By my money, MI thoroughly deserved the trophy. Their batsmen from Nos. 3 to 7 made 10 fifty-plus scores and only three of them were in vain. Pollard struck one after Badree took a hat-trick and reduced MI to 7 for 4 in a chase of 143. Rana made 62 not out without hitting a single four, but his seven sixes made sure Mumbai recorded their highest chase of 199 with 4.3 overs to spare. Krunal, back from a groin injury, made successive forties in successive knockout games. Bumrah delivered with the ball, namely in the Super Over, and no one bowled as many as his 164 balls in the death. He was also among the top 5 wicket-takers of the season. Karn stepped up when need be, posting 4-16 in one match, Rayudu hit a match-winning 50 after being on the sidelines, and the only negative really was the way they threw their wickets away at times. Rohit made 333 runs at an average of 23.78 and a strike-rate of 121.97. He struggled vs spin because he failed to pick the googlies of four different bowlers - Badree, Imran Tahir, Rashid Khan and Amit Mishra. Malinga conceded 50 runs or more in two successive matches and was hit for 50 runs by one single batsman - Amla when he made 104 not out. Despite their good form, they still have a bit of a poor record vs Pune. Luckily for them, the franchise is no more.
So, how did they win? MI knew a target of just 130 was more than achievable. After 15 overs, 47 runs stood between Pune and the win, and this went to 33 off 24 balls, making Pune favourites. But Bumrah was excellent. He has a habit of delivering at the death - remember England couldn't score 8 off his final over in Nagpur - and he hit his yorkers well, and slower balls. He strangled Smith, firing in fuller balls,
and did the same with Dhoni, who smacked him across the park in the Qualifier. He conceded three runs off his final over, bringing MI back into the game. Johnson then delivered a masterclass after Malinga delivered with a spell of 3-0-14-0 (he had conceded at 11.07 per over at the death this season before this).
So, who is your team of the IPL? For me:
Warner - 641 runs, average 58, strike-rate 142
Lynn - 295 runs, average 49, strike-rate 180.98
Gambhir - 498 runs, average 41.50, strike rate 128
Smith - 472 runs, average 39, strike rate 122
Pant - 366 runs, average 26, strike rate 166
Stokes - 316 runs, strike rate 143; 12 wickets, economy 7.18
Krunal - 10 wickets, economy 6.82; 243 runs, strike rate 136
B Kumar - 26 wickets, economy rate 7
Sundar - 8 wickets, economy rate 6.16
Bumrah - 20 wickets, economy rate 7.4
Unadkat - 24 wickets, economy rate 7
Honourable mentions: Tripathi, Amla, Uthappa, Tiwary, Pandey, Karthik, Axar, Rashid and Tahir.