Mumbai Indians (MI) captain Rohit Sharma kept his cool and manoeuvred his bowlers brilliantly in a low scoring final where Mumbai got over the line by 1 run against Rising Pune Supergiant at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. After Mumbai managed to score 129 for 8 in the first innings, Pune were coasting at one stage with Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith playing sensibly but Rohit's men managed to pull things back by choking the flow of runs and chipping away at the wickets at crucial stages of the match. Lasith Malinga, Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Johnson, all came to the party as Pune could only manage to score 128 for 6 at the end of their quota of 20 overs.
Talking about his bowlers, skipper Rohit Sharma said, "There was assistance from the pitch, so it was a matter of exploiting the conditions. When three overs were left, I had confidence in the bowlers. They have always done the job wherever they've played. It was about giving freedom to them because they're the masters and they've done it before. I just told them to do whatever they want and set the field accordingly."
The match was always heading towards a tense finish but at the end, it was Mumbai Indians who kept their nerves and pulled off an unlikely win after a par first innings total.
"I'm calm now. It was a great game of cricket. I'm sure the spectators enjoyed it. To be able to defend a score like this was a brilliant effort, I couldn't ask for more. Whenever you're defending a total like that, the first thing you've to do is believe. I told the boys if we could do it against KKR (105) there was no way we couldn't do it here," said Sharma after winning the match.
Bumrah went on to add,"The way we fought was absolutely amazing. We thought we can defend, we have the bowlers."
Johnson, who took two wickets in the last over, said, "I wasn't thinking much. I had a clear plan, to bowl at the stumps. Pressure situations are you are playing game for. I have done that before. It's my second time (IPL titles)."
MI mentor Sachin Tendulkar described the outcome of the low-scoring match as "simply amazing."
"The first half wasn't good for us. But we thought right and the performance followed. Some amazing bowling and great fielding in the pressure situations."
(With PTI Inputs)