Mumbai Indians 157 for 5 beat Delhi Capitals 156 for 7 by five wickets
They won the toss, batted and lost when batting first was in vogue. Then they lost the toss, and got blown away. They won the toss again, chased and lost when chasing was in vogue. Between that third match and the final, they discovered that they play their best cricket when batting first. So, in the final of IPL 2020, the Delhi Capitals won the toss and did just that. And got blown away again. The Mumbai Indians were way too good for the second-best team of the tournament on four different occasions. With their fourth win over the Capitals, they sealed their fifth IPL title, their most comfortable to date, a crown jewel for the most dominant Twenty20 empire across the cricketing world.
Mumbai had made big strides towards that title even before the start of the final. Offspinner Jayant Yadav was to play only his second match of the tournament, to counter Capitals’ left-hand hitters. Before Jayant came into play, Trent Boult took out the Capitals’ super hero Marcus Stoinis. Despite a first fifty this IPL from Rishabh Pant, the Capitals finished with an underwhelming 156. Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma then killed off the chase in the powerplay, with the captain going on to see the chase through.
Former Capitals boys strike
It was a perfect start for Mumbai. They wanted Boult to carry on taking early wickets, and he struck with the first ball, getting Stoinis with extra bounce and inwards movement. In Boult’s second, Ajinkya Rahane tickled one down the leg side, probably having moved too far across trying to cover the swing. That made it 16 powerplay wickers for Boult this IPL, which is the joint-best for a season alongside Mitchell Johnson who got it in Mumbai’s maiden championship year – 2013.
It was in the fourth over that Mumbai struck real gold. Against Jayant – like Boult, not long ago a Capitals player – Shikhar Dhawan had two options: the obvious one was to let the right-hand batsman Shreyas Iyer take Jayant on, or he could try to use the field restrictions himself. He took the less obvious route, trying the big sweep, exposing his stumps and getting bowled. Capitals 22 for 3 in 3.3 overs.
The Capitals’ old firm comes together
They are still young men, but Iyer and Pant had been the core of the Capitals’ revival last year. They are probably the two faces that come to mind when you think Capitals. Perhaps not wanting to waste the big overs against an out-of-form Pant, Mumbai chose not to encash the Bumrah match-up so early. The duo picked singles and twos off three straight overs of spin, getting themselves in, before Pant opened up.
More to follow…
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