New Delhi: At the Ferozeshah Kotla, Kushal Perera took off for a run that didn’t exist. Non striker Ajinkya Rahane said no. But by the time the Sri Lankan understood, Dinesh Karthik had taken the bails off. Not a good way to start if you are chasing a 203-run target in a final.
But people don’t write good things about Mr.Samson for nothing.
The young man keeps his head still, and importantly keeps calm. Just 18, the right-hander made room, hitting Harbhajan Singh for his first six, down the ground. Nathan Coulter-Nile learnt some Malayalam the hard way. There was no way the Australian was going to keep quiet, after being hit for two fours and a six by Samson. Suddenly Rajasthan looked like they could catch up with Mumbai.
Rahane and Samson had a strong partnership in place.
As the duo continued to accelerate, Coulter-Nile let out a shriek as Maxwell and Harbhajan converged towards a catch, but ended up confusing each other as the ball fell safely onto the ground. The batsman was Sanju Samson. And he rubbed it in by hitting the next ball for four.
However, in the next over, Samson would fall for 60 to Pragyan Ojha. Shane Watson made 8, before being bowled by Man-of-the-Match Harbhajan Singh. Rajasthan however still had their hopes up, as Ajinkya Rahane was still around. But the turbanator had other plans. In over No.16, Harbhajan (4/34) accounted for Rahane, Binny and Cooper to put the game back in Mumbai’s court.
Rahul Dravid was yorked by Coulter-Nile in his final innings, and he walked off after a pat on the back from the other farewell guest-Sachin Tendulkar. Mumbai Indians then wiped off the tail, to complete a 33-run win, completing a double as they won the 2013 IPL as well.
Earlier, Dravid won the toss and asked the Mumbai Indians to bat first.
After being tested by the first two deliveries of the match, Dwayne Smith smacked the third for a six over midwicket. James Faulkner completed the over without any more damage. Sachin Tendulkar then played his first ball in the second over, for the last time in coloured clothing. He managed a single, and survived a leg-before-wicket appeal from Shane Watson.
That was close.
First change Rahul Shukla had given Smith a scare with a direct hit from third man in the third over. But with his cap with the umpire, Shukla could only watch as the West Indian pulled off a boundary that added four runs to his account. At 27/0 after four overs, the Mumbai Indians were finding the accelerator.
Then came a loud silence.
The first four came on the off-side, the second was glanced down to long leg, while the third was driven with a lovely follow through. To a ball coming in, Sachin Tendulkar went on the up, with the front foot nowhere near the pitch of the ball. The off-stump went for a walk, Watson smiled, while Tendulkar held the bat with both hands, before entering the dug out, with his team applauding.
15 runs. One last time.
Dwayne Smith (44) and Ambati Rayudu (29) continued to fire the cannons, but Pravin Tambe (2/19) had both right-handers bowled, to emerge as the tournament’s highest wicket-taker. But Kieron Pollard (15) and Rohit Sharma (33) continued the onslaught. Thankfully for Rajasthan, Faulkner bowled Pollard, before catching Sharma off Rahul Shukla.
But there would be no respite.
For Glenn Maxwell walked in and smashed his way to 37 off 14, hitting four fours and two sixes in the process. Dinesh Karthik (15*) and Harbhajan Singh (7*) struck a few lusty blows, to walk off with Mumbai registering a mammoth total of 202/6.
The Rajasthan Royals would pay the price for some pretty wayward bowling.
Tendulkar and Dravid given guard of honour