Chennai Super Kings v Mumbai Indians, IPL final, Kolkata May 26, 2013

Morris blows kisses, Pollard responds

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians in Kolkata

The hello
Chennai Super Kings had done half their job when they got Mumbai Indians' No. 6 in as early as the 10th over, but the warning was immediate lest they relax. Kieron Pollard came in, defended a length ball outside off, on the up, and it flew off the bat, straight of mid-off for four. It was a sign of things to come.

The field
MS Dhoni does go with a very straight mid-off for Pollard, a practice he began in the 2010 IPL final, but tonight he took it to next extreme. On this night, Suresh Raina, the mid-off, stood right next to the bowler as he began his run. One move to his right, and Raina would have been invisible to Pollard because that would have taken him right behind the umpire.

The placement
In the 17th over of the Mumbai innings, Pollard drove hard at a delivery from Chris Morris. It turned out to be a slower ball, and Pollard was way early into the shot. The bat slipped out of his hand, and flew nearly as far as the ball did. However, there was no midwicket this time, and nobody was hurt.

The kiss
Later in the same over, Pollard pulled Morris away for four, which the bowler didn't like. Or perhaps he liked it in particular because after fielding the next ball in his follow-through Morris blew a kiss at Pollard. The batsman blew a kiss back to Morris. Phone numbers weren't exchanged.

The reluctant batsman
Dhoni doesn't like batting in the first 10 overs. He took that obsession to an extent where S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja were all sent ahead of him. Mumbai gladly kept taking the wickets, and Dhoni had to eventually come out to bat in the seventh over. The asking rate was nearing nine by now.

The send-off
In an earlier sledging contest, M Vijay had told Mitchell Johnson to "take it easy, man" after hitting a four. Johnson, though, came back with a bouncer aimed right at the throat during the second spell, and all Vijay managed was a top edge. Johnson didn't take it easy this time, man, and celebrated in Vijay's face.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Deepak on May 28, 2013, 11:12 GMT

    Best sledgers of the season have been the Aussies: Watson, Johnson and Faulkner. Faulkner is twice as arrogant as Kohli despite being new to the international scene.

  • Harsh on May 27, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    Mitchell johnson is one brat of a guy he sledged vijay straight after he was hit for four!Along with watson, definitely the king of sledging. Pollard too got an attitude problem. He comes good with the bat once in a blue moon and thank god it was last night! Surprising how we r not last on fairplay. Even karthik makes horrible appeals and claimed a bumped catch. This is not on. Anyways we r deserving winners this season and hope that we extend our dominance. Get some better players next year and thatll do the job.

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2013, 8:41 GMT

    The finale was so action-packed that's it tough to just narrow down 6 instances. A lot of things happened which didn't get mention - Chris Morris' salute, Pollard's 2 sixes off the last 2 balls, Praghyan Ojha's 100m sprint, Malinga's super-over, etc.

    Also, the straight mid-off, fine-mid off or the fielding sight-screen (or whatever else you call it :P ) was also implemented when these 2 teams faced in group stage (i guess at Mumbai).

  • Arun on May 27, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    When the trophy was presented to the captain, the MI players waited for Sachin and Punter to receive the trophy before they went khallaas. Its good to see that kind of respect and admiration Rickey Ponting is getting from young Indian bloods.

  • Deepak on May 27, 2013, 4:01 GMT

    I feel that Dhoni demoting himself was a key blunder. Jadeja, Bravo etc are good players, and on their day can turn a match. But for sheer force of will, and variety of batting options, they are nowhere in the same ballpark as Dhoni. Dhoni can easily take single and rotate strike for 6-7 overs without losing his cool. He can defend stoutly and explode with boundaries when required. Jadeja has just one gear ... It is fine if team needs 40 to get fastish, but not so, when you need prudence. Bravo is a little better but not much. Though he still got around 12 overs to bat, the cushion of wickets was gone and tied Dhoni's hands considerably.

    Well done Mumbai! Great bowling effort to win your maiden IPL crown!

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2013, 0:22 GMT

    "No phone numbers were exchanged." Awesome one, Siddhart Monga.. The funny touches like this makes these articles different from anybody's else.

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