Mumbai Indians players hold the trophy as they celebrate their victory against Rising Pune Supergiant in the 2017 Indian Premier League. Photo: AFP

Mumbai Indian’s one-run win over Rising Pune Supergiant clinches third Indian Premier League title

Paceman Mitchell Johnson inspires Mumbai to a landmark third IPL title with crucial wickets for a single run victory over Pune

Paceman Mitchell Johnson inspired Mumbai Indians to a landmark third Indian Premier League title with crucial wickets for a single run victory over Rising Pune Supergiant on Sunday.

Mumbai are the first team to win the IPL three times in its 10 year history.

Australian Johnson claimed three wickets including the prize scalp of Pune skipper Steve Smith in the final over to help Mumbai triumph despite scoring just a modest 129-8.

Fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah (2-26) supported Johnson (3-26) with his two strikes including the big wicket of former India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10), who played his seventh IPL final.

Chasing 130, Pune batsmen faltered on a slow track to end on 128-6 at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.

Smith’s dogged knock went in vain as Pune, who needed 11 in the final over, lost three wickets to Johnson’s left-arm pace and some sharp fielding.

Daniel Christian was run out while going for the third run to tie the game. The Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai erupted with joy after becoming the only team to win three titles after triumphs in 2013 and 2015.

Pune, who ended seventh in the eight-team event last season, lost an early wicket but Ajinkya Rahane (44) played sensible cricket with a 54-run partnership with Smith.

Pune seemed to be cruising at 98-2 in the 17th over with Smith and Dhoni at the crease but Mumbai had other ideas in their fourth appearance in an IPL final.

Earlier Pune pace spearhead Jaydev Unadkat made an impressive of 2-19 to restrict Mumbai after they elected to bat first.
Rising Pune Supergiant’s captain Steven Smith dives as he runs between the wickets during the Indian Premier League final. Photo: AP

Unadkat, 25, who has played one test and seven one-day internationals for India, remained two wickets behind the highest wicket-taker in Bhuvneshwar Kumar (26 wickets) of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Sharma broke the shackles with the first boundary of the innings on the opening delivery of the sixth over. Three more followed with paceman Lockie Ferguson at the receiving end.

But Sharma’s four boundaries were the only bright spot in his 22-ball 24 before losing his wicket to leg-spinner Adam Zampa.

Mumbai slipped to 79-7, but Krunal Pandya’s heavy hitting 47 lifted the team to respectability. He put on a fighting 50-run eight-wicket partnership with Johnson (13 not out).
Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma embraces teammates and staff as they celebrate their victory against Rising Pune Supergiant. Photo: AFP

Left-hand batsman Pandya smashed three fours and two sixes during his 38-ball blitz to help Mumbai gather 48 in the last five overs. Leg-spinner Adam Zampa and fellow Australian Christian also took two wickets each.

Pune improved their tournament record but may have played their last game of the cash-rich league.

Their two-year run along with the Gujarat Lions ended this season. They were denied an extension by the league’s governing council this month and both will have to place fresh bids in 2018.

Pune and Gujarat got IPL places after Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals were banned for two years in 2015 for their role in a betting controversy. They can return for 2018.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Mumbai clinch third IPL title with thrilling win