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Mumbai are champions of champions
Sachin, Dravid bid adieu as MI beat Rajasthan by 33 runs for CLT20 title
Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians became the first team to win two Champions League Twenty20 titles by beating Rajasthan Royals in a pulsating final at the Feroz Shah Kotla stadium here on Sunday.
It was a run riot. More than 350 runs were scored. However, it was Mumbai who emerged victorious as they got the better of Rajasthan by 33 runs and broke their five-match winning streak. Chasing 203-run target set by Mumbai, Rajasthan, despite brilliant batting by Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson, got all out for 169.
This was the match made in heaven. Sachin Tendulkar versus Rahul Dravid, what more would an average cricket fan want? And to everyone's satisfaction, it lived up to its billing. Rajasthan, who were playing their first match away from home, did everything right; from winning the crucial toss and deciding to chase on a pitch which assists batting after the dew sets in to control the match for the first 10 overs (Mumbai were 60 for 1).
But after that, Mumbai, led by skipper Rohit Sharma, turned the game on its head. Next 10 overs fetched them 142 runs. Rajasthan bowlers, who looked to have a water-tight strategy so far, were suddenly getting hit to every corner of the ground.
Except Pravin Tambe, highest wicket-taker of this edition of CLT20 with 12 scalps, all other bowlers looked hapless in front of Rohit (33 off 14 balls) and Glenn Maxwell (37 off 14 balls). The difference in the economy rate of Tambe and other bowlers tells the whole story. While Tambe conceded 19 runs at just 4.75, all other bowlers conceded runs at over 10, worst being Stuart Binny at 16.
The onslaught by Rohit and Maxwell was so severe that the Rajasthan bowlers lost their confidence completely. Even Harbhajan Singh managed seven runs off the two balls that he faced.
In reply, Rajasthan didn't start well as they lost opener Kusal Perera, who replaced injured Brad Hodge, in the first over after confusion with Rahane. However, Rahane and Samson made up for that early loss with an outstanding 109-run stand for the second wicket.
That was the period when Rajasthan seemed ahead of Mumbai but the target was still far away. As soon as Samson fell to an innocuous delivery by Pragyan Ojha, Rajasthan chase went off the track. Shane Watson looked in touch when he smashed Kieron Pollard into the stands but threw it away while attempting to clear boundary off Harbhajan. After that, it was all downwards for the most consistent side of the tournament.
Mumbai became the first IPL side to win an IPL and two CLT20 titles. They won CLT20 in 2011 as well but since it was Sachin's last tournament for the franchise, this one holds more importance. Sachin may have the perfect finish but for Dravid, who also retired, it was a memorable journey since his team has shown tremendous consistency.
MI: 202/6 (Smith 44, Maxwell 37; Pravin Tambe 2/19) beat RR: 169 in 18.5 overs (Rahane 65, Samson 60; Harbhajan 4/32, Pollard 3/31) by 33 runs.
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