Mumbai Indians won the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 by beating Rajasthan Royals by 33 runs in the final on Sunday. The all-Indian Premier League showdown lived up to its billing and provided one of the best matches in T20 cricket. There were top performances galore in the match as 371 runs were scored. Shrikant Shankar analyses the contributions of all the players who were part of the incredible match.
If winning the Indian Premier League (IPL) is not proof that you are the best T20 team in the world, Mumbai Indians confirmed that status after winning the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) 2013 in New Delhi at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Sunday. This is their second victory in the competition to make them the most successful team in the history of the tournament. Mumbai posted an imposing 202 for six in 20 overs after having been sent into bat. Dwayne Smith, Rohit Sharma, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik helped propel the score in the end. Pravin Tambe was magnificent as he has been in the entire tournament.
Rajasthan Royals began their chase brilliantly and looked set to clinch an unlikely, yet great win. Ajinkya Rahane and Sanju Samson were clearly the best batsmen for Rajasthan on the day. Pragyan Ojha, Kieron Pollard and, especially, Harbhajan Singh turned the tide in favour of Mumbai. They thwarted Rajasthan’s middle and lower-order and ensured Mumbai won by 33 runs. In all the excitement, two legendary players — Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid — bid adieu from the T20 format. Let’s look at all the players who played in the final and see to what extent did their contribution affect the match:
Mumbai Indians (In batting order)
Dwayne Smith — 7/10
Dwayne Smith again proved why he is such an important player for Mumbai Indians. The beginning of the innings was pedestrian, but solid. Smith, despite not being at his absolute best, scored 44 runs off 39 balls with five fours and one six. He was bowled by Pravin Tambe while going for an expansive slog across the line. His innings gave the platform for the middle-order batsmen to capitalise in the end. Smith also took three catches during Rajasthan’s innings and affected a run-out. He won the Man of the Series award.
Sachin Tendulkar — 4/10
Sachin Tendulkar played his last match for Mumbai Indians on Sunday. He could not contribute a lot during the game as he was bowled for 15 off 13 balls with three fours. Shane Watson was the bowler who got Tendulkar out for the very last time in T20 cricket. But the night was memorable for Tendulkar as Mumbai went onto win the match.
Ambati Rayudu — 6/10
The right-handed batsman has not been in the best of form for some time now, but in the final Ambati Rayudu showed glimpses of what he is capable of. He scored 29 off 24 balls with four fours. He too was bowled by Tambe while going for a big hit.
Rohit Sharma — 8.5/10
The scores from here onwards may not seem very big, but the rate at which they came about definitely is stunning. First up is Rohit Sharma. The captain scored 33 off only 14 balls with three fours and two sixes. He employed the flick-sweep with excellent effect. He was caught by James Faulkner at deep mid-wicket off Rahul Shukla’s bowling.
Kieron Pollard — 7/10
Not the best of games for Kieron Pollard with the bat. He scored 15 off 10 balls before being bowled by Faulkner. He did hit one four and one six. Normally in high-scoring games, Pollard is highly expensive with the ball. But on Sunday, he gave away only 31 runs in 3.5 overs and took three wickets. He was on a hat-trick at one point as well. But his three wickets came after Rajasthan had lost seven wickets.
Glenn Maxwell — 9/10
If Rohit’s innings was special, then Glenn Maxwell’s was even better. He flicked the first ball he faced for a four towards deep square-leg. The second ball was also flicked over long-leg for a six. The fourth ball he faced was hit sweetly straight down the ground for another six. Two balls later, Maxwell flicked a full delivery for a four in the fine-leg region. He then got two more fours before being run-out for a blazing 37 off 14 balls. He struck four fours and two sixes and his strike-rate was 264.28. It really does not get better than this.
Dinesh Karthik — 8.5/10
Dinesh Karthik had an even greater strike-rate of 300 as he scored an unbeaten 15 off five balls. The wicketkeeper-batsman struck two sixes — one over deep mid-wicket and one over the sightscreen. This led to Mumbai posting an imposing total of 202 for six in 20 overs. Karthik was brilliant behind the stumps as well. His showed great reflexes while removing the bails off in a flash to stump Kevon Cooper. He also took a catch to dismiss Dishant Yagnik.
Harbhajan Singh — 9.5/10
Harbhajan Singh pulled the first ball he faced for a six over deep mid-wicket. He then took a single of the second and last ball he faced. His contributions with the ball, though, were the most crucial. His first over went for 16 runs and then he was removed from the attack. His second over went for seven runs. In his third over, Harbhajan conceded five runs and took the wicket of Shane Watson. His fourth over did the most damage to the Rajasthan innings. He picked up three wickets — Ajinkya Rahane, Stuart Binny and Cooper to derail Rahul Dravid’s team. He finished with figures of four for 32 in four overs. Harbhajan was adjudged as the Man of the Match.
Nathan Coulter-Nile— 4/10
A poor day with the ball for Nathan Coulter-Nile as he conceded 33 runs in three overs. But like Watson, another Australian, Coulter-Nile was the bowler who dismissed another Indian legend in Rahul Dravid for the last time. That too was bowled.
Rishi Dhawan — 3/10
Rishi Dhawan came under heavy attack from Rahane and Samson. He conceded 34 runs in three overs and looked less likely to take any wicket.
Pragyan Ojha — 8/10
Till Harbhajan turned the screws on Rajasthan in the 15th and 17th overs, it was Pragyan Ojha who kept some sort of parity for Mumbai Indians with the ball. The left-arm spinner took only one wicket, but gave away only 26 runs in four overs. In a high-scoring match, his performance and economy-rate of 6.50 was simply invaluable.
Rajasthan Royals (In batting order)
Kusal Perera — 3/10
Drafted in after Brad Hodge’s injury, Kusal Perera looked like getting Rajasthan’s innings off to a flying start. He hit two fours in the first three balls he faced, but was run-out on the fourth delivery.
Ajinkya Rahane — 8.5/10
Ajinkya Rahane was sublime yet again at the top of the order. He put together a 109-run partnership with Sanju Samson for the second wicket and that looked like leading Rajasthan to an unlikely win. He scored 65 off 47 balls with five fours and two sixes. He flicked a low full-toss from Harbhajan to Dwayne Smith at deep mid-wicket. He finished as the top run-scorer in the tournament with 288 runs.
Sanju Samson — 9/10
Samson again showed why he is worth the hype. The big target did not deter the young batsman as he scored 60 off 33 balls with four fours and four sixes. He was caught by Harbhajan at short third-man off Ojha’s bowling in the 12th over, and that sort of began Rajasthan’s slide.
Shane Watson — 3.5/10
Shane Watson did not have the greatest of matches. He gave away 30 runs in three overs and scored only eight runs. The only consolation he might get is that he was the bowler who dismissed Tendulkar for the last time in T20 cricket.
Stuart Binny — 3/10
Stuart Binny also was not at his best in the final. He conceded 16 runs in the only over he bowled and was dismissed for 10.
Dishant Yagnik — 3/10
In search of quick runs, the wicketkeeper-batsman edged a short ball from Pollard to Karthik behind the wicket.
Kevon Cooper — 3/10
The West Indies all-rounder could not bring his ‘A’ game to the fore in the final. Cooper was expensive as he conceded 40 runs in four overs and went wicket-less. He was dismissed for four off two balls.
Rahul Dravid — 3/10
Rahul Dravid’s last T20 match did not turn out the way he wanted. For the sake of the team, he dropped down the batting order, but it did not pay off in the end. Dravid was bowled for one by Coulter-Nile while trying to hit an uncharacteristic swipe on the off-side. He got a fitting reception from the capacity crowd.
James Faulkner — 2/10
James Faulkner gave away 46 runs in four overs. He lost the plot as Maxwell hit boundary after boundary off his bowling. He did get a consolation wicket of Pollard.
Rahul Shukla — 2/10
The right-arm pacer was the most expensive bowler on the night. He conceded 49 runs in four overs. He did dismiss Rohit Sharma to get some consolation.
Pravin Tambe — 9/10
By a country-mile the best bowler of the match. Pravin Tambe took two wickets and gave away only 19 runs in four overs. His economy-rate in the match was an insane 4.75. He finished as the leading wicket-taker in the CLT20 2013 with 12 wickets.
(Shrikant Shankarpreviously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)