Mumbai Indians book place in IPL Final

May 20, 2015 | 10:51 AM | 85 Views

Mumbai Indians (MI) have qualified for their third Indian Premier League (IPL) final as they beat the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 25 runs in the Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede Stadium. Chasing 188 to win, CSK started well, but then crumbled in the middle. At the half-way mark, they were 86 for two with Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis in the middle. Raina started off well and du Plessis was looking in good touch. At the same stage in their innings, MI were 86 for no loss and that showed that there was not much to loose. In came Harbhajan Singh and turned the match in MI’s favour quite drastically. Raina checked his shot to a loopy delivery and offered a simple return-catch to Harbhajan. Off the next ball, skipper MS Dhoni tried to sweep and was hit plumb in front From there on, CSK struggled and kept losing wickets at regular intervals. MI managed to strangle CSK then even as Dwayne Bravo tried to script a recovery. Du Plessis hit one to long-on and then Bravo was run-out in the 15th over to leave CSK with dashed hopes. A small assault by Ravichandran Ashwin gave them a glimmer of hope at the death but Lasith Malinga returned to clean the tail up and finish the game in 19 overs. This is only the second time MI have beaten CSK in a playoff game. The last time they did that was during the IPL 2013 final at Kolkata. Harbhajan was the star for MI with the ball and in this big game, his spell of two for 26 turned out to be crucial. In that match-turning over, he almost had a third wicket as Bravo hit one back at him but it hit his little finger. The off-spinner was then seen going back to the dug-out to get some attention. MI would hope it isn’t too bad and that he is fully fit for the final. Looking back, Rohit Sharma’s decision to bat first paid dividends as MI managed to put pressure on CSK in the big game. Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel continued their good form in tandem as they game MI yet another good start. Starting off with positive intent, the pair took MI to 90 runs inside 11 overs, setting them up for a score over 200. However, CSK managed to get back in the game as MI lost four wickets for 39 runs in six overs. MI had lost Simmons for 65 as he holed out to cover. Rohit hit one to mid-wicket and Hardik Pandya too found the man in the deep. At 139 for four in the 17th over, MI needed a serious assault. Kieron Pollard maintained his cool through the innings and picked his opportunities to score. In 17 balls, he smashed 41, which included five big hits. It was due to his innings that MI managed to touch 187 for six in their 20 overs.

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