Each year the cricketing world waits for a festival called the Indian Premier League (IPL). The tournament produces some of the top-quality T20 cricket in the world. While no team can be taken lightly in the competition, a Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings is often regarded the El Clasico equivalent of cricket. There have been plenty of thrilling battles between the two teams but none perhaps as nail-biting and as exciting as the final of IPL 2019. It might have been the stage and what was at stake that made the two fierce competitors give their best on the field and fight for every inch on offer.
Dramatic turn around for Malinga
In one of the most chaotic final ever played in IPL, veteran Lasith Malinga turned around a horror start to the evening in a superb final over to guide Mumbai Indians to their record fourth title. There were moments of dominance from the both the teams but it was all a see-saw until that over. It had all come down to Chennai Super Kings needing nine to win off the last six balls. Gambling on experience, skipper Rohit Sharma handed the ball to Malinga- who had conceded 42 in his three overs till then, even dropping a catch and leaking runs on the field in the finale.
Malinga and Yorker- a love story made in heaven
Against Shane Watson who was batting on 76 and Ravindra Jadeja, a capable finisher himself, Malinga went back to his preferred weapon- the yorker. In a perfect first-half of the over, Malinga went yorker, low full toss, yorker- superb execution of one of the most difficult balls to master under pressure but then Malinga hadn't greyed doing nothing. CSK managed 4 off 3 balls as MI began to believe.
With the legendary Sri Lankan pacer acing yet another yorker off the 4th ball, Watson felt the need to get back for 2 to stay ahead in the game. However, after batting almost for the entire duration of the innings, his physical condition got the better of him as he couldn't get back in time, not only running himself out but even leaving Jadeja stranded on the opposite end. In the penultimate ball, Mali missed his mark and Shardul Thakur got a couple leaving 2 runs to get off the final ball.
Watch the winning moment here:
The most iconic slower ball in IPL
With two needed to win off a delivery, Malinga and Rohit went for the win. While most bowlers and captains would have agreed to a wide outside off stump ball line to ensure a tie first, it was the plan to go ahead with a slow ball on the stumps that separated Mumbai Indians from the rest. And boy did Malinga deliver!
In one of the most iconic, magical and dramatic slower balls bowled, right in front of middle stump, Malinga deceived Thakur with a mix of his slingy, quick action and the contrasting change of pace to caught him Leg Before Wicket (LBW) in front of stumps. The umpire raised his finger and the joy knew no boundaries for Mumbai!!! Malinga was carried on the shoulders after a terrific turnaround. CSK were left tantalisingly close against their arch-rival in what is perhaps the most memorable clash between the two teams.