IPL 2019: Six defining moments that showed why Mumbai Indians' journey to the Finals wasn't easy

On May 7, Mumbai Indians defeated Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) and secured their spot in the finals. While the team managed to finish top of the table, their journey was anything but easy

IPL 2019: Six defining moments that showed why Mumbai Indians' journey to the Finals wasn't easy

Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets in Qualifier-1, entering the IPL final for the fifth time on Tuesday. Earlier, at the beginning of the tournament, the team looked to be struggling to find rhythm. However, as the Indian Premier League (IPL) progressed, the Rohit Sharma-led team found their groove. 

In what can be called a roller-coaster ride for the Men in Blue, here are six defining moments that led Mumbai to a place in the finals:

Match 7 of IPL 2019: Royal Challengers Bangalore vs Mumbai Indians

Mumbai Indians had laid down a target of 188 runs against the Virat Kohli-led side. The game looked easy for RCB as 41 runs were required off the last four overs and they still had seven wickets in hand with South African legend AB de Villiers at the crease. However, pacer Jasprit Bumrah had other plans in mind and decided to win the match for Mumbai with his remaining two overs.

As he bowled the 17th over, he struck on the very first ball and sent Shimron Hetmyer back to the pavilion. He finished the over efficiently as RCB managed to score only a single in the over. 

Once again, 22 were required off the last two overs and with his last over of the spell, Bumrah only gave away five runs and displayed his talent. Later, Mumbai Indians won the match by six runs and Bumrah was adjudged MoM as he finished with 20 runs in four overs and scalped three wickets.

Match 15 of IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians vs Chennai Super Kings

Mumbai Indians had lost two out of their first three games whereas Chennai had defeated all the three opponents they had faced. After winning the toss, Chennai had put Mumbai to bat first. Mumbai Indians were troubled by the bowlers and had scored only 125 runs in 18 overs. 

However, then came Hardik Pandya who scored 45 runs in the last two overs with Kieron Pollard and ensured a massive total for Mumbai. Later in the match, Hardik Pandya scalped three wickets and ensured that Mumbai registered an easy win. The Men in Blue won by 37 runs.

The match came as a huge boost for Mumbai Indians as well as Pandya who had drawn a lot of criticism off-field due to his comments on chat-show Koffee With Karan.

Match 19 of IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

Both the teams had entered the field after winning their respective previous encounters. As Hyderabad won the toss, they elected to bowl first which was a wise decision as Mumbai top order collapsed soon against the Sunrisers bowlers. However, anchor innings from Kieron Pollard helped Mumbai cross the 136-run mark. 

Hyderabad looked to have landed the match in their dolly as they had an almighty opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner who had been the most important aspect in winning games for the team.

However, what followed later was a display of sheer class and pace attack by West Indian bowler, Alzarri Joseph who claimed six wickets as he ran through the Sunrisers’ batting line-up as they were bowled out for 96 runs. The 22-year-old Windies fast bowler broke the record of Pakistan bowler Sohail Tanvir, who claimed 6/14 in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008.

Match 24 of IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians vs Kings XI Punjab

Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma had been benched owing to injury and Kieron Pollard made his debut as an IPL captain. After winning the toss, the stand-in captain chose to bowl first at Wankhede Stadium. Subsequently, Punjab openers KL Rahul and Chris Gayle stitched a 116-run partnership and eventually, KL Rahul scored a century to help the Kings reach a 197-run mark.

As the Mumbai batsmen came to chase a mammoth 198-run target, they succumbed under pressure and were reduced to 92-4 by the end of 12 overs. However, captain Pollard who had promoted himself to No.4 brought in the much-needed destructive innings for Mumbai and won the match with his 31-ball 83-run knock.

The Carribean kept his calm despite 32 runs being required in the last two overs. The inning by Pollard was a fit reply to his critics who slammed him for inconsistency and poor performance.

Match 47 of IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Despite losing the match, the encounter against Kolkata Knight Riders, this match was defining for Mumbai Indians as they saw a scathing 91-run knock from Hardik Pandya. The match witnessed a run-feast as the Riders piled up a 233-run target for Mumbai Indians who were off to a drastic start as they lost both their openers by the end of the fourth over. 

Things looked bleak for Mumbai Indians and were sure to lose the match by a huge margin. However, Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya entered the ground unwilling to give up so easily. With determination in his eyes, Pandya went on to notch 91 runs in mere 34 deliveries.

The inning from Pandya was a reminder of why he was hailed as one of the best all-rounders India has produced.

Match 51 of IPL 2019: Mumbai Indians vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

There couldn't have a better way for Mumbai to qualify for the playoffs as they earned the win by emerging victorious in the Super Over.  

Batting first, Mumbai Indians' opener Quinton de Kock had scored 69 runs which helped Mumbai cross the 162-run mark. Eventually, Mumbai spinners gripped the match and brought the game to 17 runs required in the last over but Manish Pandey along with Mohammad Nabi managed to draw the match as they scored 16 runs in the last over.

After which, Jasprit Bumrah was the star turn for Mumbai, as he gave only eight runs in the Super Over which was easily chased by Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard who managed to seal the deal with three balls to spare.  

While MI have managed to become the best out of the rest, it is vital that they look towards amending the flaws to ensure clinching the title for the fourth time.

Earlier, Mumbai Indians had won the IPL Trophy in 2013, 2015, and 2017. Mumbai will now face the winner of Qualifier-2, i.e. Chennai Super Kings or Delhi Capitals.

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