Mumbai stun Bangalore in low-scoring Champions League final
With all the injuries and replacements at the start of the tournament, one wouldn't have given Mumbai Indians a chance of getting to the knockouts at the Champions League, let alone winning it today.
On a slow wicket at the Chidambaram Stadium with just 139 runs to defend, Harbhajan Singh led Mumbai astutely. He took 3-20 and Royal Challengers Bangalore were crushed by 31 runs in a low-scorer.
Bangalore started the chase strongly with Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chris Gayle adding 38 in four overs. In the next 10, they made 39-5. Harbhajan and Chahal choked the runs dry on a wicket that seemed considerably slower than earlier.
Mumbai raised their fielding a notch, took the catches that mattered. By the end, Bangalore had fallen so far behind the required rate, it's hard to tell looking at the scoreboard that they were ever in the chase.
Harbhajan gambled by giving Lasith Malinga a third over in his first spell. Malinga delivered with his first ball. Dilshan swung across the line and missed. Gayle fell to a dubious LBW to Harbhajan when his front leg was a long way down the wicket. Mumbai had a foot in the door.
Mayank Agarwal and Virat Kohli, still feeling the effects of batting on the Chinnaswamy belter, didn't last long and were caught in the deep slogging slow turners. Arun Karthik and Mohammad Kaif fell the same way but they were under considerable pressure from the mounting run-rate.
Three run-outs dented Mumbai before they could steer the innings to substantiality. It wasn't sensational fielding but Mumbai's sloppiness. Opener Sarul Kanwar was ball-watching at the non-striker's end when he ignored Aiden Blizzard's call and got him out.
Suryakumar Yadav was promoted above Kieron Pollard and batted usefully for 24. Then he backed up too far and Vettori ran him out in his follow-through. The big wicket was James Franklin's (41) and some lazy running with Pollard cost him his wicket.
In the next over by Vettori, Mumbai fell apart. Pollard strange half-hearted loft couldn't clear mid-on. Harbhajan Singh was given not-out by Kumar Dharmasena to plumb LBW first ball. But he was given LBW to a faster delivery next ball which clearly seemed heading down the leg-side.
This loss extends Bangalore's poor run in T20 finals. They had lost IPL finals in 2009 and 2011.