Mumbai send off Sachin with maiden IPL title

Fancied Chennai Super Kings ousted by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens.

Scorecard | Match pictures | Top IPL Performers | IPL Spot-Fixing

A timely return to form.KOLKATA: An IPL season of allegedly rampant malpractices drew to an insipid close on Sunday night as Mumbai Indians destroyed Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at the Eden Gardens to win their maiden domestic Twenty20 title.

The final match of a season that saw arrests of players and team personnel in connection with spot-fixing and that brought BCCI’s autocratic honcho N. Srinivasan to the brink of elimination from the powerful body – was almost anti-climactic.

Sachin's last IPL?

But as Mumbai players streamed on to the field in celebration, Sachin Tendulkar let slip a shocker to Harsha Bhogle in conversation that this might have been his last IPL season.

"I had to wait 21 long years for the World Cup and six years for the IPL. It has been an enjoyable journey and it's never too late. But I'm forty and this is the right time to stop playing IPL," he said.

Tendulkar did not play the final and the last few games this season on account of having suffered a tendon injury to the left hand.

Nine pins

Those expecting a crowd invasion in protest of the suspected murky dealings in IPL, or even a cracking contest, were disappointed. Kieron Pollard’s 32-ball 60 first rescued Mumbai from 52/4 in the tenth over to a respectable 148/9 on a pitch not entirely conducive to shot-making.
 
This was followed by Mumbai’s masterly pace bowling combination of Lasith Malinga and Mitchell Johnson – in tandem with Harbhajan Singh's and Pragyan Ojha's slower offerings – reducing Chennai to 58/8 inside the 12th over, the contest moving steadily in the direction of the team's second consecutive defeat in an IPL final.

Malinga strikes

As much credit as goes to Pollard, and the stabilizing 48-run stand he shared with Ambati Rayudu (37), Mumbai owe their first IPL win equally to Lasith Malinga, whose blistering spell with the new ball destroyed Chennai’s pursuit in nascence. The Lankan slinger bowled Orange Cap holder Michael Hussey with a yorker and bounced out the prolific Suresh Raina in the first over of the chase.

Chennai descended to 3/3 when S. Badrinath chased Johnson’s wide to the ‘keeper. Batsman after batsman seemed intent on giving up their wicket, and skipper MS Dhoni played the lone fighting hand in a losing cause with a 45-ball 63, including five sixes, but it was all in vain as his team ended on 125/9, its dreams of a third title win up in smoke.

Bravo's feat

Mumbai faced no little trouble of their own when they elected to bat. Chennai’s medium pace trio of Albie Morkel, Mohit Sharma and Chris Morris were outstanding and made early inroads - Aditya Tare, Rohit Sharma, and Dwayne Smith were all out cheaply - and then Dwayne Bravo claimed four wickets to finish with a record IPL season tally of 32 and the Purple Cap.

Bravo, however, leaked 42 in his four overs as Pollard and Rayudu put on the only partnership of note. The West Indian was in sublime form, picking fours off the slower bowlers and reaching his half-century off 31 balls in the last over of the innings. Pollard hit the last two deliveries, bowled by Bravo, for huge sixes, ending Mumbai's innings on a positive note, one they carried with them when they began to bowl.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Time for Chennai to enter familiar cocoon

Chennai have an emphatic 8-3 lead in the head-to-head with Punjab, with one game tied More »

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

Evenly matched Rajasthan and Hyderabad face-off

A quality that defines Rajasthan and Hyderabad is consistency. Rajasthan was one among two teams to enjoy complete dominance at home last season. Hyderabad… More »

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Beleaguered Yuvraj tees off to Sharjah's delight

Yuvraj Singh was hardly convincing to begin with against Delhi, but a big dose of crowd support and a helping of poor bowling meant he had the opportunity… More »

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

Fiery star Stokes bids to curb his temper

England all-rounder Ben Stokes admits he must keep his anger under control if he is to end his international exile. More »

Troubled Trott to take another break

Troubled Trott to take another break

Jonathan pulled out of England's tour to Australia Brisbane with a 'stress-related illness'. More »

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Bangalore's arsenal blazes to victory

Yuvraj Singh was back to his best in his first match for Royal Challengers Bangalore. More »

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

BCCI to meet before next court hearing

The BCCI will hold an emergent working committee meeting on April 20 to discuss the future course of action with regard to the Supreme Court hearing concerning… More »

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

Gavaskar wants a clean IPL

"Integrity is non-negotiable..." says the BCCI's interim chief ahead of Season 7 of the tainted league. More »

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

Kallis, Narine star in KKR win

An all-round display saw Knight Riders thump Mumbai Indians by 41 runs in the IPL-7 opener. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

Yuvraj happy to play for RCB: Kohli

New-look RCB will play their first game of IPL-7 on Thursday. More »

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

'Yak' Kallis still on top of his game

The 38-year-old South African veteran turned it on for Kolkata Knight RIders in the opening match of IPL-7. More »

IPL: News Line

IPL: News Line

A round-up of all the news from this season of the IPL. More »

Shane Watson issues moral warning

Shane Watson issues moral warning

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Johnson may quit T20s for Tests

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

Nepal players call off boycott

Nepal players call off boycott

Thaw in relations after formation of an advisory committee that would work in tandem with the Cricket Association of Nepal. More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »