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Harbhajan names MI duo to defend 10 runs in last over against de Villiers-Pollard; NZ bowler shares hilarious reply

Published on Jul 17, 2022 04:36 PM IST

The Kiwi player played a significant part in Mumbai's 2015 triumph, taking 3-25 in the final in what was a relatively comfortable victory.

Harbhajan Singh for Mumbai Indians in the IPL(BCCI)
By, New Delhi

New Zealand pacer Mitchell McCleneghan shared a hilarious tweet on his account on Sunday, looking back on his time with the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

CricTracker's Twitter handle posted a graphic asking the question which bowler their followers would pick to deliver a fictional final over against AB de Villiers and Keiron Pollard, if they had to defend 10 runs. Harbhajan Singh responded to this tweet by giving the names of two legends of T20 death bowling, and two Mumbai Indians icons – Jasprit Bumrah and Lasith Malinga.

Malinga and Bumrah have together been part of 4 IPL-winning teams for the Mumbai Indians, but we're always supported by a strong third pace bowler who was often used to bowl in the powerplay, saving the two stars for the death. Mitchell McCleneghan was often this option, being part of the teams which won the 2019 and 2017 — both the nailbiting finals won by one run, with McCleneghan playing in the 2019 edition.

In a homage to the death bowling skills put on show throughout these championship runs and especially in the finals, McCleneghan responded to Harbhajan's tweet by writing "I'll run water for these legends."

McCleneghan also played a significant part in Mumbai's 2015 triumph, taking 3-25 in the final in what was a relatively comfortable victory, alongside Malinga's figures of 2-25. He also bowled 4 overs for just 24 in the 2017 final, where Bumrah finished with 2-14 off his 4 overs.

Malinga had been expensive that day, conceding 42 off his first 3 overs, but was asked to defend 9 in the final over against a rampaging Shane Watson and Ravindra Jadeja. He successfully did so, dismissing Shardul Thakur off the last ball when CSK needed 2 to win.

McCleneghan might play down his roles in those teams, but they were significant, and it is Mumbai's understanding of these pace-bowling combinations which have led them to so much success throughout the years in the IPL, and continue to pay dividends even after the retirement of Malinga.

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