After the heart-breaking defeat at the hands of the same opponent in 2010, Mumbai Indians finally clinched their first IPL title, two-time winners outplaying Chennai Super Kings by 23 runs at Eden Gardens. Mumbai were arguably the most consistent and balanced team in the tournament, and their success was derived from the excellent work of five key performers.
Here's a look at Mumbai's fab five in IPL 6:
Rohit Sharma - M 19, Runs 538, HS 79*, Avg 38.42, SR 131.54
With Ricky Ponting stepping down form Mumbai's XI after a poor run of form, Rohit was chosen to lead and the captaincy duty brought out the best of the 26-year-old. Leading them for the first time, he helped Mumbai win their first PL trophy. In 19 matches, Rohit scored 538 runs at an average of 38.42 at an impressive strike-rate of 131.54, making four half-centuries. His best knock came at the crucial time; Mumbai were in a spot of trouble having lost three early wickets before revived the innings with 79* off 39 balls, inclusive of six and six fours to take Mumbai to a commanding 174 against Kings XI Punjab.
Dinesh Karthik - M 19, Runs 510, HS 86, Avg 28.33, SR 124.08
Though he's not been as effective in the second half of this season with the bat, Dinesh Karthik was an important player for Mumbai this season. The wicketkeeper-batsmen played his heart out in the first half of the season with a number of match-winning knocks. He was Mumbai's second-highest run-getter as he scored 510 at an average of 28.33 that included two fine fifties. With Mumbai struggling to get off to good starts early in the season, Karthik's innings in the middle order gave stability and laid the foundation for Mumbai a number of times. Karthik best innings came against Delhi Daredevils when he blasted 86 off 48 balls, with 68 of his runs coming in boundaries.
Harbhajan Singh - M 19, Wkts 24, BB 3/14, Avg 19, Econ 6.51, SR 17.5
After an awful IPL 5, Harbhajan Singh needed a strong 2013 season and he delivered just that. He finished as the third-highest wicket-taker and was always a threat to opposing batsmen. He varied his line and length well, as opposed to merely firing in the ball, and picked up big wickets. He saved his best for the play-offs, picking up the Man-of-the-Match award in the second Qualifier with 3 for 23 and then rose to the occasion in the final against CSK, taking 2 for 14 in three overs. A major player in Mumbai's run to their first IPL trophy, Harbhajan was the best spinner in the league.
Mitchell Johnson - M 17, Wkts 24, BB 3/27, Avg 19.12, Econ 7.17, SR 16
Playing in his first IPL, Mitchell Johnson bowled excellently and finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker for Mumbai with 24 scalps. Although he lost his form in the second half of the season but his performances in the first half helped Mumbai to win a number of games. His effort against Chennai Super Kings early in the league stages was one of the highlight of IPL 6; he bagged 3 for 27 and would have got Michael Hussey as well but for three consecutive dropped catches by Kieron Pollard.
Kieron Pollard - M 18, Runs 420, Wkts 10, HS 66*, Avg 42, SR 149.46
Pollard had another outstanding strong season for Mumbai. His fifty in the final came at the right time and was the difference between both the sides. Earlier in the tournament he played some decent cameos to help Mumbai out of trouble and was equally impressive with the ball and on the field. Pollard plucked some stunning catches in the deep as well - some of which were match-turning - and picked up wickets to break some crucial partnerships. All three of Pollard's fifties delivered victory, with the most brutal being his 27-ball 66 that left Sunrisers Hyderabad stunned and took Mumbai to a seven-wicket win.
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