Mumbai Indians winning captain Rohit Sharma said he had full faith in veteran seamer Lasith Malinga to bowl a tense last over against Chennai Super Kings in the IPL final despite bowling a poor first three overs.
Malinga gave away 42 runs in his first three overs but the last two overs by the Sri Lankan and fellow quick Jasprit Bumrah, who took 2-14, were as good as they came.
After innings top-scorer Shane Watson was run out in the final over for 80, Chennai needed two runs off the last ball to win. But Malinga bowled a slower ball to trap Shardul Thakur lbw to clinch victory.
Malinga speeds (in KPH) in that final IPL over:— Andrew Fidel Fernando (@afidelf) May 12, 2019
142, 143, 142, 141, 140, 112.
The courage to deliver that slower ball with a tournament on the line. Incredible.
Skipper Rohit said he was confident Malinga could get the job done despite having a poor day with the ball and also in the field, dropping Watson early on.
“About Malinga, that’s what champions do,” Rohit said.
“I had confidence in him despite a poor third over. He also had confidence he could do it,” Rohit added.
“I thought we could use Hardik Pandya for the 20th over, but I wanted to back someone who has done it for us and Malinga has been in that situation and done it.”
The opening batsman said Mumbai’s bowling played a key role in their title run.
“At different stages, our bowlers put their hands up and brought us back in the game. We backed our ability and our skills, and that’s probably why we got rewards.”
Chennai skipper MS Dhoni lauded his bowlers for keeping the team in the clash and said changes in the batting order will be made next season.
The likes of Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav had a horror season with veteran Dhoni and the likes of Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis delivering.
“It was not a 150 wicket, but the bowlers kept us in the hunt. They kept getting wickets when it was really needed,” said Dhoni.
“To be consistent next year, we will have to really think hard. There is nothing against the bowlers, but the batsmen could’ve done better.”
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