Mumbai Indians v Rajasthan Royals, CLT20 final, Delhi October 6, 2013

The best I've bowled in three months - Harbhajan

ESPNcricinfo staff

Mumbai Indians offspinner Harbhajan Singh, whose figures of 4 for 32 won him the Man-of-the-Match award and helped Mumbai claim their second Champions League title, said the over in which he took three wickets was the best spell he had bowled in recent months.

Harbhajan came into the tournament with little practice, having not played a competitive match since the IPL. He was not included in any of India A's recent squads. In a high-scoring final against Rajasthan Royals in Delhi, Harbhajan came on to bowl his final over with Royals requiring 48 off the last four overs with seven wickets in hand. Harbhajan struck with the first ball, removing the set Ajinkya Rahane for 65, caught at deep midwicket. Three balls later, with the pressure mounting on Royals for boundaries, Stuart Binny looked to slog a quicker one from Harbhajan and lost his leg stump.

After conceding a boundary the following ball to Kevon Cooper, Harbhajan hit back off the final ball, beating Cooper who looked to play across the line but failed to spot the straighter one. Cooper didn't to drag his back foot behind the line and Dinesh Karthik completed a sharp stumping. Three wickets went down for just four runs in the space of six balls and the match had turned firmly in Mumbai's favour.

"I'm happy with the way I finished, although I didn't practice at all," Harbhajan said at the post-match presentation. "I was travelling to the US but I didn't practice much before this but I'm really happy with the way I have finished this tournament. I think that over where I took three wickets was probably the best over I've bowled in the last three months."

Chasing 203, the Royals were in the hunt via a second-wicket stand of 109 between Sanju Samson and Rahane, who both scored 60s. Royals captain Rahul Dravid too felt that Harbhajan's spell had turned the match.

"We saw some really great batting and we saw some good skills with the ball as well, from the spinners and it was a close game right till the end," Dravid said. "I thought the couple of overs when Harbhajan Singh got four wickets for eight or nine runs probably turned the game on its head."

Incidentally, Harbhajan had starred in Mumbai's previous title win in 2011 as well, his 3 for 20 winning him the Man-of-the-Match award against Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.

"This is probably the second time and I am getting the Man of the Match in the final," he said. "Hopefully few more. I'm looking forward to the Duleep Trophy and the long season up ahead for India."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • James on October 8, 2013, 7:18 GMT

    @bbnn: Isn't doosra the ball that he doesn't dare to bowl when there are match referees or tough umpires around? I guess we can expect to continue to see Harbajan in IPL at least for the next couple of years. However, even in his state side- Punjab, he may not be an automatic choice because they have a strong bowling attack- Kaul, Gony, Ladha, Rahul Sharma, and also Yuvraj whenever he is free from National duties.

  • Samir on October 8, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    nothing to do with bhajjee here, he is fortunate to have those wicket, started with bad shot by watson and also poorest shot by rahane, which was a fool toss from bhajje!! Rahane is not a smart cricketer and good not to have in indian team, as he lacks control and always living dangerously with his shots in the air. Rahane is the extensive version of Uthappa. Both are players of batting power play where field restrictions there!! Game of cricket knows much better by Yuvi, Raina, MSD, Zaheer Khan, Jadeja, Tambe, kohli, Gambhir, Pujara, Brad Hodge, and Sunil Narine!!

  • Samir on October 8, 2013, 3:51 GMT

    Firstly, Congrats to MI. Also feeling proud of RR the way they fight!! Few questions for Rahane, is he there to build his 50 or wanted to win?? Rahane played well but certainly lacks of cricketing sense, when to accelerate or shift the gear when things and platform already been set up till 10 overs by him and Samsun. I mean he was late to start fire 2 over,and gave wicket at imp stage, what a waste of all efforts, sanju is too young to blame. Seems players specially from Maharashtra are too much self centered and playing for themselves. Cricket is all about TEAM WORK and playing to WIN. Individual centuries, 50s, highest runs are of no meaning if you can not convert it to win for your team. Gavaskar, Rahane, Sachin are falls under that category. MSD is so right on winning for team is the only motto. Players like MSD, Yuvi, ZEK,RAINA, HODGE, selfless and true cricketer and sense, analyse and playing to win the matches and solve the whole purpose of cricket to WIN the matches!!

  • Android on October 7, 2013, 18:37 GMT

    serious mistake by the umpires...i think so..look at over nmbr 18.2 when yagnik was given out. on tv replay dharmasena ( leg umpire) showing wide signal for height. tucker also didnt gv out. bt after discussion they gve out n rajastan lost final hope. no run was given also....shocking...i think that should b not out and value 1 run....yagnik s an attacking batsmen n he could do confused...wwatch highlight on star sports or crickt u cn understnd that...real mistake from the umpires.... sanjus perfrmnce and 1.2 million dollars gt in vein...if my opinion is right. then its really a shame for dharmasena who was awarded th best umpire and the people in kerala n rajastan and those who watchd in gulf countries jst bcs a kerala boy s playing.....

  • san on October 7, 2013, 18:10 GMT

    Trying to be sarcastic here.. .but

    Since Bajji did not practice any before this match (the only chance for him to have a bowl), may be he was saying, THE ONLY TIME I BOWLED IN THREE MONTHS

  • binu on October 7, 2013, 17:46 GMT

    Yes his main weapon the Dusara was working well yesterday

  • vignesh on October 7, 2013, 16:48 GMT

    RR failed to utilise Meneria, i still dont understand the logic behind yagnik selection.Meneria was in such good form with bat and ball.

  • Amar on October 7, 2013, 16:13 GMT

    Harbhajan took the most crucial wicket of Shane Watson which helped him to take 3 more wickets in his next over as the pressure was mounting on the Royals. So, I agree Bhajji's spell was crucial. Of course Ozha bowled well too, but he wasn't lucky enough to take that many wickets.

  • arjuna on October 7, 2013, 15:59 GMT

    Rahane cannot even run betwen the wickts quickly..poor RR

  • Nitish on October 7, 2013, 15:52 GMT

    Loved to see you among the wickets bhajji, but even you must be feeling the truth, RR lost because of Hodge's absence and not by any means of your performance. You got wickets, but the sendoff given by you to the players undermines the aura of having played 99 tests on your part. It was your night, so congrats , but this is not the best if we ever want to see you back in the indian colours

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