Mumbai Indians bowler Lasith Malinga celebrates his 5th wicket with Harbhajan Singh during their IPL T20 match against Delhi Daredevils at Ferozshah Kotla ground in New Delhi.
The total they put on the board didn't seem like a winning one but Mumbai Indians captain Harbhajan Singh said gamechanger Lasith Malinga proved to be the key as his depleted team lifted the Champions League Twenty20 trophy by beating the more fancied Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai.
Electing to bat first, Mumbai made just 139 in their 20 overs and it looked like the match was out of their hands against an aggressive RCB line-up.
But Malinga (2/23) and Harbhajan himself (3/20) shone with the ball to eke out a 31-run triumph for Mumbai.
"Obviously, I was a little disappointed with the way we lost momentum in the middle overs, I still feel we could've got 160 on this wicket. We were 20 runs short. The wicket played like yesterday and we played a few bad shots and a couple of run outs didn't help and we put ourselves in a very difficult situation," Harbhajan told reporters in the post-match press conference.
"When we got inside the dressing room in the middle of the innings, our coaches Polly (Shaun Pollock) and Robin (Singh) spoke to the boys and they said we should go out there and fight till the last ball. 'I don't want any of you to feel the game is over, because 140 could be the winning total'," he said.
"So I said to the boys (out) in the middle, 'till the last ball is bowled, we're going to go and give our best shot. It's just a matter of one and a half hours, if we play well, we're gonna win this. Believe that we can win this game'," he added.
Heaping praise on Malinga, Harbhajan said, "We got (Tillakaratne) Dilshan early and Mally (Malinga) is my man, he made a crucial breakthrough for us. He has bowled and batted superbly throughout the tournament and has been Mumbai Indians' top performer right from the day he joined, and even for Sri Lanka, he's been among the top performers."