Kolkata: Mumbai Indians’ love affair with Eden Gardens continued as they clinched their second IPL title following a crushing 41-run win over Chennai Super Kings in a lopsided summit clash, here on Sunday night.
Mumbai Indians posted an imposing 202 for five as skipper Rohit Sharma (50) and Lendl Simmons (68) rattled up a 119-run stand off from just 67 balls after being invited to bat.
The Mumbai captain, who has an ODI world record of 264 and also a debut Test hundred at the Eden Gardens, yet again exploded at his favourite venue.
Sharma (6 fours, 2 sixes) and Simmons (8 fours, 3 sixes) plundered 19 boundaries in their partnership.
After Sharma and Simmons’s dismissals in consecutive balls, burly West Indies batsman Kieron Pollard (36), in the company of Ambati Rayudu (36 not out), led the side past 200.
Mumbai’s bowlers complimented the good work of their batsmen as they took the fizz out of Chennai’s chase with a very disciplined effort.
They straitjacketed the Chennai batsmen, restricting them to 161 for eight as seasoned spinner Harbhajan Singh took the key wickets of Dwayne Smith (57) and Suresh Raina (28) in two overs.
Kiwi paceman Mitchell McClenaghan took three wickets for 25 runs while his Lankan pace colleague Lasith Malinga scalped two batsmen, also at the cost of 25.
Mumbai had won their first title in 2013 at this very venue, defeating the same rivals. Chennai have now lost four finals (2008, 2012, 2013 and 2015) in six appearances.
Chasing the huge target, CSK opted to have it easy and concentrated on building a platform after losing Michael Hussey (4) early.
Smith and Raina bided their time and looked to consolidate but it meant that they managed only 31 runs from the first six overs. The required run-rate kept climbing and shot past 13 at the halfway mark.
Smith completed his half-century in 45 balls only to be trapped lbw by Harbhajan in his penultimate over. Having made a grand comeback into the Bangladesh-bound test side, he completed his spell in style by dismissing Raina.
Looking to step out, Raina was brilliantly deceived by the veteran off-spinner, who bowled a wide ball, and Parthiv Patel did the rest behind the stumps.
With Hussey, Smith and Raina back in the pavilion, and skipper Dhoni not looking in his usual elements, it looked as good as over for the yellow brigade, who choked in an IPL final for the fourth time.