Champions League T20 2011 October 10, 2011

Malinga solves Mumbai Indians' problems

Though they couldn't bat, couldn't field and conceded byes generously, MI finished with the biggest prize at franchise-level Twenty20
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By the end of the Champions League, the Mumbai Indians post-match press conferences at the MA Chidambaram became as predictable as Groundhog Day. Harbhajan Singh would field questions on how his side had managed yet another unlikely win, overcoming their latest top-order funk and club-class fielding display. Lasith Malinga - Man of the Match against Chennai Super Kings and Somerset, and Player of the Tournament after the final - would sit aloof by Harbhajan's side, fiddling with his mobile phone, his bronze curls and all-pervasive tattoos saying more than he could ever convey in words.

One tattoo on Malinga's forearm spoke louder than all his other elements of bling. "Destiny says it all", it proclaimed sagely. Harbhajan might have curtailed his long, rambling explanations, and just pointed at it.

There was little surrounding the Mumbai Indians' campaign that suggested they could go all the way. They came into the tournament with the lowest billing among the IPL sides, without their captain, icon and best batsman, and several other first-choice players. Their stand-in skipper was going through his worst season at the highest level, and had to deal with his own exclusion from the Indian side midway through the tournament.

They invited ridicule by picking a side without Mumbai-ites, and with very few Indians, and then convincing the organisers to change the rules to provide them an injury handicap. They were further embarrassed when one of the injured players turned up elsewhere, sprightly enough to hit a match-winning 191 a week after being declared unfit for the Mumbai squad. Apart from becoming a PR-disaster, the fifth overseas player contributed little on the field, with Andrew Symonds enduring the tournament without quite figuring which end of the bat to hold. In a tournament where three centuries were hit, and four batsmen made over 200 runs, MI's highest run-getter managed 123.

The Super Kings could have beaten them, but MS Dhoni somehow clanged a simple stumping that would have closed the game, on a day when he effected four other dismissals. T&T should have beaten them, but Daren Ganga was somehow convinced to spread his field to a No. 11 batsman with two to defend off the last ball, before Denesh Ramdin somehow missed a run-out you would have backed most toddlers to pull off.

Two wins and a rain-out put Mumbai Indians unexpectedly in pole position, before their poor cricket caught up with them in the fourth, against New South Wales. Just when it seemed they would be pipped on the points table, T&T defeated the Cobras to leave MI's passage to the semi-finals unhindered. It seemed like one of the scripts for which the city is famous.

MI lifted their game marginally in the semi-final and final, but the fielding remained apologetic, and Ambati Rayudu's part-time wicket-keeping appalling. With 22 runs to defend in two overs against Somerset, Harbhajan tossed the ball to James Franklin, who isn't an end-overs first-choice option even for New Zealand. And it worked. MI's batting spluttered colossally in the final, as they subsided from 105 for 4 in the 14th over to 139 all out. RCB had the game in the bag once Tillakaratne Dilshan powered them to 38 for 0 in four overs, but almost inevitably MI found the escape route once again.

While fortune favoured them right through, Harbhajan did his bit with attractive captaincy and attacking bowling. Pollard contributed little with bat and ball, but remained electric on the field. Aiden Blizzard and Franklin, too, chipped in, but the real heroes for Mumbai were their unheralded Indians. At different stages in the tournament, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sarul Kanwar, Suryakumar Yadav, Abu Nechim and R Sathish raised their game. Malinga, quite simply, did everything else.

The imbalance between bat and ball in Twenty20s stems largely from the fact that a bowler is reduced to a mere four overs in the format. That didn't seem to affect Malinga, who had stumps in the cross-hairs every time he ran in, and routinely produced howitzers masquerading as yorkers. He took Mumbai's deficiencies in the field completely out of the equation: of his ten victims, eight were bowled and two were lbw. He also did his bit to alleviate MI's batting woes: he clouted more sixes, and finished with a higher batting average and strike-rate, than anyone else in his team.

And so it was, that though they couldn't bat, couldn't field and conceded byes generously, MI finished with the biggest prize at franchise-level Twenty20. Their triumph flies in the face of conventional Twenty20 logic; it came in a format made for batsmen, and where games are won and lost by fielding, without looking the part in either department. How do you explain that? Perhaps Malinga's tattoo was right. Destiny did say it all.

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SudeepSonawane on October 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Excellent article. Surprised to note that this lad is a Sub-Editor. His writing skills and cricket perception merits a designation of Assistant Editor. Is Sambit Bal listening!!!

  • JG2704 on October 11, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    @randikaayya - I'm not a Man U fan but please get your facts right. They produce or develop plenty of great footballers. Maybe Man City might be a better example these days or Real Madrid even better still. @RANDYOZ - Re "England: A team still rife with jealousy (as well as South Africans) about Australia's superior record in every facet of the game" - May I ask who exactly sounds jealous of who in your comments?

  • on October 11, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    @Sheldon Almeida- what planet are u in? to everyone it was obvious why and how India won. @Randikaayya- why are u jealous of United? @raj606: wake up man

  • on October 11, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Mumbai won b coz sachin wasnt there. sachin was the reason that mumbai always failed. now no sachin mumbai rocks. sachin never a match winner. not as a batter nor as a captain. he plays for him self. he plays for collect runs. THATS THE UGLY TRUTH

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    feels lyk......Mali is a IND Bowler...... he he what a joke......

  • huffpost on October 11, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    @jonathanjoseph..overall malinga has played 19 odis in his career against india and took 20 wickets at an economy of 5.7 and sl just won 6 of those encounters..thats enough to show his record agianst india...

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    mumbai won because tendulkar didnt play

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Man of the match of the finals should go to the Umpire who was blind to give Chris Gayle out when he was playing a forward short, that to being more than 6 feet tall!

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    MI won the championship, so if they played horrible cricket...what does it say of the other teams ?

    This article sounds a bit negative when in fact every player in MI played a important role in one or the other match. And that's why they won, they didn't all play brilliant at once, but neither did they all fail at once. Everybody chipped in and that's why they have the trophy.

  • A_PROUD_INDIAN on October 11, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    Well Nitin, you surely not a MI fan. Honestly you only managed to highlight the negatives. Look buddy, Chennai & TnT played fantastic cricket but at critical moments they lost the plot. Was it Malinga's mistake that Dhoni missed the stumping? Was it Chahal's fault that Ganga couldn't think & Ramdin made a mess of a simple run-out? MI deserve the title.... no Sachin.... most of the first choice players injured.... most teams would have choked under this.... but they tried to make the best use wht they had, 'If Life Gives you a Lemon; Make a Lemonade. Dont fret for a Mango'.... And Nitin did you manage to see the Final.... Bowling was fantastic & Fielding was Great.... But cant blame you or other for feeling a bit negative.... After all, from 100 odd meters, the game looks really simple

  • SudeepSonawane on October 12, 2011, 18:03 GMT

    Excellent article. Surprised to note that this lad is a Sub-Editor. His writing skills and cricket perception merits a designation of Assistant Editor. Is Sambit Bal listening!!!

  • JG2704 on October 11, 2011, 20:10 GMT

    @randikaayya - I'm not a Man U fan but please get your facts right. They produce or develop plenty of great footballers. Maybe Man City might be a better example these days or Real Madrid even better still. @RANDYOZ - Re "England: A team still rife with jealousy (as well as South Africans) about Australia's superior record in every facet of the game" - May I ask who exactly sounds jealous of who in your comments?

  • on October 11, 2011, 16:29 GMT

    @Sheldon Almeida- what planet are u in? to everyone it was obvious why and how India won. @Randikaayya- why are u jealous of United? @raj606: wake up man

  • on October 11, 2011, 13:20 GMT

    Mumbai won b coz sachin wasnt there. sachin was the reason that mumbai always failed. now no sachin mumbai rocks. sachin never a match winner. not as a batter nor as a captain. he plays for him self. he plays for collect runs. THATS THE UGLY TRUTH

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:53 GMT

    feels lyk......Mali is a IND Bowler...... he he what a joke......

  • huffpost on October 11, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    @jonathanjoseph..overall malinga has played 19 odis in his career against india and took 20 wickets at an economy of 5.7 and sl just won 6 of those encounters..thats enough to show his record agianst india...

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:32 GMT

    mumbai won because tendulkar didnt play

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:24 GMT

    Man of the match of the finals should go to the Umpire who was blind to give Chris Gayle out when he was playing a forward short, that to being more than 6 feet tall!

  • on October 11, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    MI won the championship, so if they played horrible cricket...what does it say of the other teams ?

    This article sounds a bit negative when in fact every player in MI played a important role in one or the other match. And that's why they won, they didn't all play brilliant at once, but neither did they all fail at once. Everybody chipped in and that's why they have the trophy.

  • A_PROUD_INDIAN on October 11, 2011, 11:51 GMT

    Well Nitin, you surely not a MI fan. Honestly you only managed to highlight the negatives. Look buddy, Chennai & TnT played fantastic cricket but at critical moments they lost the plot. Was it Malinga's mistake that Dhoni missed the stumping? Was it Chahal's fault that Ganga couldn't think & Ramdin made a mess of a simple run-out? MI deserve the title.... no Sachin.... most of the first choice players injured.... most teams would have choked under this.... but they tried to make the best use wht they had, 'If Life Gives you a Lemon; Make a Lemonade. Dont fret for a Mango'.... And Nitin did you manage to see the Final.... Bowling was fantastic & Fielding was Great.... But cant blame you or other for feeling a bit negative.... After all, from 100 odd meters, the game looks really simple

  • Balumekka on October 11, 2011, 11:46 GMT

    @raj0606: Know your facts and leap in!. Malinga's low number of ODIs was never due to that he was dropped from Sri Lankan Side as you say. It was just due to his injuries during 2006 and 2008-2009 period. You must be referring to his tests stats surely which are not the best (Which too surely better than most of the Indian bowlers!). His ODI and T20 records are just outstanding. In 94 ODIs, he has taken 149 wickets in an avg of 25.0 and S/R of 30.0, which includes the only 4in 4 recorded in any international cricket match and also two other hat-tricks.HE IS CURRENTLY THE MOST LETHAL BOWLER BY A HEALTHY DISTANCE!!!!!!

  • Reggaecricket on October 11, 2011, 10:44 GMT

    Yeah, but the absurdity of all this is that Malinga is 12th Man in an ICC World XI, carrying out drinks to Zaheer Kan and others ahead of him!

  • Aryansblue on October 11, 2011, 10:32 GMT

    Mumbai Indians has given officially 0.5 million to Lasith Malinga for 3 yrs to play in IPL team. unofficially he has been given more than 2 million by the MI owners. MUMBAI INDIAN is owned by one of the world's top ten Billionaire " Ambani". MI is treated as a family not as a team. so they are the Champions. u people will never understand the emotions of INDIAN people, for pride they can do anything else they can. CRICKET IS RELIGION IN INDIA ........................ SACHIN IS GOD

  • randikaayya on October 11, 2011, 9:48 GMT

    @kingcobra85: Lol mate, Channai like Manchaster United??? Infact your description of Mumbai fit ManU quite accurately more or less. Manipulating results, Lack of support within Manchester, less local blood etc. Only thing missing from Mumbai is a red nosed knight!

  • RandyOZ on October 11, 2011, 9:45 GMT

    Summary of International Cricket in 2010/11 so far: Australia: Full of talent and rebuilding after a bit of a wobble. Will be #1 in tests soon. Still the greatest cricketing nation of all time. SL: full of politics and infighting, no wonder Malinga doesn't care about playing for em. India: 1.2 billion people and no-one coming through. A team full of individual stars but an embarrassment to the cri......cketing world with no record outside home. Pakistan: full of talent (esp. in the bowling department) but obviously don't pay players enough as they need to bet. WI: Sadly a team in disarray. How is Gayle not in the squad? Bishoo looks good. SA: the real #1 test team in the World. Bangladesh: going backwards. Zim: Showing promising signs after years in the darkness. NZ: Who? and England: A team still rife with jealousy (as well as South Africans) about Australia's superior record in every facet of the game.

  • stormy16 on October 11, 2011, 9:38 GMT

    This has to be one of the all time most unlikely wins for all the reasons sighted. They played horrible cricket and missed alot of their stars and the stars in the team did little but somehow with Malinga and some unknown youngsters - they pulled off the most unlikelist of wins. All credit to MI particularly Harbajan, who made some huge calls in both the finals and semi finals, which paid off. I think the biggest call he made was giving Malinga a 3rd over whcih resulted in Dilshans wicket as it was unlikely that Dilshan would have the same toruble against the MI spinners and another over or two from him and it would have been too late.

  • asithaSL on October 11, 2011, 8:22 GMT

    I appreciate T&T , NSW n Cobra did really well wth their local players unlike rich ipl teams. Malinga should play for RUHUNA, but unfortunately "money always say it all" CLT20 match 4mat isn't fair.. it's not a Global championship. PAKISTAN , SRI LANKAN'S TEAMS should be their. coz they r d top two t20 teams wthout doubt when u consider T20 world cup. PAKISTN --> champions , runner up n made semi of their 3 times...

  • johnathonjosephs on October 11, 2011, 7:29 GMT

    @raj0606, Malinga has been hindered by many injuries (the reason why he quit Test Cricket). In fact, he had a life threatening injury 3-4 years back in which doctors told him he could never play cricket again. Somehow, the President of Sri Lanka's personal physician, some miracle doctor (i think it was elantha white or elara white or something) cured him in only 1.5 years. After the comeback, he has taken good use of the opportunity and has worked hard to become an outstanding bowler. The "stats" you are referring to are Test cricket stats, am i right (who could argue with his ODI stats - 3 hat tricks in 90 games including a 4 in 4?!?!??!) Before his injury, his test statistics weren't all that great, but that last 4-5 test matches he played (after the come back from his injury), he has been phenomenal, even taking wickets against India on flat tracks IN INDIA... I say again, in recent times, this man has turned unstoppable and in a few years he will be legend status

  • on October 11, 2011, 7:07 GMT

    tuu much negativity...praise them for achieving so much without major domestic or evn overss players...

  • kingcobra85 on October 11, 2011, 6:51 GMT

    Mumbai Indians have Indians only their name not on their heart... Its a purely business venture with no soul unlike Chennai which has 4 Chennai born and bread players... In the long run Chennai will be like Manchester United...And Mumbai will be just another sugar daddy club which manipulates rules to get the results they wanted.. I also dont understand how their fans are conveniently ignoring the fact that they have no Mumbai player in their team ?

  • on October 11, 2011, 6:47 GMT

    I reckon his action makes the yorkers even more hard to judge for the batsmen - no wonder he does so well against domestic batsmen while fails to replicate the same form against top International batsmen (Isn't even in the top 3 leading wicket-takers in T20) The same case applied to the mediocre Sohail Tanveer who managed to be the leading wicket-taker in the inaugural IPL since the batsmen failed to read his action properly!!! <Anyways, wouldn't we have loved to see Waqar Younis sending down his toe-crushing yorkers in this format of the game???>

  • on October 11, 2011, 6:34 GMT

    lasith malinga may be the highest paid T20 crickter in champions leauge or any leauge from now on.there are similar action bowlers in the world like shan tait,fidel edwards etc.. but none of them are accurate like him.he does not need a field or anyone to take wickets as he took 10 wkts 8 bowled 2 Lbw.amazing.i wonder what sri lanka going to produces the next,

  • mohanlc on October 11, 2011, 6:11 GMT

    It is written......................................

  • on October 11, 2011, 5:48 GMT

    being an ardent MI fan , I'm so happy to see the CLT20 trophy in the Mumbai cabinet . but to be honest they made it through purely because of Malinga's allround abilities and the opposition teams choking at crucial junctures ... But whatever might be the reason , at the end of the day , winning is all that ultimately matters .....

  • arvsingh on October 11, 2011, 5:39 GMT

    Nitin, which team did you support? Obviously not Mumbai Indians!!! They have won the tournament fare and square ... Malinga was just awesome. Harbhajan did everything right as the captain .. it was great to watch him dismiss Gayle, Kohli, and Vettori. We need him bowling like this more often to reclaim his place in the team. Watch out for Sarul Kanwar, Chahal, and Surya Kumar Yadav ... I saw glimpse of talent there.

  • felzzz on October 11, 2011, 5:30 GMT

    Malinga's yorkers are unplayable at any situation..it is sad that such a talent is limited into a 4 over spell. come on Malinga reconsider ur decision and contribute for SL on the Longest format..u are awesome man

  • malirna_mal on October 11, 2011, 5:11 GMT

    IF Sachin Tendulkar was fit then MI won't b able 2 come to semi finals even. He is such a bad n very unfortunate skipper. Hats off for Malinga. The best bowler in the world.

  • Deccancharggers1 on October 11, 2011, 4:19 GMT

    @Irfancrazy...Last year it was SA where CLT20 WAS HELD AND CSK was the champion....

  • Jaijo on October 11, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    Once again hardly any local talent shone in this tournament. Looks like its long way to go before we exploit this tournaments.

  • Rens on October 11, 2011, 3:51 GMT

    @xanderx , I guess Malinga is the second highest piad player in MI side after they retained Sachin, Harbhajan, Malinga and Pollard.

  • Prasaa on October 11, 2011, 3:42 GMT

    Malinga was a key player of the winning of MI. I proud of him as a Sri Lankan.

  • on October 11, 2011, 3:23 GMT

    I feel Nitin's article is supremely biased against MI's win. I'm not denying that luck favoured them but that was not it all... They showed great team spirit especially in the semis & finals. I mean to come back from where they were to win both the matches was mainly due to their tight bowling & some good fielding... saying "Though they couldn't bat, couldn't field and conceded byes generously, MI finished with the biggest prize at franchise-level Twenty20" is far too harsh... their batting & keeping did fail them but it was their bowling & fielding that created the opportunities... Luck can only take a team to some extent, you need to make use of those opportunities that luck presents & thats exactly what MI did... They played good cricket at least in the last 2 games if not before...

  • on October 11, 2011, 3:09 GMT

    The unique power of Malinga! MI could sell off everyone except Malinga and still build an equally good team.

  • satanswish on October 11, 2011, 2:57 GMT

    Malinga is the best bowler for limited overs format, love to see him getting stump rooted off with his deadly yorkers. Definitely an asset for any team in the world.

  • on October 11, 2011, 1:57 GMT

    its nt mumbai indians ...its MALINGA indians

  • BeCalmAndSupportEngland on October 11, 2011, 1:15 GMT

    @Sheldon Almeida: because the final was in india,otherthan sachin and sehwag other indian batsman are highly overrated crickerters who cannot even think to score a 100 in outside india.If the final was in any place otherthan india everybody know whose gonna win

  • NairUSA on October 11, 2011, 1:00 GMT

    MI win is great! However, Indian cricket remains where we had left off in England...unless we somehow recruit Malinga into our team.

  • G.Vinoth on October 11, 2011, 0:56 GMT

    Malinga is a real beauty...! Without him mumbai indians win is not at all possible... He had been a matchwinner not only with the ball, but also with the bat... That win against the CSK has boosted their confidence! Hats off to malinga...! Plus, the mumbai indians team we saw this season is a well-balanced team... So, i hope MI selectors will not add too many big players in team. If sachin is in to the team, MI becomes the best

  • huffpost on October 10, 2011, 23:43 GMT

    malinga is not consistent enough to be called a great bowler....he can be deadly on some days but most top order batsmen seem to play him well on most days....thats the reason his career stats are not too impressive....also quite strange that he played only 94 odis so far since his debut in 2004....

  • on October 10, 2011, 23:01 GMT

    isn't it 'Mumbaikers' not 'Mumbai-ites? Yes, I am pedantic! ;)

  • nilb on October 10, 2011, 22:02 GMT

    MI stands for "Malinga and some Indians"

  • JG2704 on October 10, 2011, 21:56 GMT

    @another_cricket_lover - Mallinga wasn't judged man of the match. Harb Singh was correctly adjudged man of the match. Mallinga was adjudged man of the series and few could argue against that. He rescued India from the jaws of defeat vs CSK in a match where defeat would have lead to elimination. Even in this match he got the breakthrough wicket of Dilshan and in this particular match it was Dilshan and not Gayle or Kohli who was doing the damage with the bat and his wicket and when he was out they were 38-0 off 4 overs going at 9.5 rpo - Dilshan having scored 27 of those runs. @Sheldon Almeida - riddiculous comment. Like saying if Kallis or ABDV were so good why didn't SA win ....

  • bookie7600 on October 10, 2011, 21:54 GMT

    @ Krishna Chovishya ..Very well said!! Couldn't have put it better myself.. If people have to criticize they need to flip the coin and look at the other side too.

  • SachinForever1991 on October 10, 2011, 21:47 GMT

    go play cricket in real.. these things happen .. that doesn't mean it's money game or games are fixed!!! well done Mumbai!!!

  • nipo10847 on October 10, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    Lasith Malinga is the hands down deadliest bowler on the planet right now and one of the most lethal bowlers the planet has ever seen, if not the most lethal. Only if he could stay healthy he would break every single record for a fast bowler. As far as impact goes, may be Wasim Akram, Dennis Lillie, and Malcom Marshall are his only companions on the planet he lives.

  • RushanHassen on October 10, 2011, 21:40 GMT

    @sheldon and Adamya: Who do you consider 'So Good' if Malinga isn't?

  • on October 10, 2011, 21:39 GMT

    @ sheldon to all fairness to malinga he got shewag and sachin in my openion best 2 indian batsmen out cheaply but the other bowlers were not getting wickets.

  • KillDevil on October 10, 2011, 21:16 GMT

    sheldon, it might have something to do with the fact that he can only bowl 10 overs? he took out sehwag and tendulkar early to put india in real trouble at 31-2. it's not as simple as you think.

  • on October 10, 2011, 20:55 GMT

    East Or West Malinga Is The Best.....Frnds....... All The PLayers In MI Played Really well........

  • on October 10, 2011, 19:57 GMT

    If Malinga is so good why didnt he stop India from Winning the world cup, simple as that

  • on October 10, 2011, 19:50 GMT

    absolutley right...........

  • xanderx on October 10, 2011, 19:27 GMT

    For all the Genius that Malinga brings in to the MI Squad he is sooooo underpaid. 0.5M if I recall. If he doesn't get a hike end for the next year, If I was Malinga I would start shopping for new teams. He is worth around 2.0M in my opinion.

  • xanderx on October 10, 2011, 19:24 GMT

    Malinga is JUST PAID 500,000!!!. He should be around 2 Million, If I were him I would look for a franchise that pays him more if Mumbai doesn't give him a hike next year.

  • ani_cric on October 10, 2011, 19:20 GMT

    The diference Malinga talks with his bowling .. Zaheer and Co talk only outside the feild (too much) ... Zaheer and co need to have glass of Malinga altleast twice a day. FOr MI and other IPL team , no need of big fluke players like sachin, dhoni .. team spirt can always win ..

  • bodivai on October 10, 2011, 19:13 GMT

    Once you come to know about your resources and feel there's no more to have, you give all in the fight. It seems only Malinga felt that and bowled at his best. He's too a senior member in the Mumbai Indians team. The team is very lucky to have him for most for their matches, as these sort of bowlers struggle from injuries every now and then. Lucky MI !!!!!

  • on October 10, 2011, 19:07 GMT

    In my view this tournament was a fail.Just look at the number of empty stands in the crowd during the final!.Even the Indians were not interested.As said earlier its unfair_4 teams from India were unacceptable!And it should not have been held in India as well.Australia,England should`ve been considered.And pretty unfair many teams had to go through qualification.After all,every team fought equally hard in their own domestic tournaments.Then why the difference?.So stop saying this tournament is a success_its a big fail and everyone knows it.Hardly watched it even though I`m a crazy cricket fan!!change the tactics here BCCI!!

  • on October 10, 2011, 18:52 GMT

    Here is a different perspective on some of the claims in the article: Mumbai played all but one games in Chennai, a totally different pitch where even Gayle scored at a strike rate of 50%, so no surprise Mumbai did not have a batsman scoring 200+. T&T could have beaten them - did you watch only the second half of the game? Wasn't it Mumbai in the first place to reduce T&T's batting to mere 97? A team that does it, deserves to win on merits of bowling alone (like RCB won their games on merits of batting alone!). Dilshan bowled a good spell in semis and got kudos from everyone, why is Malinga's batting exploits frowned upon then? Diff standards eh? And finally on fielding front, barring Rayudu's mistakes, MI were one of the better fielding sides in the tournament. All in all, different players chipped in when no one gave them a chance, of course with Mailnga being the best of the pack! Totally deserved title MI !! Have a blast and ignore the critics!

  • on October 10, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    The backbone for MI, next to Sachin!

  • Cricketsphere on October 10, 2011, 18:21 GMT

    Really good article - really a great balanced article. Good one Nitin. Your fingers have justice to Malinga's arm. And Harbhajan was exceptional.

  • on October 10, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    Thats very very wrong. MI won because they deserved to - they played like a Team. Destiny has no role to play here

  • another_cricket_lover on October 10, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    you got to be kidding me! i didnt watch the match but looking at the statistics (since almost everyone is amused by them), harbhajan got both kohli and gayle out and he even got a better average. both these men had scored heavily until today.

    based on what i see, its hard to digest malinga deserved man of the match + the writer didn't do any justice to the article by failing to explain why Malinga was adjudged man of the match.

  • on October 10, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Very good article indeed. Malinga is one of the greatest bowlers I have witnessed. I won't say he's better than Wasim Akram, Akhtar, Allan Donald, Dale Steyn or McGrath simply because I don't believe in comparison. Everyone of the players have contributed to the history in their own way, and Malinga is indeed one of those who stands out.

    A few days ago, I read a comment in another article saying - "I still cannot understand how did SL lose CWC2011 with Malinga at their disposal", well it really makes one wonder. However, one has to see that though Malinga is great, he was bowling to some of the greats of the game - Tendulkar, Dhoni etc

    Any match can go either way in a couple of deliveries or couple of decisions.. however irrespective of the result the Greats like Malinga always stand out. I really wish India could produce bowlers like Malinga (not taking away anything form Zaheer though)...

  • Wolfpac on October 10, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Malinga, you've become a legend in such a short time frame, hats off to you slinga

  • ronpaul2011 on October 10, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Cricket and its unpredictability and sometimes that is the beauty of it. Sometimes the turn of events cannot all be precited and explained with stats and form. A lot to be said about team spirit in how the game was won and the the never say die attitude of the key players. So please stop beating down on Mumbai and salute the spirit and game

  • on October 10, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    Though they couldn't bat, couldn't field and conceded byes generously, MI finished with the biggest prize at franchise-level Twenty20

  • MENDIS_Forever on October 10, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Congrats MI.(one would say MI means "Mission Impossible").you were my favorite team,and always wanted you to win the games.Malinga, you beauty! proud son of mother Sri Lanka.

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    malinga u r the best bolwer

  • denza on October 10, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    The last line does say it all, " destiny dis say it all" and helped mumbai snatch a Victory each time from the jaws of defeat. But then as we say in Hindi, " JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR"..

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Well yeah Sundar i agree to a lot of it but its also a fact that despite being the better performers in the previous 2 versions of the IPL they din't win it. Luck has to play a role somehere. i feel its important to understand that they did fight each game till the last ball and scraped through albeit unattractively. Pressure makes people do funny things . Remember Mi floundering their semis chances in IPL1 when they gifted their games to Chennai and RR ? That's the game ! As far as the "changing rules" part i think its a joke ! No one changed the rules. a.Because it was a decision taken not by MI. The CLT20 committe must have seen reason in that ! b.Knowing that Symonds hadnt perfomed a all in the last two versions of the IPL and if anyone feels there was wrong play its unfair. Would people be making this big a fuss had Sachin or Rohit Sharma come back ? c.Why was there was never a news when MI had played three foreigners in the last two ipls in many games. Particularly 3 !

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Mumbai should be lauded for their comeback spirit. And what to say about Malinga? It's useless even talking about how great he is. It's' like stating the blatantly obvious. I say Chahal and Abu deserve a lot of the credit. The thing was, the two senior bowlers in Mumbai were aptly supported by the two junior ones: Abu supported Malinga; Chahal, Bhajji. Lastly, one shouldn't forget about Franko. He performed both with the bat and ball, and more than made up for Pollard's ineptitude with the bat.

    Also, why are people talking about the wash-out? The game against CSK was the only one where luck was truly involved. I thought they were unlucky to be hindered by rain in that game vs the Cobras. The bowling line-up would have readily defended 176 on any given day with Malinga and Bhajji in their arsenal.

    We'll it's all well if the end's well. The CLT20 provided nice recreational value through various moments: Warner and Kohli, T&T's games, Henriques, etc.

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Great article, Nitin. you hit the nail on the head...

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  • on October 10, 2011, 16:12 GMT

    Great article, Nitin. you hit the nail on the head...

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:13 GMT

    Mumbai should be lauded for their comeback spirit. And what to say about Malinga? It's useless even talking about how great he is. It's' like stating the blatantly obvious. I say Chahal and Abu deserve a lot of the credit. The thing was, the two senior bowlers in Mumbai were aptly supported by the two junior ones: Abu supported Malinga; Chahal, Bhajji. Lastly, one shouldn't forget about Franko. He performed both with the bat and ball, and more than made up for Pollard's ineptitude with the bat.

    Also, why are people talking about the wash-out? The game against CSK was the only one where luck was truly involved. I thought they were unlucky to be hindered by rain in that game vs the Cobras. The bowling line-up would have readily defended 176 on any given day with Malinga and Bhajji in their arsenal.

    We'll it's all well if the end's well. The CLT20 provided nice recreational value through various moments: Warner and Kohli, T&T's games, Henriques, etc.

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:22 GMT

    Well yeah Sundar i agree to a lot of it but its also a fact that despite being the better performers in the previous 2 versions of the IPL they din't win it. Luck has to play a role somehere. i feel its important to understand that they did fight each game till the last ball and scraped through albeit unattractively. Pressure makes people do funny things . Remember Mi floundering their semis chances in IPL1 when they gifted their games to Chennai and RR ? That's the game ! As far as the "changing rules" part i think its a joke ! No one changed the rules. a.Because it was a decision taken not by MI. The CLT20 committe must have seen reason in that ! b.Knowing that Symonds hadnt perfomed a all in the last two versions of the IPL and if anyone feels there was wrong play its unfair. Would people be making this big a fuss had Sachin or Rohit Sharma come back ? c.Why was there was never a news when MI had played three foreigners in the last two ipls in many games. Particularly 3 !

  • denza on October 10, 2011, 16:25 GMT

    The last line does say it all, " destiny dis say it all" and helped mumbai snatch a Victory each time from the jaws of defeat. But then as we say in Hindi, " JO JEETA WOHI SIKANDAR"..

  • on October 10, 2011, 16:31 GMT

    malinga u r the best bolwer

  • MENDIS_Forever on October 10, 2011, 16:45 GMT

    Congrats MI.(one would say MI means "Mission Impossible").you were my favorite team,and always wanted you to win the games.Malinga, you beauty! proud son of mother Sri Lanka.

  • on October 10, 2011, 17:04 GMT

    Though they couldn't bat, couldn't field and conceded byes generously, MI finished with the biggest prize at franchise-level Twenty20

  • ronpaul2011 on October 10, 2011, 17:33 GMT

    Cricket and its unpredictability and sometimes that is the beauty of it. Sometimes the turn of events cannot all be precited and explained with stats and form. A lot to be said about team spirit in how the game was won and the the never say die attitude of the key players. So please stop beating down on Mumbai and salute the spirit and game

  • Wolfpac on October 10, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Malinga, you've become a legend in such a short time frame, hats off to you slinga

  • on October 10, 2011, 17:51 GMT

    Very good article indeed. Malinga is one of the greatest bowlers I have witnessed. I won't say he's better than Wasim Akram, Akhtar, Allan Donald, Dale Steyn or McGrath simply because I don't believe in comparison. Everyone of the players have contributed to the history in their own way, and Malinga is indeed one of those who stands out.

    A few days ago, I read a comment in another article saying - "I still cannot understand how did SL lose CWC2011 with Malinga at their disposal", well it really makes one wonder. However, one has to see that though Malinga is great, he was bowling to some of the greats of the game - Tendulkar, Dhoni etc

    Any match can go either way in a couple of deliveries or couple of decisions.. however irrespective of the result the Greats like Malinga always stand out. I really wish India could produce bowlers like Malinga (not taking away anything form Zaheer though)...