IPL 2020, Final | MI vs DC – Mumbai Indians road to the finale

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Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard

Mumbai Indians (MI) can be rightly labelled as a brute force this season. Barring a couple of hiccups, the franchise has run riot this season, routing almost all sides which have come in their way. While multiple teams were in a tussle to achieve a top-four finish, the Rohit Sharma-led side was comfortably sitting at the top of the pile. 

After suffering a defeat against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the opening fixture of the tournament, the Mumbai franchise didn’t take much time to establish their dominance in the UAE. Had MI won both the Super Over thrillers against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and (Kings XI Punjab), the four-time champions would’ve finished with a staggering 22 points. The Mumbai Paltan, nonetheless, ended their league stage with 18 points, a testament to their winning combination and in-form line-up.

In the tournament against MS Dhoni-led CSK at Abu Dhabi, MI suffered a five-wicket drubbing as their bowlers failed to mount pressure in the second innings. It was a disheartening start for Mumbai fans but little did anyone know that both the last year’s finalists would have contrasting tales this season. 

The Mumbai Paltan struck a purple patch and won six out of next seven games. The solitary defeat which MI suffered was against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in a thrilling Super Over.

While the Rohit Sharma-Quinton de Kock pair fired up in some games, ‘uncapped’ faces like Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan also made their presence felt. At the death, Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard also chipped in with late fireworks when their side needed them the most. 

MI’s robust bowling unit, led by two prolific names — Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult — also worked in tandem. A ‘gift’ from Delhi Capitals (DC), Boult has scalped 22 wickets so far while Bumrah — a trusted name — has 27 scalps under his belt. 

MI’s winning trail was halted again by a Super Over tremor. And, the drama rather intensified on this occasion. Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) edged past MI by a whisker as the world witnessed the first-ever double Super Over in the IPL. Along with the defeat, skipper Rohit’s hamstring niggle plunged more misery on the defending champions.

However, in Rohit’s truancy, the MI batting unit delivered. And how! In the very next game, Boult and Bumrah avenged the tournament-opener defeat against CSK. While Boult scalped four, Bumrah plucked two as CSK managed to post a meagre 114 on the board. In response, Ishan and de Kock sailed MI over the finishing line by 10 wickets courtesy their match-winning opening stand.

MI suffered a setback by losing their next game against Rajasthan Royals (RR) by eight wickets. However, unfazed by the thumping defeat, the Mumbai side put up dominant performances in their next two opponents (RCB and DC) to seal the playoffs berth. In the game against RCB, Suryakumar Yadav, a couple of days after his national snub, hammered 79* off 43 to probe why he deserved to board India’s flight to Australia. Oozing confidence in his strokeplay, Surya single-handedly steered MI to a five-wicket victory. 

MI sealed the playoffs spot in the game against DC where Bummrah and Boult set Dubai ablaze with their fiery spells. Bumrah registered 3/17 and Boult scripted 3/21 to demolish the Delhi batting unit. After curbing DC to an underwhelming total of 110, MI cruised to the victory in the 15th over itself. Ishan rose to the occasion yet again by smashing an unbeaten 72 off just 47 deliveries.

Though MI suffered an embarrassing 10-wicket defeat in their last league-stage game against David Warner’s SRH, fans were elated to see a ‘fit and fine’ Rohit back in the set-up. Continuing their march towards fifth IPL trophy, MI outclassed DC yet again the first Qualifier. With half-centuries from Ishan and Suryakumar, MI notched up a daunting 200-run total on the scoreboard. It eventually turned into a lopsided encounter as DC managed to gather only 143 in their stipulated 20 overs.

With the odds in their favour, Rohit’s men are again set to lock horns with DC in the summit clash on Tuesday. The only difference in the Delhi side will be the confidence which they achieved after outdoing SRH in Qualifier 2. One major threat to MI will be the dangerous Shikhar Dhawan at the top. But with Bumrah and Boult in their artillery, MI can heave a sigh of relief. The most successful IPL franchise will be itching to add another feather in its already illustrious cap.

Here are the top performers for Mumbai Indians this season:

– In 14 games Jasprit Bumrah has scalped 27 wickets including best figures of 4/14. Sitting behind Kagiso Rabada only by two wickets, the Indian speedster will eye the Purple Cap in the summit clash.

– Complementing Bumrah, Boult has taken 22 wickets in 14 games and is currently sitting third in the list of leading wicket-takers of this season.

– Though Rahul Chahar has failed to deliver lately, he can redeem himself in the final. He has plucked 15 wickets in 15 games and is 11th in the Purple Cap list.

– Despite missing a few games, Rohit has scored 264 runs in 11 games so far. Every team craves for a player to deliver in big games and the skipper can certainly do the job for them in the final.

– In 13 games, Ishan Kishan has scored 483 runs including a whirlwind 99-run knock against RCB. He has scored runs at an impressive average of 53.66 and is currently fourth in the Orange Cap race.

– Quinton de Kock has also been majestic at the top. In 15 games, the Protea has gathered 483 including four half-centuries. 

– A consistent performer since last three seasons for MI, Suryakumar Yadav has scored 461 runs at an average 41.90. He also has four half-centuries to his name.

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