Lasith Malinga was not having a good time in the IPL 2019 final between Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings at the Rajiv Gandhi International stadium in Hyderabad on Sunday. The Sri Lankan had dropped Shane Watson off Mitchell McClenaghan in the ninth over of the Chennai Super Kings chase and the former Australian batsman made Mumbai Indians pay with a blazing knock. In his third over, Malinga was blasted for a six by Dwayne Bravo and three consecutive fours by Watson as he had figures of 3-0-42-0. Chennai Super Kings needed nine runs off the last over and Rohit Sharma gave the ball to Malinga.
After conceding four runs in three balls, Mumbai Indians seemed to have the upper hand when Shane Watson was run-out for 80 thanks to a superb throw from Krunal Pandya at deep backward square leg. Shardul Thakur was promoted up the order and he struck a couple to get the equation down to two runs off the final ball. After big field adjustments for close to five minutes, Malinga ran in with plenty at stake for both teams. The Sri Lankan unleashed a slow yorker that dipped at the last moment on Thakur. The batsman looked to nudge it to the leg side but fell over and missed it as he was trapped plumb in front. Mumbai Indians had secured the ultimate win by one run and Malinga had redeemed himself.
Tributes began pouring in for Malinga on social media, with some saying that his class had not faded. During the celebrations, Malinga outlined what was going through his mind when he was bowling the final over. “If we conceded one run, then we wouldn't win, and I wanted to win so I got the wicket - quite simple,” Malinga said.
Earlier in the tournament, Malinga had displayed his enormous commitment for the game. After taking three wickets for Mumbai Indians in their clash against Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede stadium, Malinga flew out immediately to Kandy where he took part in the Sri Lankan domestic one-day tournament where he took 7/49 to give Kandy a good win as he kept one eye on the World Cup preparations.
Malinga’s performance in the final at Uppal was a perfect example of redemption after a tough day. It is due to this art of redemption that Mumbai Indians are the first team to not only beat Chennai Super Kings four times in one season, but they are also the first to four IPL titles.