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IPL 10: Mumbai Indians journey to record third IPL title

The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai stood apart from every other team this season as they recorded 10 wins from 14 league matches.

Mumbai Indians celebrate with IPL 2017 trophy
Mumbai Indians celebrate with IPL 2017 trophy. (Photo: IANS)

The grand finale of the tenth edition of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) was played between Mumbai Indians (MI) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) on May 21 (Sunday) in Hyderabad. The crowd at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium witnessed a nail-biting encounter as MI snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a thrilling last ball finish. The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai stood apart from every other team this season as they recorded 10 wins from 14 matches. They were also the first team to seal the deal for the playoffs.

However, as we look back towards the journey, IPL 10 was definitely one hell of a ride. A season that had everything in its bag right from the jaw-dropping moments to its fair share of highs and lows for each team. And with IPL being a pretty long tournament keeping a track of the entire journey might seem like a tedious task. But don’t worry, we at CricTracker have got it covered for you. Here’s how MI made road towards their third IPL title:

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Starting off the season:

Considered to be one of the strongest contenders at the beginning of the season, Mumbai Indians had a disappointing start to their campaign as they suffered a seven-wicket defeat against the RPS. However, the match went down to the wire only to finish on the penultimate delivery. A late blitz from Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya helped them amass 184, with Pandya clobbering Ashok Dinda for 30 runs in the last over, striking four sixes and a four. But in the end, their effort went down in vain as Pune got through the line banking on skipper Steven Smith’s unbeaten 84 off 54 balls.

After going down in the first game of the season, MI made a noteworthy comeback as they stormed through the next 6 matches winning all of them in style. A blend of experienced campaigners like Kieron Pollard and Parthiv Patel along with young guns like Nitish Rana and the Pandya brothers (Hardik & Krunal) came to the team’s rescue whenever it was needed. With 6 consecutive wins to their name Mumbai already had their one foot in the play-offs half way through the season.

The slump:

The team slumped to a new low in the middle of the season as their six-match winning streak was halted yet again by the Supergiant (RPS). Chasing 161, Mumbai fell short by just 3 runs as their lower order had a rare off day. Mumbai’s next game against the franchise from Gujarat was an absolute thriller as it went down to the super over to decide the winner. Owing to the brilliant bowling effort of Jasprit Bumrah who defended 11 runs when it mattered the most, MI got the joint lead at No 1 on the points table.

This was followed by comfortable victories against the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Delhi Daredevils (DD). However, the team, later on, tasted two consecutive defeats from the hands of the defending Champions, Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP). Yet, the team hardly ever let go of the top four positions on the leaderboard.

Ending the league phase:

In their final league match which was played against the two-time champions Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR), Mumbai made six changes to their side. It resulted in a nine-run win which also made them the first T20 team to 100 wins. Altogether Mumbai Indians finished off the round-robin of IPL 10 as table toppers with 20 points from 14 games. This meant that they would get two chances for making it to the grand-finale of the T20 league.

Qualifier 1:

Washington Sundar of Rising Pune Supergiant celebrates fall of Rohit Sharma's wicket
Rising Pune Supergiant. (Photo: IANS)

Playing at their fortress- Wankhede stadium, everyone expected MI to come back stronger this time around after having failed to defeat the RPS twice in the league phase. Having won the toss and electing to field first, Mumbai had a good start to the game as they gave two quick blows to Pune’s hopes inside 2 overs. However, the partnership between Manoj Tiwary (58 off 48) and Dhoni (40* off 26) took Pune’s total to 162.

The last two overs fetched 41 as MS Dhoni clobbered five sixes giving Pune’s fans a reason to cheer. Even though the hosts possessed a strong batting line-up they were restricted to 142 after a brilliant start provided by their opener Parthiv Patel (52). However, the 17-year-old spinner from Pune, Washington Sundar produced his best performance of the season and booked a place for them in the final. Mumbai was crushed by RPS for the third time in the season as a result of which they now had to travel to Bengaluru to face KKR in Qualifier 2.

Qualifier 2:

Krunal Pandya of Mumbai Indians
Krunal Pandya of Mumbai Indians in action. (Photo: Dhananjay TK/IANS)

Going into the match, MI team management shocked everyone when it decided to persist with Karn Sharma instead of going back to a veteran like Harbhajan Singh. After winning the toss once again, Rohit Sharma expectedly made KKR bat first. Mumbai’s bowling attack led by Karn Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah bundled out KKR for a mediocre score of 107.

With the depth Mumbai had in its batting lineup it was never going to be difficult for them to chase down the total and they did so with 6 wickets in hands and 33 balls to spare. As a result, Mumbai marched to their fourth IPL final which was to be played against their Maharashtra rivals- Pune who had already defeated them thrice in the season.

The Grand-Finale:

Mumbai Indians celebrate with IPL 2017 trophy trends
Mumbai Indians celebrate with IPL 2017 trophy. (Photo: IANS)

In an all important final, Pune was bang on the money in the first half of the game when they restricted the mighty men in blue to a mediocre score of 129. Mumbai seemed completely off the track with the willow as they played a mind-boggling 54 dot balls. This meant that only wickets could have fetched Rohit and Co their third IPL title. This actually went on to play on the minds of Pune’s batsman who seemed a little too defensive in their approach. However, skipper Steven Smith kept his team in the hunt from one end scoring 51 off 50 balls. When his team needed 23 off 12 balls the skipper finally got into the action as he lofted Bumrah’s length ball over long-off to make the calculations easy. He finished off the over with a couple.

It all went down to Mitchell Johnson’s last over who had 11 runs to defend. And then Manoj Tiwary hit the first ball to boundary bringing the equation down to 7 from 5 balls. At this point in time, it felt as if Mumbai would have to wait for the next season to clinch their third title. But the twist in the tale was yet to come. The next two deliveries turned out to be a disaster for Pune as both Tiwary and skipper Smith were caught in the deep. With four needed off the final ball, Daniel Christian went for an impossible 3rd run only to get run out and Mumbai’s team went nuts. They had snatched victory from the jaws of defeat to be crowned champions for the third time.

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