Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has had an impressive run as Head Coach of Mumbai Indians and on Tuesday, he led the franchise to yet another title as Mumbai overcame Delhi Capitals by five wickets in the final in Dubai. Jayawardene (43) joined Mumbai in 2017 and has now won three IPL titles in four years. He is on par with Stephen Fleming, who has also won three titles with Chennai Super Kings. However, the former New Zealand skipper has had a longer association with CSK.
Earmarked as one of the brightest brains in the game as a teenager, Jayawardene was made vice-captain of the Sri Lankan cricket team at the age of 23 and he had two highly successful stints as the national cricket team’s captain. Under him, Sri Lanka reached the finals of the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2007 in the Caribbean and the finals of the ICC World T-20 in Colombo.
Since retiring in 2015, Jayawardene has taken to coaching like a duck taking to water and has been highly successful.
In the final, Rohit Sharma and Trent Boult impressed as Mumbai put up a splendid show securing the win comfortably. The franchise owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani were too good this season topping the group stage winning nine of their 14 games.
Mumbai were off to a cracking start in the final. Trent Boult struck on the first ball, dismissing Marcus Stoinis, who edged one to the wicketkeeper. The left-arm pacer picked his second wicket in his next over as Ajinkya Rahane was strangled down the leg side.
The defending champions then introduced spin into the attack in the fourth over and the move worked straightway as Jayant Yadav got Shikhar Dhawan out after the left-hander missed his slog-sweep.
Delhi needed Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to do a rebuilding job and the two delivered when their team needed it in the all-important final.
While Iyer got a life in the sixth over after Ishan Kishan, despite his brilliant effort in the field, could not complete a difficult catch, he and Pant took DC past 40. The two added 18 runs in the next three overs before Pant clobbered two sixes off Krunal Pandya as the two completed a 50-run stand, taking Delhi closer to 80 after the end of 10 overs.
Delhi brought up their hundred in the 14th over before Pant completed a fine counterattacking fifty in the next over. However, the wicketkeeper got out in the same over after being holed out at fine-leg off Nathan Coulter-Nile.
Two overs later, Iyer hit two fours and completed his third fifty of the season before Boult, bowling his final over of the night, picked his third wicket of the match, dismissing Shimron Hetmyer. While Iyer remained not out on 65, Delhi eventually posted 156/7 on the board.
Rohit Sharma made a superb 68 off 51 balls to guide his side to the comfortable win with eight balls to spare.
Brief Scores: Mumbai Indians
157/5 (Rohit Sharma 68, Ishan Kishan 33*; Anrich Nortje 2/25) beat Delhi Capitals 156/7 (Shreyas Iyer 65*, Rishabh Pant 56; Trent Boult 3/30) by five wickets.
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