CLT20 2011: Mumbai Indians win Champions League T20
It turned, it twisted, it turned again. By the end of it, Mumbai Indians were on top of the world. Playing with a rag-tag unit right through the tournament, Mumbai showed unbelievable spirit just when it mattered.
The Royal Challengers, on the other hand, found themselves beaten after having the Champions League final well under control for quite a while.
And the hero of the show was none other than Harbhajan Singh. The feisty sardar, after being dropped from the Indian team, rose to the occasion at the hometown of the chairman of selectors who had snubbed him.
Just when Chris Gayle was settling in, he bowled an outstanding over to the left-hander. Most of the deliveries left him and just as Gayle played the last ball for the turn, it went straight on and hit him in front of off-stump.
The tension grew as Virat Kohli fought it out. But Harbhajan (3-20), coming back for a second spell, induced a slog sweep that fell straight in the grasp of deep mid-wicket and Sachin Tendulkar, sitting in the Mumbai Indians dressing-room, was overjoyed.
He knew straight away that all Mumbai had to do from there was to hold their nerve and Harbhajan & Co were in the zone to notch up a 31-run win.
RCB, though, had only themselves to blame for botching up the chase. Tillakaratne Dilshan, after intelligently playing out Lasith Malinga’s first two overs, went for an audacious flick and lost his middle-stump in the third.
In the context of the game, it was an absolutely needless shot and the pressure was right back on RCB. Harbhajan built on that and the stage fright of the RCB rookies did the rest.
Earlier, when Mumbai Indians batted, James Franklin (41 off 29 balls) and Surya Kumar Yadav (24 off 17 balls) had settled in nicely and were finding the gaps with ease.
It seemed a total of 150-plus was easily attainable. But it was around this time that disaster struck. Franklin had hit one back and the bowler Vettori picked the ball up on his follow-through and broke the stumps at the non-striker’s end with Yadav caught inches short of the crease.
Two balls later, Franklin hesitated for a moment going for the second and ran himself out, taking the wind out of Mumbai’s sails. There was another run-out in the beginning of the innings involving Aiden Blizzard and Sarul Kanwar.