One run. That was the margin of defeat for Chennai Super Kings in the IPL 2019 final against Mumbai Indians at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium on Sunday. It was a repeat of 2017 when Mumbai Indians had won the IPL title for the third time against Rising Pune Supergiants at the same venue. In the 2017 final, there was a run-out which gave Mumbai Indians the title. In 2019, it was a redemption act by Lasith Malinga as he managed to defend nine runs in the final over to hand Chennai Super Kings their fifth loss in the final.
The batsman who was facing Malinga at the time was Shardul Thakur. The youngster had been promoted ahead of Harbhajan Singh and had gotten the equation down to two runs off one ball when he had squeezed a couple. Malinga bowled a slow, dipping yorker and Thakur, batting in the pressure of the final, walked across and looked to nudge the deliver to the leg side but fell over and was trapped plumb in front. For Thakur, the one-run loss was a repeat of the pain he had suffered when Chennai Super Kings took on Royal Challengers Bangalore at the M Chinnaswamy stadium during the 39th match of the tournament.
In the game against Virat Kohli’s side, Chennai Super Kings had stumbled in their chase of 162 and they needed 26 runs in the final over which was bowled by Umesh Yadav. MS Dhoni was on strike and Thakur was at the non-striker’s end. The Chennai Super Kings skipper had set-up the platform for a mind-numbing assault. The first ball was hit for a four and then Dhoni launched three sixes and a couple as Chennai Super Kings needed two runs off one ball.
When Umesh ran to bowl, Dhoni was in the zone. The bowler bowled a slow off-cutter and Dhoni missed. Thakur hared across to steal a bye but Parthiv Patel’s direct hit resulted in his run-out as Chennai Super Kings lost by one run. Thakur had not started running as soon as the bowler delivered the ball due to the earlier controversy generated by Ravichandran Ashwin in his mankading of Jos Buttler in the previous games. Had the mankading controversy not taken place, Thakur could have probably made it.
Speaking about the match, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni said there were mistakes committed. “The middle order wasn't great, and today it was very funny as to how both teams were only passing on the trophy from one team to the other. Both teams made a lot of mistakes, the team that made one lesser mistake won,” Dhoni said.
Both teams did make mistakes. However, for Thakur, he will have to live through the pain of been at the losing end of both one-run margins.