Mumbai Indians beat Chennai Super Kings by 1 run to win their record fourth IPL title at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium on Sunday. It was a nail-biting encounter that went all the way down to the wire. In the final over, Lasith Malinga kept his composure as he bowled an outstanding over by giving away just seven runs while defending nine and pulled off a famous win for Mumbai. By the virtue of this win, Mumbai now enjoy a 3-1 victory margin against CSK in the IPL finals.
The MI-CSK rivalry is considered as 'El Clasico' of domestic cricket. Out of the 30 times that both the teams have faced off against each other, Mumbai have registered 18 wins whereas, CSK have managed to win on 12 occasions. Their first encountered started way back on April 24, 2008, where CSK got the better of MI by six runs. However, Mumbai returned the favour back in the reverse fixture, Mumbai stormed home by nine wickets. In the 2009 season, CSK drew the first blood in Cape Town by 19 runs while Mumbai managed a seven-wicket win in the home leg. When it comes to the knockout stages, Mumbai Indians have been at the receiving end twice when they were sent packing by CSK in both 2012 & 2014 Eliminators. Chennai's last win against MI came in 2018 when they were reinstated after their involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. They beat Mumbai at their fortress, in Wankhede Stadium by one wicket riding on Dwayne Bravo's stellar knock of a 30-ball 68. Since then, it has been one-way traffic as Mumbai has registered five straight wins over Chennai from the second leg of the 2018 season. MI also beat CSK all the four times in this season including the final. When it comes to steamrolling the opposition in one season, even CSK have had the privilege in the 2014 season where they got the better of Mumbai in all of their three encounters including the Eliminator. The best part about those wins is that they had come while chasing targets.
However, the biggest surprise about them all is that one of India's successful captains MS Dhoni has been involved in all of Mumbai's four title triumphs. In fact, it is five including CSK's successful campaign in 2010. It all started at the turn of this decade when Mahi led CSK to their maiden title triumph against the Sachin Tendulkar-led Mumbai Indians by 22 runs. The 'Captain Cool' then had a successful year ahead which also included the World Cup win in 2011 where he finished it off with his trademark 'Helicopter Shot'. He also had a successful IPL where CSK retained their title against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The MS Dhoni-led side had appeared in all the finals from 2010 to 2013 where they had won two and lost two. After two straight successful tournaments, luck started eluding Mahi from 2012 where they lost their first final since 2008. They went down to Kolkata Knight Riders by five wickets in the penultimate ball of the game. Post this loss, even Dhoni would not have realized that he would have to wait for six years to lay his hands on the silverware once again.
Meanwhile, MI were becoming a force to reckon and they had made it to top four in the following two seasons after their bitter loss in the final. They qualified for their second final in 2013 and beat CSK by 23 runs to win their maiden title. The Hitman once again managed to get Mahi's number in the 2015 edition were MI completely outplayed CSK by 41 runs.
After that edition, the Chennai outfit was banned for two seasons along with Rajasthan Royals due to their involvement in the spot-fixing scandal. Nonetheless, Mumbai Indians had once again qualified for the finals in the 2017 season and they were about to face MS Dhoni's team as well. No, it was not CSK but the now-defunct Rising Pune Supergiant which was led by Steve Smith and MSD was a key member of that side. Dhoni once again ended up on the losing side as Rohit Sharma's men got the better of Pune by 1 run in the thrilling finale.
'Thala' finally got to taste success in the 2018 season when he made his return in CSK colors and led them to their third title. Just when all seemed well, the Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai Indians handed them yet another 1 run defeat and thereby, dashed their hopes of retaining the title and depriving them of becoming the most successful IPL teams with the most number of titles.