Kolkata, May 27 (IANS) Mumbai Indians lifted the Indian Premier League title for the first time with a 23-run victory over a hapless Chennai Super Kings in the final, played in the shadow of the raging spot fixing scam amid reports that some more players could be arrested after the Eden Gardens game Sunday.
The Mumbai Indians successfully defended a modest 148/9, to hold an error-prone Chennai batsmen to 125/9 and extract sweet revenge for their 22-run defeat to the same rivals in a summit clash three years back.
For Chennai, skipper M.S. Dhoni ploughed a lonely furrow (63 not out; 45 b 3×4 5×6), as he joined in the middle with half the side gone and only 36 on the board into the seventh over.
Dhoni began by playing cautiously, but hit three sixes in an attempt to turn the game, but in the end that was not enough.
The one-sided game, played before packed galleries at the iconic venue, saw the Chennai Super Kings batsmen mostly go out to poor shots, though opener Mike Hussey was unlucky to be at the wrong end of a beautiful yorker length delivery from Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga that swung back into the Australian.
Once Hussey got out, the floodgates were opened, and Malinga was on a hat-trick by claiming new man Suresh Raina with the next ball.
The Kings’ woes continued, as S. Badrinath needlessly edged an offering wide outside the off stump from Mitchell Johnson. Inside two overs, Chennai were 3/3.
Opener Murali Vijay, seeing the procession from the other end, tried to rectify the damage in the company of Dwayne Bravo, but the Trinidadian departed after picking up some boundaries with lofted strokes.
Ravindra Jadeja fell to another soft dismissal without bothering the scorer, reducing Chennai to 36/5 in the seventh over.
Vijay (18), who earlier got a “life” when he was dropped on 14, went back in the very next over, worsening Chennai’s position.
Earlier, backed by a spirited bowling and electric fielding, Chennai Super Kings restricted Mumbai Indians to a gettable total.
However, thanks to a quickfire unbeaten 60 from Kieron Pollard (32b 7×4 3×6), Mumbai recovered from a disastrous start to reach a position of respectability after opting to bat first.
Apart from Pollard’s blitzkrieg, only Ambati Rayudu (37) and Dinesh Karthick (21) made useful contributions. For Chennai, Dwayne Bravo (4/44) was the most successful bowler followed by Albie Morkel (2/12).
The big match did not have exactly the sort of build up that one would have expected it to have.
The raging spot fixing scam seemed to have pushed into the background the on-field happenings as the scandal snared cricketers, an administrator and a small time Bollywood personality.
What is worse, as the game was on, there came reports that a Delhi police team was in the city and three to four IPL players were likely to be arrested after the final match.