Mumbai Indians continue IPL dominance after clinching record fifth title

Mumbai Indians continue IPL dominance after clinching record fifth title

A strong display with the ball led by Trent Boult and a match winning batting performance by skipper Rohit Sharma helped MI beat the Delhi Capitals by 5 wickets

After winning four IPL trophy on odd years – 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, the Mumbai Indians (MI) clinched their fifth IPL trophy in an even year – 2020, by beating first time finalist Delhi Capitals at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

With this championship victory, MI extended the IPL record for most championship wins by a side and solidifying their reputation as the best T20 side in the world.

Throughout the tournament, Mumbai Indians had the best bowling attack compared to other teams. On a big day such as the finals, it was MI’s bowlers that were critical in laying the groundwork to Mumbai’s win.

Delhi Capital’s (DC) skipper Shreyas Iyer won the toss and decided to bat first, something he has been comfortable doing throughout the season. He stuck with his new opening pair of Marcus Stoinis and Shikhar Dhawan as they were key in DC’s win in Qualifier 2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad. But thing went downhill for DC, after MI’s strike bowler Trent Boult struck gold on the very ball by getting DC’s new opening batsmen Marcus Stoinis to nick and moving delivery to keeper Quinton de Kock. Not the start DC wanted. Dhawan was then joined by Ajinkya Rahane. Dhawan played aggressively hitting Jasprit Bumrah and Boult for a boundary each. However, in his second over, Boult struck once again by dismissing Rahane. DC were under the pump.

At the toss, Rohit Sharma made a bold decision to drop in-form leggie Rahul Chahar and bring in off-spinner Jayant Yadav, who was playing his second game of the tournament. Considering the five left-handed batsmen in DC’s side, this seemed a good choice. Yadav was brought into the attack into fourth over of the first innings and struck immediately by bowling out Dhawan. This meant two new batsmen and DC’s middle order were already in before the completion of the fourth over.

Despite being under the pump, Iyer and Rishabh Pant stitched a brilliant partnership with both slamming half centuries. Pant, who struggled throughout the tournament, registered his first fifty of the season and in a crucial game. He became the second youngest to hit a fifty in the IPL finals history since Manan Vohra did in 2014. But was dismissed a few balls later ending his innings of 56 runs off 38 balls. The way Pant was batting it seemed that Delhi would reach above 180 runs in 20 overs. Skipper Iyer continued to play a smart innings but did not receive support from the other end. At the end of 20 overs, DC reached a 157-5 courtesy of Iyer’s unbeaten innings of 65 runs off 50 balls. DC fell short of at least 30 runs. MI’s Boult was the pick of the bowlers picking up 3 wickets in his four overs and giving away 30 runs. Surprisingly, Bumrah did not pick a single wicket but was economical giving away 28 runs of his 4 overs. Yadav picked the key wicket of Dhawan but conceded just 25 runs in his 4 overs. A top bowling display by a top side.

In the second innings, Ravichandran Ashwin opened the bowling for DC but was hit for a six in his very third bowl by Rohit Sharma. DC’s pacer Kagiso Rabada was brought into the attack from the other but was smashed around for 14 runs in his very first over by South African teammate Quinton de Kock. MI got a great start with both opener quacking putting 45 runs in 4 overs.

DC went to Stoinis and he struck first ball removing de Kock. But MI didn’t show any signs of slowing down. Suryakumar Yadav walked in and hit 10 runs in the first two balls he faced. Rohit Sharma continued his aggression against DC’s bowlers. But on the last bowl of the 11th over, tragedy struck as Suryakumar Yadav sacrificed his wicket by being run out. Ishan Kishan joined Rohit at the crease as the latter was inching closer to a fifty in the final. Rohit went on to score a match winning 68 runs off 51 balls. By the time Rohit was dismissed, MI needed 20 of 22 balls. They did get there but lost 2 wickets in the process.

In the end Mumbai Indians retained their crown. Trent Boult was awarded the man of the final for his spectacular bowling display. Royal Challengers Bangalore's debutant Devdutt Padikkal won the Emerging Player award of the season. MI won the Fairplay Award of the season. DC’s Kagiso Rabada and Kings XI Punjab's KL Rahul won the Purple and Orange Cap respectively. Rajasthan Royals's Jofra Archer was the Most Valuable Player of the season.

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