© BCCI
Mitchell Johnson conceded 9 runs and took 2 wickets to clinch a last-over thriller for Mumbai © BCCI

Rising Pune Supergiant (RPS) could not turn full circle on Sunday. They had walloped Mumbai Indians (MI) in their maiden contest in Indian Premier League (IPL). However, in their last encounter in the spectacle, Pune failed to end their journey the way they had started. Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad witnessed Mumbai catch Pune by the throat and strangle the life out of their batters in the death overs, clinching a last-over thriller by a mere run. Needing 129 in 20 overs, Pune malfunctioned under pressure against the resilient, sedate Mumbai who became the first team to win the title as many as three times. Full scorecard: RPS vs MI

A certain thing, however, did not change course. Rohit Sharma, who had featured in three IPL finals and come up victorious in all the contests, maintained a clean sheet. He added another feather to his cap, becoming the first captain to win three IPL titles. Having said that, a certain thing took a U-turn. Pune, who had beaten Mumbai in three consecutive games this season, failed to prevail in the decisive contest.

The track was slow, with not enough life for the batsmen to extract from. Mumbai fell prey and lost 5 wickets for 62 in 11 overs. Barring Rohit (24), no top-order batsman could hold fort against the disciplined Pune. Even Pollard, who had blasted 123 off 60 across three IPL finals, managed 7.

Despite Mumbai staring down the barrel, Krunal Pandya led the resurgence against all odds. He collected 47 off 38 and added 50 off 35 with Mitchell Johnson for the eighth wicket. Nonetheless, Mumbai could only post a mere 129-run target, the lowest in IPL.

Smith produced a spectacular direct hit. Unadkat took the catch of the tournament. Daniel Christian emulated Smith. Pune left nothing to chance in the field. Bowlers performed well in tandem: three of six bowlers conceded less than 5 an over. To add more to it, the domestic bowlers took 2 for 39 in 10 overs and overseas bowlers 4 for 87 in as many overs.

In reply, Pune lost the in-form Rahul Tripathi in the second over. Jasprit Bumrah caught him lbw for 3. In came Smith and weaved a 54-run stand for the second wicket with Ajinkya Rahane. There were at stage when they staring at a probable win. All the same, Mumbai pulled off the unlikely. After Johnson removed Rahane for 44, Mumbai choked Smith and MS Dhoni, allowing them a meagre 27 off 27. The veterans left no stone unturned to pick boundaries, but it was Mumbai’s collective bowling performance that scaled up the equation to 47 needed off 30.

Bumrah got the better of Dhoni, inducing a thick outside edge as the great man slashed at one outside off. That, or anything, did not refrain the rebuked Smith from flummoxing Mumbai. He peppered a six off the penultimate off Bumrah, followed by 2 runs off the last ball to bring down the target to 11 off 6.

From Bumrah to Lasith Malinga, all death-over specialists were bowled out. The onus fell on Johnson to keep Smith and Manoj Tiwary at bay. Full updates: RPS vs MI, IPL 2017

Fortunately for Mumbai, Smith was not on strike, but that did not change the course. Tiwary swept a slower delivery to deep square-leg for four. Johnson pushed his length further. Tiwary hoicked it again, only to find Pollard at long-on. However, that put Smith on strike. Pune needed 7 off 5.

Johnson came around the wicket and bowled full. Smith cleared his front leg and cracked it high, on off. The pure timing and elevation, for a while, gave an impression that ball would clear the boundary and Pune would need 1 off 4, but as fate would have it, it fell into the hands of the only fielder outside the circle on the off-side; Pune lost 2 in 2.

17-year-old Washington Sundar, the youngest ever to play in IPL final, survived an immaculate yorker. Daniel Christian ran a bye to take charge. He heaved the penultimate ball to deep mid-wicket. Hardik Pandya, running forward, dropped a tough chance and gave away 2 runs. With 4 need off the last ball and 3 to tie, Pune could run only 2, painfully falling short by 1 run.

Brief scores:

Mumbai Indians 129 for 8 in 20 overs (Krunal Pandya 47, Rohit Sharma 24; Jaydev Unadkat 2 for 19) beat Rising Pune Supergiant 128 or 6 in 20 overs (Ajinkya Rahane 44, Steven Smith 51; Mitchell Johnson 3 for 26) by 4 wickets.

Man of the match: Krunal Pandya

Full scorecard