The Mumbai Indians (MI) had come up trumps against the Delhi Capitals (DC) three times this season, often in dominating displays. On Monday, as DC were reduced to 22/3 inside the powerplay, it once again seemed like a slip to the inevitable - a humbling defeat despite all they had done to reach this stage.
While there was some respectability added, and a few wickets to create intrigue, the match's trajectory hardly veered away from MI at any stage.
Shikhar Dhawan was prised out by Jayant Yadav - possibly the sole reason the off-spinner was added to the side in place of Rahul Chahar. Failures from the rest of the top order left DC in danger of a very poor first-innings total.
When it mattered most, however, DC's middle-order duo of Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant stood tall with half-centuries. Unfortunately for DC, MI clawed back with wickets in the death overs, and the finishers were unable to add much to the total to leave DC at a middling 156/7.
Rohit Sharma found form at long last with a fine 68 off 51. Though DC did peg MI back with wickets to delay the inevitable, Ishan Kishan's unbeaten 33 along with contributions from Suryakumar Yadav and Quinton de Kock were enough to take MI to the total. A hurried single by Krunal Pandya sent the MI camp into frenetic celebration, while DC's players left the field dejected.
Here are the top three underperformers from the IPL final.
#3 Ajinkya Rahane (DC)
Ajinkya Rahane is one of the players who has been unable to justify his place in the DC XI. Several opportunities at the top yielded one match-winning knock against RCB, but not much else to note, as he struggled against pace up-front. Against MI in the final, he had a point to prove, as his stock as a limited-overs player was taking a nosedive.
It did not work out in the final, either. A thin edge as Rahane tried to flick a straighter ball headed down the leg-side settled inside the gloves of De Kock behind the stumps. Leaving all the run-scoring to Dhawan and the rest of DC's out-of-sorts batting unit, Rahane departed without a major contribution against MI.
#2 Kagiso Rabada (DC)
Kagiso Rabada deservedly received the Purple Cap at the end of the season, for creating consistent impact throughout for DC. His 30 wickets were taken at all stages of the innings, as he was one of the biggest reasons for DC's early surge. However, he would probably shave off a few from those 30 if it meant a better performance in the final.
Rabada's innings with the bat was non-existent, as he was run out without facing a ball. His bowling was neither economical nor wicket-taking, as the South African pacer's pattern of decline only worsened. His only wicket, that of Kieron Pollard who chopped on looking for a big one, was a mere consolation as DC were damned to a big defeat by MI.
#1 Marcus Stoinis (DC)
The DC fan-base was all over Marcus Stoinis' all-round abilities heading into the final. After all, the Aussie had played a starring role in turning Qualifier 2 in DC's favour with his runs at the top and three wickets with the ball.
In probably the most crucial game of Stoinis' IPL career, however, he was dismissed first ball by a delivery that squared him up. He seemed to make amends by taking a wicket (De Kock) on the first ball of his spell as MI seemed to be rampaging home.
Beyond that ball, his two overs were taken for 23 runs to conclude a poor outing in both departments for Stoinis.
Published 11 Nov 2020, 11:13 IST