It is often said, ” The Indian Premier League (IPL) is a tournament where seven teams compete to play Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the final. ” The adage holds true once again this year as the Mumbai Indians (MI) take on Chennai Super Kings in the final of IPL 2019.
The tournament spread over 50 days and 60 matches has reached Hyderabad to decide the winners of the 12th edition of the IPL. At the start of the season with a lot of talk surrounding the World Cup and early absence of players for franchises, there were whispers about this season of IPL grabbing enough eyeballs. But it was a pleasant surprise on both fronts, players and eyeballs.
As it is with every season, there was something new on offer. This year Delhi franchise relaunched itself with a new name, Delhi Capitals. Apart from a new team, there were many new records created as well. While it had its successes it also had its fair share of controversy. All of that culminates tonight at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Tonight the defending champions CSK face off against three time winners MI to fight for glory. Before we predict a winner, let us have a recap how the two teams have fared against each other.
In 2019, CSK and MI have squared off against each other thrice before the finale. In all the three encounters, two in the group stage and once in the playoffs Mumbai have come out on top.
The first match between the two sides was played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on 3rd April. The home team MI racked up a decent total of 170 for the loss of 5 wickets after their batsmen put in a good. In response, the famed Chennai batting line-up did not live up to its potential. Consequentially they faltered in their run chase. Only Kedar Jadhav put up some resistance which carried Chennai’s score to 133 and Mumbai Indians bagged the match by 37 runs.
The reverse fixture between CSK and MI now shifted to Chennai’s Den at the Chepauk. Riding on Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma’s half-century MI notched up 155 for 4. Undefeated at home Chennai had to chase down a tricky 156 to keep their record intact. But the Chennai batting line up once again folded like a pack of cards in front of the Mumbai bowling attack. CSK was bowled out for 109 and was handed its first defeat at home this season. Chennai lost the match by 46 runs.
At the end of the league stage, the teams of Chennai and Mumbai, Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians finished at the top of the standings. The top two teams play the first playoff called Qualifier 1. Locking horns with each other for a third time, both the teams were playing for a spot in the final.
With Chennai having the home advantage the odds were in favour of the Super Kings. Batting first the CSK put up a score of 131 for 4 on a tacky pitch. Mumbai Indians were set a target of 132 to seal a birth in the final, A scintillating knock of 71 in 54 deliveries by Suryakumar Yadav booked Mumbai’s spot in the final.
Chennai Super Kings, on the other hand, had a second lease of life courtesy finishing in the top two. CSK had to win against the Delhi Capitals to see them through to the finals. Producing an all-round effort Chennai first restricted Delhi to a manageable total of 147 for the loss of 9 wickets. In their run chase, they chased down total easily winning the match by 6 wickets.
On the night of 12th of May 2019, the defending champions and the former champions are squaring off against each other to lift the title. Both teams have won the championship three times each. Who will it a fourth time?
Chennai have won the title back to back in 2010 and 2011. They again won it last year on their comeback after a two-year ban. Will they repeat their feat of back to back titles again 2019? Mumbai have the title every alternate year after winning the championship for the first time 2013. Will Mumbai winning pattern guarantee them the title this year? It will be decided on the field.