Mumbai Indians Wins IPL 2017 by a Whisker
It was a contest befitting the final in the IPL’s 10th anniversary
Mumbai Indians clinched the IPL 2017 crown by successfully defending a score of 128 against the Rising Pune Supergiant in a closely fought contest that went down the wire.
Pune needing 4 runs to win and 3 runs to force a super over in the very last ball of their innings, ended up just one run short.
Chasing a target of 129 seemed like a cake walk as the Rising Pune Supergiant approached the game with cool, calm and collected manner, offering the Mumbai Indians the much needed grip to take it down to the last over.
Anchoring the batting line up, captain Steve Smith played a crucial knock of 51, only to find a fielder when it mattered the most.
Critics believe he could have paced his run chase better and led the momentum they had gained by the 15th over, but a tight bowling by the Mumbai Indians coupled with excellent fielding placement made it difficult for him to score runs with ease.
While MS Dhoni came in at the right time, and at one point, it seemed like the Smith-Dhoni duo could take their team over the finishing line comfortably, Bumrah’s clinical bowling in the 18th over made sure the Rising Pune Supergiant was going to fight it really hard, with over a required run rate hovering around 10.
A visibly nervous Smith faced Mitchel Johnson in the 18th over as he needed to score a boundary or two to stay afloat, and ensure fewer runs to score in the last two overs. As luck would have it, a well-timed cover drive went right into the hands of Rayudu, and the Mumbai India teams could smell the victory already.
However, the thriller was far from being over.
With 7 required from the 3 balls, all the Pune Supergiant required was to put the a least one ball over the rope. However, Mitchel Johnson kept it tight, conceding only 3 runs in his 4th and 5th delivery. This effectively brought the game to nail-biting finish, meaning the Pune Supergiant hit a four to win or run a 3 to force a super over.
As Christian swatted the ball between deep square and deep mid-wicket, and ran for everything, Suchith fumbled to collect the ball, giving the Pune Supergiant a whiff of a chance to run the third run and take it to the super over.
However, Washington Sundar was little late in running the 3rd, missing to make it by a yard or so.
The following image aptly show what happened next.