IPL final: Chennai restrict Mumbai to 148/9

Kolkata, May 26 (IANS) Backed by a spirited bowling and electric fielding, Chennai Super Kings restricted Mumbai Indians to 148/9 in the Indian Premier League final at the Eden Gardens here Sunday.

Riding on a quickfire unbeaten 60 from Kieron Pollard, Mumbai recovered from a disastrous start to post a respectable total.

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).

Opting to bat first, Mumbai lost both their openers inside the first seven balls. Dwayne Smith (4), who has been in blistering form, was the first to go trapped in front by Mohit Sharma in the very inaugural over.

There was a further jolt as Albie Morkel castled Adita Tare (0) in the first ball of the second over.

Chennai’s find of the season Sharma, coming to the match with 19 wickets, spit venom as the Mumbai batsmen, especially Dinesh Karthik, struggled against his moving deliveries.

Mumbai’s hopes of a revival riding on the shoulders of skipper Rohit Sharma evaporated into thin air when the middle-order bat lobbed a catch back to Morkel.

The in-form Karthik then joined hands with Ambati Rayudu as the duo played cautiously, hitting the occasional boundaries.

Just when it looked Mumbai were recovering, Karthik (21; 26b 3×4) dragged on to his stumps a Chris Morris delivery sending ripples of joy into the Chennai camp. With half the overs gone, Mumbai had managed just 58 runs losing four men.

Karthik’s demise brought in big-hitter Pollard who did not lost much time to settle down as he hit R Ashwin for a towering six over long-on.

Partnering Rayudu, he took Mumbai to 100 in the 15th over.

With just five overs to go, and Mumbai looking to launch an onslaught, Chennai dealt another blow when Bravo cleaned up Rayudu (37;36b 4×4) who tried playing an extravagant shot.

Harbhajan Singh(14;8b 3×4) hit Bravo for three fours before getting caught in the deep in the same over as Mumbai reached 129/6 at the end of the 18th over.

Mumbai’s cause was not helped by the fact that wickets kept tumbling at the other end and Pollard mostly remained away from strike in the last two overs of the innings.

Pollard got to play the last two balls of the 20thover in which he hit two sixes to take Mumbai to 148/9, getting past his half century in the process.

The dashing West Indian remained unbeaten on 60 (32b 7×4 3×6).

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