Vineet Ramakrishnan/Zeenews Sports Bureau
Chennai: Mumbai Indians won the third edition of Champions League Twenty20 on the back of a spirited bowling performance led by Captain Harbhajan Singh as the franchise got the taste of success for the first time in 4 years and their first piece of silverware.
With a modest total of 139 to defend, that too against a RCB line-up that had chased down above 200 twice before coming into the final was an improbable task but with the likes of talismanic Malinga, mercurial Pollard and the charismatic Harbhajan Singh in the ranks, the Bangalore challenge was squashed by the Indians at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai.
Without their big guns in the squad, the depleted and wounded Mumbai franchise was in the news for all the wrong reasons at the start yet they scrapped past the league stages with few low scoring and heart stopping affairs to reach the finals against the formidable RCB which was powered by Gayle force and brute Kohli aggression.
For Mumbai Indians, Harbhajan led from the front and took the Man of the Match award with an impressive tally of three wickets with a run rate under six. He was ably supported by the young Yazuvendra Chahal who kept the pressure on from one end finishing off with 3-0-9-2 with an economy of 3.00. Even big man Keiron Pollard did his bit with the ball even though he failed with the bat in the entire series. James Franklin once again proved to be the man of the moment for Mumbai as the lanky New Zealander came up with another crucial knock with the bat scoring a very vital 41, the top score for the entire match.
Royal Challengers Bangalore were definitely the favourites going into the second innings to chase down a modest total of 139. The RCB bowling came to the fore in the decider with the likes of Nannes and Vettori coming up with stellar performances to restrict the Mumbai batsmen. Sreenath Arvind who is in the Indians squad which would be squaring off against England again had a bad day at the office going for more than 8 runs per over. Raju Bhatkal was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets. In batting, Dilshan top scored with 27 as the star performers Gayle and Virat Kohli failed to deliver in the decider.
The slow pitch of MA Chidambaram Stadium had something for the bowlers as well as the batsmen and the Mumbai spinners utilized the conditions and extracted maximum out of the pitch to choke the Royal Challengers Bangalore batsmen during the run chase. Even RCB bowlers enjoyed the slowness of the pitch with Vettori taking full advantage. He had Pollard and Bhajji out in the 16th over to give RCB the advantage. But, Lasith Malinga who was adjudged the Man of the Series came good with the bat as well pushing the Mumbai total past 130.
The batting of Royal challengers had predominantly revolved around the top four and once Bhajji scalped the wickets of Gayle and Kohli who were clearly struggling to come to terms with the pitch, the match tilted in Mumbai’s favour. The young Indian players forgot the basics and went for glory shots when the need of the hour was to take singles, doubles and rotate the strike. Mayank Aggarwal, Arun Karthik, Sourabh Tiwari and even the veteran M Kaif crumbled under pressure and went for big shots. From here on it was matter of chipping away the wickets which was done in the usual fashion by Malinga.
Royal Challengers Bangalore innings
Overs (15-19.2) RCB: 108 all out
With 37 needed in the last two over game was already over for RCB as they crumbled under pressure as Mumbai Indians won the finals of Champions League Twenty20.
Mumbai Indians have been a part of low scoring affairs on more than couple off occasion in CLT20 and in the finals as well the Mumbai bowlers tightened the screws on RCB defending a rather modest total.
Pollard made his presence felt even though he failed with the bat picking up M. Kaif, who like others went for the glory shot instead of putting their head down and working out the pitch.
Pollard finished his quota of four overs with an impressive tally of 4-0-21-1.
Overs (7-14) RCB: 77/5
Yuzvendra Chahal scalped Arun Karthik for a duck to tilt the match in Mumbai’s favour as RCB crumbled to the tight bowling from Chahal and Harbhajan.
Harbhajan Singh once again provided the vital breakthrough in the form of Virat Kohli in the 12th over to put Mumbai back in the match in a roaring fashion.
Kohli was clearly struggling to come to terms with the slowness of the Chennai strip as the man in-form could muster only 11 off 19 deliveries.
The Chennai pitch got slower and slower as RCB were in a spot of bother chasing the modest total of 139. Spinners Chahal and Bhajji kept a check on the Bangalore scoring.
Harbhajan Singh bowled with intend and put RCB on the backfoot as Keiron Pollard also bowled smartly, mixing up the slowers and cutters to good effect.
In-form batsmen Virat Kohli and youngster Mayank Agarwal had some trouble moving on as the run-rate kept creeping up.
Overs (1-6) RCB: 42/2
Harbhajan Singh got the big wicket of Chris Gayle in an over which saw some turn being produced by the turbanator and gave away only a single.
Gayle who had struggled to connected the ball well in his short vigil of 12 balls where he scored only 5.
Harbhajan gave Malinga his third straight over and he came back strongly to scalp the dangerous Dilshan for 27.
Malinga started off with a no-ball which was deposited to the deep square leg boundary with ease by his Sri Lankan captain T. Dilshan as he conceded 11 off the first over.
Dilsan taking charge then hit Abu Nachim who shared the new ball with Malinga for two consecutive boundaries. Gayle on the other end symbolised the lull just before a storm.
Mumbai Indians innings
Sreenath Arvind got the final wicket of Chahal and with that Mumbai were bundled out for 139 in 20 overs.
Daniel Vettori led from the front picking up two crucial wickets of Pollard and Harbhajan. Dirk Nannes also came to the foray with a hostile spell of fast bowling conceding only 3.50 runs per over.
For Mumbai Indians, James Franklin top scored with 41 but he was run out at the wrong time for the Mumbai Franchise. His run out and that off Aiden Blizzard in the second over was definitely a major setback for the Indians.
Big hitting pollard again failed to deliver.
Overs (15- 20) Mumbai: 139 all out
The end was definitely coming and 139 all out was not the score Mumbai would have been looking for as Y Chahal was the last batsmen out in the final over of the match bowled by Sreenath Arvind.
With all the recognized batsmen back in hood, Lasith Malinga and Rajagopal Sathish swinged their bat at everything connecting a couple to extend the Mumbai Indians score past 130 but RCB had put up a far more spirited bowling performance which was lacking earlier.
Captain Vettori got the big wicket of Keiron Pollard and his counterpart Harbhajan in the same over to probably tilt the match in RCB’s favour as the Mumbai Indians innings crumbled as if in a self destruction mode.
In the previous over, a very casual piece of cricket led to the demise of set batsmen James Franklin who was run-out at a very crucial juncture of Mumbai innings. Nannes effected the run-out.
Overs (7- 14) Mumbai: 106/4
With just five overs left Mumbai are now left with Pollard and the lower middle order to get some quick runs as RCB would be looking to squeeze in more on the Mumbai run rate.
RCB got a lucky break through in the form of dangerous Suryakumar Yadav as Vettori smartly ran out Yadav at the non-striker’s end.
That brought the big hitting Keiron Pollard out to the center.
Suryakumar Yadav had earlier justified his place ahead of Pollard with two hefty but classic hits past the boundary as Franklin also made a move on as Mumbai set themselves for the onslaught.
By the end of 10 overs Mumbai stood at 71 for the loss of three wickets even as rookie Suryakumar Yadav was sent ahead of Pollard.
Bangalore bowlers including Captain Vettori and Raju Bhatkal bowled sensibly and stuck to the basics giving little away for the Franklin and Yadav to work around.
Though both the batsmen were able to maintain the 7 runs per over run rate with the odd boundaries here and there
Ambati Rayadu was looking in charge and along with Franklin steadied the Mumbai innings somewhat but Raju Bhatkal scalped the Hyderabad batsmen to push the brakes on Mumbai scoring rate.
Overs (1-6) Mumbai: 43/2
Mumbai Indians failed to capitalize the powerplay overs losing both the openers and managing a run rate of just above 7 an over.
RCB bowlers did well to restrict the Mumbbai batsmen as both Nannes and Aravind had a relatively decent start as scompared to the other games.
Dirk Nannes who had a disappointing CLT20 produced a stunning yorker beating young Sarul Kanwar all ends up. Kanwal, probably playing his first ever high profile match looked nervous during his brief stay as Ambati Rayadu who coming in at No. 3 looked to rotate the strike rather than going for the big shots.
Early on, it was not a good start for Mumbai Indians as the semifinal’s highest scorer for Mumbai franchise Aiden Blizzard was in the middle of a bad mix up ending up being run out. Sarul Kanwar stayed on his crease even though Blizzard had run the entire 22 yard. The Australian was clearly livid about his dismissal.
Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh won toss and elected to bat against Royal Challengers Bangalore at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chepauk, Chennai in the finals of Champions league Twenty20 2011.
Royal Challengers Bangalore
C Gayle, T Dilshan, V Kohli, S Tiwary, M Kaif, M Agarwal, R Bhatkal, K Arun Karthik, D Vettori (C), D Nannes, S Aravind.
A Blizzard, S Kanwar, S Yadav, A Rayudu, J Franklin, K Pollard, R Sathish, Harbhajan Singh(C), S Malinga, A Ahmed, Y Chahal.