Mumbai Indians captured their fifth IPL crown by defeating Delhi Capitals in the IPL 2020 final at Dubai on Tuesday. After losing the toss, MI put up a thoroughly professional bowling show to restrict Delhi to 156/7 despite half-centuries from skipper Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant. MI chased down the target without much trouble, losing only five wickets and with eight balls to spare, to recapture the IPL title for the second year in a row. With Mumbai celebrating yet another title triumph, we look back at three factors that cost DC their maiden final.
1. Losing the top three cheaply again
Delhi were always going to struggle in case they lost early wickets. They had made the mistake in the first Qualifier against Mumbai and repeated the error in the big final as well. Delhi were dealt with a massive blow off the first ball itself. Marcus Stoinis edged a short of a length rising delivery from Trent Boult behind the wickets. It was not an unplayable ball, but Stoinis was in no position to get behind the delivery, his technique against quality bowling getting exposed.
With Stoinis back in the hut early, Ajinkya Rahane had another opportunity to make amends for his failures earlier in the tournament. However, he disappointed yet again, playing a nothing short to be dismissed for 2, also caught down the leg side off Boult. The only good news for Delhi was that the in-form Shikhar Dhawan was still in. However, he too perished, playing an atrocious slog-sweep to a nicely flighted delivery from Jayant Yadav, which beat him all ends up and knocked over the stumps. As Dhawan headed back to the pavilion with the score reading 22 for 3, Delhi’s title hopes were all but dashed.
2. Failing to get a move on in the slog overs
After losing their top three early, Delhi recovered commendably well to cross the 100 mark without the loss of any further wicket, thanks to a fighting partnership between skipper Iyer and Pant, who went into the final under pressure having failed to deliver in the previous games, but lifted their performance on the big day. Pant was the more aggressive of the two, smashing 56 from 38 while Iyer made an unbeaten 65 from 50.
Neither could provide the final flourish for Delhi though, and that again cost them in a big way. Pant played a silly hook off a slower bouncer from Nathan Coulter-Nile. The fielder was placed at fine leg exactly for that shot, and Pant walked right into the trap, undoing some of his great work. The aggressive batsman’s dismissal in the 15th over cost Delhi a few crucial runs.
At the point of Pant’s wicket, Delhi were 118 for 4, but they could only add 38 in the last five overs, which was never going to be enough. The pacers, taking the slow nature of the pitch into consideration, took the pace off the ball, and Delhi’s batsmen kept mistiming deliveries, hitting the balls straight up in the air.
3. Enabling Mumbai to get off to a flyer
With an average score on the board, the only way Delhi could have halted Mumbai’s juggernaut was if they were able to build pressure on the defending champs early, and claim some crucial wickets. That wasn’t to be the case though as MI raced away to 45 in four overs with skipper Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock taking on the DC bowlers. Although de Kock perished for 20 from 12, the damage had already been done.
Rohit got his eye in and played a captain’s knock of 68 from 51. Ishan Kishan too signed off on a high with an unbeaten 33 from 19. Delhi bowlers just seemed to be going through the motions.