL century (60-ball 109) against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and an unbeaten 98 in the opening match of this season.