The Dream 11 Indian Premier League 2020 reached its blockbuster conclusion, with the reigning champions, Mumbai Indians, taking on first-time finalists in the Delhi Capitals. The former was making a habit of reaching the finals and under Rohit Sharma, they were yet to lose a single one. The captain himself had not lost any of the five finals he had been in, winning once with the Deccan Chargers and four times with the Mumbai Indians.
For the Delhi Capitals, however, the finals experience was new for the franchise and for most of their players as well, with Shreyas Iyer leading this young side. They had an experienced and accomplished coach in ex Australian captain Ricky Ponting and having led his Australian side through their dominant years, winning multiple World Cups, his experience and input would certainly be vital for the success of the Delhi Capitals.
Heading into the game it seemed like the Mumbai Indians had the upper hand, not just with experience but due to the fact that they were yet to lose to the Delhi Capitals this season, beating them on all three occasions that the two sides met and most recently in the first qualifier. Victory in that game meant the Mumbai Indians booked their ticket to the final directly but the Delhi Capitals had to go the long way around, facing the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the second qualifier and defeating them to make it to the finals. The final game of this season was surely set-up to be an interesting one and without further ado, let us dive into our match analysis of this fixture.
Having runs on the board in a final is usually a good idea and that is what Iyer chose to do after winning the toss. The start, however, was definitely not what he would have wanted, with Marcus Stoinis edging to Quinton de Kock off Trent Boult on the very first ball. Stoinis’ promotion up the order appeared to be a masterstroke in the previous game where he scored 38 off 27 against the Sunrisers to give Delhi an excellent start but it wasn’t to be in this fixture. Boult then got Ajinkya Rahane to knick one back to de Kock as well in his next over before Jayant Yadav, in for Rahul Chahar and playing in just his second game this tournament, took the crucial wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. This left the Delhi Capitals in some serious trouble having scored just 25 runs for the loss of three wickets at the end of the fourth over.
It was always going to be an uphill task from there, with Iyer and Rishabh Pant at the crease and both of them having largely poor tournaments individually. However, the two looked to play their shots freely and the Capitals ended the powerplay at 41 for three. The middle overs had not been Mumbai’s strongest area and the youngsters looked to capitalise on this, scoring at a steady rate of about 9.6 runs an over in this phase. They put up a brilliant stand of 96 runs for the fourth wicket before Pant fell for a well-made 56 off 38 deliveries in the 15th over. The two had given their side a good platform to finish the game well and the Capitals would have been looking to get themselves towards a total of 170, a target which looked very achievable in the last five overs with Iyer still at the crease.
However, Mumbai bowled excellently at the death, restricting the Delhi captain and apart from the odd boundary were in complete control. The Mumbai Indians had the best economy in the death overs throughout the tournament, going at 9.04 runs an over on average at this stage. Overs from Yadav, Boult and Bumrah went for just seven, six and six runs respectively and although Bumrah conceded 11 in another over and ended up wicketless, his economical spell throughout saw him concede just 28 runs in his four overs. Nathan Coulter-Nile then finished up the last over and despite going for a six, conceded just eight runs. The Delhi Capitals managed just 38 runs at a run-rate of 7.6 per over and lost three wickets in this stage, leaving them with 156 for the loss of seven wickets at the end of their 20 overs.
The total was definitely good considering the poor start but after brilliant performances from Pant and Iyer, the Capitals would have liked to get closer to the 170 run mark. Nevertheless, scoreboard pressure is always present in a final and with their strong bowling line-up, Delhi knew that they had a fighting chance in this game.
The Mumbai Indians got off to a flyer, with Sharma and de Kock showing no mercy in the early overs. The asking rate was about 7.85 runs an over but when de Kock fell at the start of the fifth over, edging to Pant off Stoinis, Mumbai had already scored 45 runs in four overs at a rate of 11.25 runs per over. Where Delhi had failed to perform, Mumbai looked to take control of the game early and unsettle the bowlers with de Kock hitting purple cap holder Kagiso Rabada for 18 runs in just the second over of the game. The in-form Suryakumar Yadav came to the crease at the fall of the wicket and Mumbai ended the powerplay with 61 runs on the board with the loss of just one wicket. The Capitals needed to make inroads quickly if they were to fight back but once again Mumbai showed no signs of slowing down.
Sharma and Suryakumar looked comfortable against the Delhi spinners with the captain being the aggressor. However, a mix-up in the eleventh over gave Delhi another chance to claw themselves back into the game. With Sharma calling for a non-existent run despite Suryakumar screaming at him to go back, both batsmen found themselves at the same end with the latter crossing over and sacrificing his wicket for his captain who was then on 47. The error gifted the Delhi Capitals a wicket at a stage where the Mumbai Indians were cruising and at the end of the 11th over, Mumbai had scored 91 runs for the loss of two wickets. Ishan Kishan stepped up to join his captain and Sharma seemed unfazed by the run-out and continued his excellent batting to leave the Mumbai Indians at 126 for the loss of two wickets at the end of 15 overs. The Indians had scored 65 runs in the middle overs and looked to bat Delhi out of the game. They now needed just 31 runs off 30 balls with eight wickets in hand and barring something extraordinary, the trophy was heading back to the reigning champions.
Despite Sharma being caught spectacularly in the deep for his 68 off 51 deliveries in the 17th over, the game was pretty much done and dusted. Kishan had been finding the boundary with ease and Kieron Pollard hit a couple of boundaries as well before being dismissed for nine of his four balls. Hardik Pandya then found the fielder rather anti-climatically with Mumbai needing just one run to win and this left his brother, Krunal Pandya, to finish things off the very next ball. Kishan finished with an impressive unbeaten 33 off 19 balls and the Mumbai Indians had dominated the game, chasing down the target in just 18.4 overs with five wickets to spare.
The impact players
Our very own impact index model shows the impact that a player had during his time at the crease relative to his teammates. It does not, however, give us the player’s impact on the end result of the match. In our analysis, we will be using this model to give us a relative idea of how each player fared.
For the Delhi Capitals, Pant had the highest impact index among the batsmen. His 56 off 38 was crucial in pushing Delhi towards a good total. His impact index is not very high, however, due to the number of dot balls that he faced despite his strike rate of 147.4. Rabada’s impact index of 0.0 is owing to the fact that he was run-out without facing a ball on the last ball of the innings and hence, Iyer has the next highest impact index as a result of his 65 from 50 deliveries. His captain’s knock in the final was truly commendable but owing to his lower strike rate of 130 and the number of dot balls, his impact index is lower as well.
As for the bowlers, Axar Patel had the highest impact followed by Anrich Nortje with the former conceding just 16 runs in his four overs. Patel, however, went wicketless in his spell while Nortje managed to pick up two wickets in his 2.4 overs despite conceding 25 runs at an economy of about 9.40. It is interesting to note that Rabada features third from bottom, conceding 32 runs in his three overs and taking just a single wicket. The purple cup winner had a game to forget and despite a strong tournament, would have been disappointed for not finishing on a high.
For the Mumbai Indians, Pollard and de Kock top the batting impact index due to their strike rates of 225 and 166.67 respectively. However, considering that they faced just four and 12 balls respectively, we will focus on Sharma and Kishan. The former led from the front and despite his error costing Suryakumar his wicket, Sharma pushed on and scored 68 from his 51 deliveries at a strike rate of 133.33. He took the attack to the Delhi bowlers, hitting five fours and four sixes during his time at the crease. Kishan played a handy knock towards the end as well, hitting three fours and a six en route to his 33 from 19 balls. Suryakumar, who was arguably Mumbai’s most consistent player this season, was unlucky to be dismissed for just 19 from his 20 balls and would have been disappointed to have not finished off the season with another excellent performance.
Boult was the pick of the bowlers, taking three wickets and conceding 30 runs in his four overs, seeing him top the impact index. Coulter-Nile was second due to his two wickets and excellent last over seeing him concede just 29 runs from his four overs. Jayant Yadav was excellent as well, having been brought in to thwart the left-handers and doing just that, taking Dhawan’s wicket early on and conceding just 25 runs from his four overs. Bumrah would have hoped to chase down Rabada for the purple cap but despite going wicketless, he conceded just 28 from his four overs at an economy of just 7.00. Overall, Mumbai were dominant with both bat and ball and at the end of the day, were deserving winners of the tournament.
For the Delhi Capitals, this season was a sign of things to come. To finish second and make it to the finals of the tournament is no small feat for this relatively young side and they can take confidence from their achievements this season. With a more consistent batting lineup, this squad would certainly be a more rounded unit and could be primed for success in the next few years.
As for the Mumbai Indians, they never looked out of control and showed their quality in this game as well, much as they had done throughout the tournament. They have become a dominant force in the IPL and are only the second team in history to retain the title, after the Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011. Claiming their fifth title in seven years, they look unbeatable and the team appears well set to continue this excellence as well.