Chennai: IPL powerhouse Mumbai Indians ended their trophy draught in style here on Sunday as their bowlers rose to the occasion and defended a thin total to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the Champions League Twenty20.
Spinners Harbhajan Singh (3/20) and Yuzvendra Chahal (2/9) not only strangled the RCB batsmen but also picked five wickets between them after a late batting collapse saw MI fold up for mere 139 following Harbhajan's decision to bat first.
Mumbai's triumph looks much weightier in light of the fact that they were without their stalwart and regular captain Sachin Tendulkar, middle-order mainstay Rohit Sharma and Davy Jacobs, who had to return midway after getting injured.
But while MI's batting failed to impress, the bowlers should be given bulk of the credit for decorating their franchise's cabinet with the silverware, which is their first ever since inception in 2008.
However, Bangalore - who were expected to walk through to 140 and win here on Sunday - made a meal of their task to fall short by 31 runs. Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli's failure never allowed Bangalore to take charge and they finally got bowled out for 108 in 19.2 overs.
Chasing a small total, Bangalore needed a good start. Tillakaratne Dilshan smashed the first ball of the innings from Malinga through the covers for a boundary. He also hit Ahmed for two consecutive boundaries but Malinga dismissed him with the first ball of the fifth over. Dilshan, trying to hit Malinga across the line, found his stump uprooted for 27 runs which had five hits to the boundary.
In the very next over, Harbhajan took the prize wicket of Gayle, trapping him leg before for five runs. The burden of steadying Challengers innings then nfell on the young shoulders of Kohli.
Meanwhile, Chahal struck in the 11th over to have Agarwal caught by Pollard at long off. And the match turned into an exciting battle with Singh dismissing the in-form Kohli in the 12th over.
Chahal also got better of Arun Karthik, caught at long off for a duck. Bangalore batting wobbled under pressure with 65 runs still needed from 45 balls. Mohammad Kaif and Saurabh Tiwary were made to struggle for runs. Pollard then swung the match totally in Mumbai's favour dismissing Kaif for three and to leave the rest for Malinga to end Bangalore's challenge.
Earlier, asked to bowl by Harbhajan, Raju Bhatkal (3-21) and Daniel Vettori (2-30) helped Royal Challengers bowl out Mumbai for 139. Mumbai's three batsmen got run out, including James Franklin who top-scored with 41 runs.
Mumbai, batting first, lost the wicket of opener Aiden Blizzard early, courtesy a terrible mix up with fellow opener Sarul Kanwar who had begun his innings by hitting the first six of the match off Dilshan.
Ambati Rayudu joined Kanwar in the middle and started off well, hitting Sreenath Aravind over extra cover for a six but Nannes put an end his knock.
Franklin hit a couple of sixes and fours in his 29-ball knock whereas Yadav smashed a six and two fours in his 17-ball innings before both were run out in consecutive overs. The duo added 40 runs for the fourth wicket as they tried to resurrect Mumbai innings.
Vettori tightened the grip on the match forcing Pollard to hit straight to Kohli at long off after he had scored just two. In the same over, Vettori trapped Mumbai skipper Harbhajan leg before for a duck. Malinga, who joined Rajagopal Satish, hit Aravind for a six over the sight-screen. Satish too hit Bhatkal for a six but got out the next ball. Malinga followed with a quickfire 16 runs but in the end Mumbai could muster post only a run rate of 6.95 runs per over.