After 46 days of intense action and some amazing nail-biting action, The 10th-anniversary edition of Indian Premier League has finally ended on Sunday and what a thrilling end to the action-packed final showdown between the Rising Pune Supergiant and Mumbai Indians at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
In the final of the IPL 2017, Mumbai Indians defeated Rising Pune Supergiant by 1 run. The match had all the elements which a final match should have. MI dominated the points table in the league matches and after losing the first qualifier to RPS they defeated Kolkata Knight Riders and then came back to defeat RPS in the final. Out of 4 encounters between the two teams in this year’s IPL. Mumbai managed to win only 1, the final match. The previous three matches gave everyone the sign that maybe RPS will lift the trophy this year. The team looked very dominating with the leadership responsibilities being shared among two of the best captains of the cricketing world, Aussie skipper Steve Smith and former Indian skipper MS Dhoni.
We all saw both of them were strategizing together and started dominating the games after a bitter start in the first 2-3 games. RPS who entered IPL in 2016 did the most expensive deal in the auction this year by buying Ben Stokes for Rs 14.5 crores. Ben Stokes proved to be amazing for the team with both his batting and bowling skills. The English all-rounder has been awarded the Most Valuable Player of the tournament award for his performances. Stokes emerged as the Man of the Match for three times in the tournament.
As far as the final match is concerned, By batting first Mumbai Indians managed to reach a total of 129 runs for 8 wickets. The match looked one-sided because everyone knew that the target is quite easy to achieve for a batting line-up consisting of Ajinkya Rahane, Rahul Tripathi, Steve Smith and MS Dhoni but no one knew what god had in store for the Mumbai Indians side. The match slipped from the hands of RPS when Dhoni and Smith were dismissed by Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson, respectively. Along with the three wickets under his belly, It was Johnson’s last over which did the magic. When Johnson began to deliver the last over, RPS needed 11 runs off 6 balls when Manoj Tiwari hit the ball for a boundary. But Johnson struck back by taking two consecutive wickets in the next two balls which changed everything. Johnson proved everyone that age is just a number.
Rohit Sharma lifted the IPL trophy for the third time. He became the first captain to reach this milestone. Mumbai Indians is a very strong team as they have one of the best player combinations within their team. The team looked disappointed after the first innings ended with such a low score to defend. Sachin Tendulkar expressed how Mahela Jayawardene gave a speech to give encouragement to the team to defend the total. Sachin said, “The first half wasn’t great for us. We got together during the break and Mahela gave a nice speech. We believed that we could pull this off. The fielding was great under pressure. I have always believed in the saying, once a champion, always a champion. He (Malinga) has done well for us for a number of years. I was so sure that he was going to do something great tonight. He might not have had a great season, but he is one guy who can change it in one over.”
Rohit Sharma has been out of the game for a while and wasn’t even playing for the national team since a long time as he was recovering from an injury. Popularly known as ‘Hitman’, Sharma will now be seen with the national team in the upcoming ICC Champions Trophy which will begin from 1st June. India will commence their tournament against the arch-rivals Pakistan on June 4 at Edgbaston in England. India is the reigning champion of the Champions Trophy who won the last ICC CT in 2013 against England.
Rohit Sharma has credited the entire team for the success they achieved this season. In the post-match presentation, he said, “I was quite nervous to be honest, but the guys pulled off a great game. To defend 130 was a great effort. I am very happy. We never needed to change our plan. If you take one wicket, two, three could come. We bowled great variations. A lot of credit to the bowling unit. When you have bowlers like Bumrah and Malinga in the side, the belief is always there. Our spinners too, throughout the season, have been bowling well. This final will be special for me because of the way the team fought. Hats off to all the guys.”
Bumrah and Malinga are a great combination for this team. Bumrah has been appreciated by everyone for his amazing bowling in this season of IPL. Everyone saw the real magic of Bumrah in the MI vs Gujarat Lions clash this season which ended in a super over. Bumrah managed to deliver three perfect dot balls which took the match from the GL side and MI emerged as winners.
It will be unfair if we are talking about the finale and won’t mention Krunal Pandya’s match-winning performance with his bat. It was Pandya who took the responsibility and managed to score those important runs which made MI win this final match of IPL 2017. Pandya scored 47 runs off 38 balls with 3 fours and 2 sixes. In the post-match presentation, he said, “I really feel great that I contributed in two big games. Wickets fell at the other end when I was batting. So I wanted to bat deep because the pitch was slow. It’s how you prepare before the start of the tournament. It feels great to be Man of the Match in my first IPL final. I have to give a lot of credit to Nitin Patel for getting me fit in time for the playoffs.” Both the brothers, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya play for the MI clan and Hardik Pandya has been also indulged in the Indian national team so we can say that we can also expect the entry of his brother anytime soon.