Chennai pacer Imran Tahir on Sunday overtook his South African compatriot and Delhi pace spearhead Kagiso Rabada to emerge as the highest wicket-taker in the 2019 season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and claim the coveted Purple Cap.
Tahir was two wickets short of Rabada heading into the final IPL clash between Chennai and Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
The 40-year-old fast bowler finished with figures of two for 23, accounting for the wickets of Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock, to edge past Rabada who featured for Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi before a back injury cut short his campaign at the IPL.
Tahir ended his campaign at the Indian T20 League with a total of 26 wickets from 17 matches at an economy rate of 6.66, in contrast to Rabada's figures of 25 wickets from 12 matches.
The South African, who will bid adieu to his international white-ball career after the ICC World Cup in England and Wales, also became the oldest player to win the ‘Purple Cap’ in the IPL.
On a relatable note, Mumbai went on to clinch a narrow one-run win over Chennai to become the first side to clinch an IPL title for record fourth time.
Opting to bat first, Mumbai struggled against Chennai bowlers and were restricted to a lowly score of 149 for eight in their stipulated 20 overs. Kieron Pollard was the highest scorer for Mumbai with his unbeaten knock of 41 runs.
In reply, Shane Watson smashed a blistering knock of 80 runs to bring MS Dhoni-led side on the verge of victory before Mumbai held their nerves to eventually emerge out victorious.