IPL 2019, MI vs CSK: Why Shane Watson’s run-out in Malinga’s brilliant last over was the 'Moment of the Match'
If the first game of IPL 12 was one of the most insipid encounters ever, most matches from there on had the fans guessing right down to the wire, in terms of the final outcome. With teams always eyeing for new tactics and improved strategies, one can only imagine how exciting it will be for the fans, with results boiling down to decision-making and execution in crunch moments.
Leading up to the big final of IPL 2019, the topic of discussion has been about the rivalry between the two high-profile teams and their consistency. While CSK aimed for a second back-to-back IPL title (similar to the 2010 and 2011 feat), MI perhaps felt it would be too odd to not win the trophy in an “odd” year, given their last 3 trophy wins (in 2013, 2015 and 2017).
In such a close game with a lot of ebbs and flows, it can be tricky to pinpoint to a particular game-changing moment. Losing Raina and Rayudu in quick succession after a 53-run power play was a big momentum breaker for CSK. Dhoni’s run-out was undoubtedly a massive dent, which meant Watson had to stay till the end to see his side through.
Mumbai did extremely well to exert pressure in the middle overs. But, Watson’s blitz in the 16th over against Malinga and those 3 sixes against Krunal meant that the tide clearly turned in favor of the Yellow Brigade. Rahul Chahar’s drop catch to give Watto a reprieve and the byes from a usually tidy de Kock set it up nicely for the Aussie, who has a particular liking for IPL finals.
For MI though, Jasprit Bumrah and Rahul Chahar pegged things back at various stages of the game. It was a clincher of a decision to back Malinga for the last over, given his wealth of experience and the ability that he possesses to bounce back. Credit to him for not giving any freebies, with the kind of day he had to endure until the thrilling last over.
CSK supporters would have hoped Watson made it safely to the batting end with two more balls to go. Although it is difficult to figure out what transpired between him and Jaddu during the second run, Watson would rue the fact that a new lower-order batsman had to enter the scenario.
Hindsight is always a great way of looking at things and many CSK fans cannot help but think about the result, had Shardul managed to nudge it on the leg side. But, kudos to Malinga for attacking the stumps with a “You miss, I hit” mindset.
It was great to see a champion like Malinga redeem himself in the most heroic fashions and live up to the “game-changer” tag.