Quinton De Kock’s Mumbai Indians win back-to-back IPL titles, Newsline

CAPE TOWN – Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma led from the front to spearhead his team’s charge to their fifth and second consecutive Indian Premier League title in Dubai on Tuesday.

Sharma stroked an excellent 68 from 51 balls that helped Mumbai haul in the Delhi Capitals 156/7 with five wickets remaining.

Delhi certainly needed to match or better Mumbai’s magnificent start with the ball if they were to defend their below-par target. But instead of claiming three wickets within the Powerplay like Mumbai, they leaked runs from the outset.

Sharma showed his intent after just three balls by dancing down the pitch to his Indian national teammate Ravichandran Ashwin and dispatching him over his head for six.

One of the much-hyped duals in the build up to the final was the new-ball battle between Proteas superstars Kagiso Rabada and Quinton de Kock. On the night there was only one winner with De Kock tearing into Rabada in his opening over.

De Kock (20 from 12 balls, 3×4, 1×6) launched Rabada for a four and massive six with four leg-byes interspersed between it to kickstart Mumbai’s run chase.

The brutal assault on the tournament’s leading bowler not only knocked down Rabada, but seemingly Dehli’s fight too.

Even when Rabada (1/32) was re-introduced into the attack later in the innings, he was one again treated with disdain by Sharma on this occasion.

Ultimately, Delhi could not recover from losing in-form Australian Marcus Stoinis to Trent Boult’s first ball of the final. Boult’s (3/30) big match experience certainly shone through as also picked up Ajinkya Rahane in his next over before coming back at the death to remove Shimron Hetmyer.

Although Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer (65 not out, 50 balls, 6×4, 2×6) and Rishabh Pant (56 off 38 balls, 4×2, 2×6) attempted to rebuild their team’s innings with a 98-run partnership for the fourth wicket, it wasn’t enough to challenge the Mumbai juggernaut with leading run-scorer Ishan Khan taking them home.

Proteas speedster Anrich Nortje claimed some consolation for Delhi with figures of 2/26.