Kolkata Knight Riders splashed out a record INR 15.5 crore for Australia star Pat Cummins in the IPL auction on Thursday.

Cummins had been the subject of bids from both Royal Challengers Bangalore and Delhi Capitals before Knight Riders gazumped their rivals.

The deal, worth roughly $2.2million, makes Cummins the most expensive overseas buy in IPL history.

The top-ranked Test bowler previously played in Kolkata in 2014 and 2015, along with Delhi Capitals in 2017. He missed the 2018 tournament with Mumbai Indians through injury.

Cummins has 17 wickets, at a rate of 29.35, in his 16 career IPL matches to date.

He is joined at Knight Riders by England limited-overs captain Eoin Morgan, whose reward for 2019 Cricket World Cup success is a much-improved deal.

Morgan, who is set to lead England again at the 2020 T20 World Cup, fetched INR 5.25 crore - more than double his wage for Kings XI Punjab in his most recent appearance in 2017.

Meanwhile, Cummins was not the only quick to welcome a big contract on Thursday, as debutant Sheldon Cottrell went to Kings XI for INR 8.5 crore.

And Indians signed Nathan Coulter-Nile for INR 8 crore.

Rajasthan Royals brought Jaydev Unadkat back for a third straight year, this time for a more modest INR 3 crore having spent top fees on the 28-year-old at the past two tournaments.

Glenn Maxwell went to Kings XI for INR 10.75 crore, while Royal Challengers sent INR 10 crore to Chris Morris.

Jasprit Bumrah said Mumbai Indians never doubted their ability to claim a record fourth Indian Premier League title after they dethroned Chennai Super Kings in the most dramatic fashion.

CSK looked set to retain a trophy they have won three times when they needed nine off the last over to reach their victory target of 150 with Shane Watson at the crease.

MS Dhoni's side required four off two deliveries after Watson - man of the match in last year's final having smashed an unbeaten century - was run out for 80 off 59 balls when coming back for a second after he had been dropped twice by Rahul Chahar.

Lasith Malinga held his nerve by trapping Shardul Thakur leg before with a slower-ball yorker off the last delivery to seal victory two years after Mumbai were also crowned champions with a last-ball win.

Man of the match Bumrah, who removed Dwayne Bravo from a penultimate over that cost only nine runs and claimed 2-14, says self-belief was key to Mumbai coming out on top.

"I'm really happy, we always believed in our team," said the India paceman.

"Whenever we are in tough situations we back each other, stay close and have confidence in each and every individual. On a given day anybody can win us the game. It's a great feeling and we are really happy."

Kieron Pollard top scored with 41 not out off only 25 balls to get the Indians up to 149-8 and the all-rounder knew his knock could be decisive.

"These are the games you want to perform in, they are the games that people remember," said the West Indies international.

"Playing in so many finals, you know the most runs you get on the board, pressure is going to be on them. My aim was to try and stay in until the end. Then Bumrah and Malinga bowled brilliantly, taking the game away from CSK."

Lasith Malinga produced an outstanding exhibition of death bowling to secure a dramatic one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and seal a record fourth Indian Premier League title for Mumbai Indians.

Chennai needed only nine runs off the last over to retain their crown and become the first team to win the IPL four times, but Malinga held his nerve to deny MS Dhoni's side.

CSK required four to win off two balls after Shane Watson was run out for 80 having hesitated going for a second as the tension built in the final over in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur struck the penultimate delivery for two, but was trapped leg before by the ice-cool Malinga off the final ball to spark huge celebrations from the Indians and their supporters.

There was nobody more relieved than Indians teenager Rahul Chahar, who dropped Watson on 42 and 55.

Deepak Chahar, Rahul's cousin, earlier took 3-26 and Imran Tahir claimed 2-23 to restrict Mumbai to 149-8, Kieron Pollard top scoring with 41 not out off 25 balls.

Watson was named man of the match after smashing an unbeaten century in last year's final against Sunrisers Hyderabad and looked set to see CSK home again, but fellow veteran Malinga was the hero on this occasion.

Chennai have now lost three out of four deciders they have played against Mumbai, who were worthy champions after being top at the end of the regular season.

After 56 games in the round-robin stage, plus an eliminator play-off and two qualifiers, Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings are the last two left standing in the Indian Premier League.

Both franchises have a fine pedigree when it comes to lifting the trophy; they have combined for six titles between them, including triumphing in three of the previous four seasons.

Mumbai were victorious in 2015 and 2017 but it is Chennai who are the defending champions, MS Dhoni's side overcoming Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 2018 final at the Indians' Wankhede Stadium.

However, Rohit Sharma's side have already beaten their opponents in the play-offs this year, as a six-wicket win in the qualifier secured them a place in the final.

Ahead of Sunday's showdown in Hyderabad, we pick out some of the key IPL facts with the help of Opta.

 

7 – Chennai have reached the final in seven of the previous eight seasons they have featured in. They are also looking to register back-to-back titles for a second time, having previously achieved the feat in 2010 and 2011.

3 – Mumbai have been crowned champions in three of the past six seasons. They have never won in successive years, however, and were last triumphant in 2017.

8 – In the last eight meetings between the teams, Chennai have been victorious just once. That run includes three defeats to the Indians in 2019.

1 – There has been one final previously at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. Mumbai won on that occasion, beating Rising Pune Supergiant by one run in 2017.

173 – Chennai's Deepak Chahar (173) has registered more dot balls in this year's tournament than any other bowler. Of his 363 deliveries, only nine have been hit for six by opposing batsmen.

24 – Imran Tahir has claimed 24 wickets in 2019, putting him one behind fellow South Africa international Kagiso Rabada at the top of the charts.

84 - Suryakumar Yadav is a man in form with the bat for the Indians. His tally of 84 runs from flicked shots played on the leg side this term is 20 more than any other batsman.

Indian Premier League (IPL) team Mumbai Indians will oversee the entire rehabilitation process of Windies pace bowler Alzarri Joseph.

The 22-year-old got his IPL career off to a lightning quick start after claiming a historic 6 for 12 in 3.4 overs.  Tragedy, however, struck for the bowler soon after as he injured his shoulder while fielding for the team in the very next game. 

The damage not only ruled the player out of the rest of the IPL season but also out of the upcoming ICC World Cup.  Despite the bowler not taking part in the rest of the tournament, the club is willing to foot the entire recuperation bill.

  "He has been in Mumbai throughout and his situation was assessed, and the surgery was done on April 30. He is currently recovering and has no movement on the shoulder as it is strapped. One of his family members is here to stay by his side. All his treatment and rehab will be taken care of by MI. He will be shifting to the MI guest house in Navi Mumbai and continue physiotherapy for the next two to three months at the Sir H. N. Reliance Foundation Hospital,” a source familiar with the situation told IANS.

 "After this, he will undergo rehab and hit the ground at the Mumbai Indians academy. It should ideally take around four to five months and even his family member shall stay with him during this phase.”

 

Andre Russell was in the runs again as Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Hardik Pandya's onslaught for Mumbai Indians to end a six-game losing streak in the Indian Premier League.

West Indies all-rounder Russell blasted 80 from just 40 deliveries to help the Knight Riders reach 232-2 - the highest score posted by any team in this season's competition so far.

Shubman Gill made 76 as he combined with opening partner Chris Lynn (54) to put on 96 for the first wicket, laying the ideal platform for Russell, who came out to bat at number three.

Kolkata smashed 75 runs from the final five overs of their innings and appeared set for a comfortable victory when they reduced their opponents to 58-4 in reply.

Pandya made them work for the win by plundering 91 in a hurry - hitting nine sixes in his 36-ball knock - before he was caught by Russell, who capped a fine display by also taking 2-25 with the ball.

Sunil Narine and Harry Gurney also claimed two wickets apiece as Mumbai finished up on a respectable 198-7, leaving the final margin of victory at 34 runs.

 

ANDRE'S GIANT HITTING

Russell had called for Kolkata's management team to be flexible when it came to his batting position and he was duly given the chance to impress with a promotion up the order.

After managing a single from his first four deliveries, the Jamaican blasted back-to-back sixes at the end of Rahul Chahar's spell as he quickly moved through the gears.

He also took a liking to Lasith Malinga in the closing stages, smashing the Sri Lankan paceman for 20 runs in the final over of the innings to post his best score in a highly productive campaign.

Russell has now reached the landmark of 50 IPL sixes in 2019, while his tally of 486 runs means he sits only behind David Warner (611) in the top-scorers list.


PANDYA PUMMELS KNIGHT RIDERS

Mumbai lost Quinton de Kock for a four-ball duck as they struggled in pursuit of such a huge target. Gurney trapped Rohit Sharma lbw for 12 and Russell won the battle with West Indies team-mate Evin Lewis, who edged behind to depart for 15.

Pandya arrived at the crease following the dismissal of Suryakumar Yadav (26) and, together with Kieron Pollard (20), added 63 for the fifth wicket.

The India international reached his half-century from just 17 balls – the quickest seen this season – but his fun came to an end when he hit a slower delivery from Gurney straight to Russell on the boundary.

With Pandya gone, Kolkata were able to enjoy the final two overs with a degree of comfort, easing to the 100th Twenty20 victory in the franchise's history.

Rajasthan Royals threatened to waste a Jos Buttler batting masterclass before limping to a four-wicket win over Mumbai Indians on Saturday.

Quinton de Kock made 81 and Rohit Sharma 47 as Mumbai posted 187-5 at the Wankhede Stadium, a score that looked competitive until Buttler fired in Rajasthan's reply, smashing 89 from just 43 deliveries.

The England international allowed opening partner Ajinkya Rahane to do the early damage but the departure of his captain, caught for 37 when sweeping Krunal Pandya out to deep square leg, led to Buttler changing gears.

Alzarri Joseph suffered at the hands of the right-hander, conceding 28 runs in one over as the Royals' equation suddenly dropped to a run-a-ball rate.

Yet they made hard work of completing the job, losing four wickets in a hurry to give Mumbai hope before Shreyas Gopal got his side home with three balls to spare with a boundary off Hardik Pandya.

The Royals - who were without the injured Ben Stokes - eventually picked up just their second victory of the campaign, with Mumbai missing out on the chance to leapfrog over Kolkata Knight Riders into second place in the table.

 

A WEEK IS A LONG TIME IN THE IPL...

On April 6, Joseph claimed 6-12 on his Mumbai debut, the best bowling figures in the history of the Indian Premier League.

A week on from his record-breaking start in the competition, the West Indies paceman had a vastly different Twenty20 experience. His three overs in the game went for 53 runs, with Buttler ruining his figures.

The right-hander book-ended a pair of maximums with a quartet of fours in Joseph's last over, the bowler unable to find a way to stem the flow of boundaries despite changes in both his pace and length.

Buttler's quest to hit a seventh successive boundary resulted in his downfall, however, as he only picked out long on when trying to deposit Rahul Chahar over the rope.

 

FAST START, POWERFUL FINISH FOR MUMBAI

Rohit and De Kock shared an opening stand worth 96 for the home team, with the former back leading the team again after missing the victory over Kings XI Punjab due to injury.

South African De Kock hit four maximums before falling to Jofra Archer, who finished with figures of 3-39.

However, his departure set the scene for a late cameo from Hardik Pandya, the India all-rounder belting three sixes as he contributed an unbeaten 28 from just 11 deliveries.

His onslaught gave Mumbai a much-needed lift in the closing overs, though Buttler's belligerent hitting meant it was the Royals who came out on top in the end.

Kings XI Punjab will one eye nervously set on Windies star Chris Gayle who is believed to have suffered an injury during the team’s IPL encounter against Mumbai Indians on Thursday.

Gayle struck a 36-ball 63 but was eventually upstaged by regional teammate Kieron Pollard who scored an astounding 83 runs from 31-balls.  The 39-year-old opener is, however, more critically believed to have suffered a back injury during the match, the severity of which is yet to be assessed.

 “He (Gayle) said he twisted his back. We have to go check and how he is,” KXIP captain Ravichandran Ashwin said.  KXIP batting coach Sridharan Sriram also confirmed that the athlete had suffered an injury.

“He felt a twitch in the back – that’s what he said. We need to assess and monitor what he’s going to do over the next couple of days.”

Gayle did not take the field during Mumbai Indians’ successful run chase.  The big left-hander has been in fine form for both club and country scoring 223 runs in six games.  For the West Indies Gayle put in a sensational performance in the recent home series where he scored 424 runs in four games, which fueled a strongly contested 2-2 draw against higher-ranked England.  With the World Cup just a couple of months away the Windies will be hoping to keep their talisman in pristine condition if possible.

 

Stand-in captain Kieron Pollard led from the front in the Indian Premier League on Wednesday, helping Mumbai Indians make it three wins in a row with victory over Kings XI Punjab.

With Rohit Sharma rested due to a tight leg muscle, Pollard was charged with leading Mumbai and he did so with aplomb, hitting a stunning 83 to help secure a dramatic three-wicket triumph.

Pollard crushed a massive 10 sixes is in his 31-ball innings, but a loose hook to deep midwicket left Mumbai needing four to win off as many balls.

Rahul Chahar and Alzarri Joseph reduced that equation down to two off the final delivery and the latter produced the winning blow, a straight drive allowing the pair to scamper through and seal victory.

Pollard strode to the crease with his side 56-2 and in need of an injection of pace, and he duly delivered with a destructive display that saw Sam Curran take much of the punishment.

Hardik Pandya (19) offered him some support but poor decision-making from the Kings XI bowlers allowed Pollard to keep the home crowd believing.

Mumbai's successful run chase came after KL Rahul had reminded everyone of his batting talent with a first IPL century at the top of the order.

Rahul, as well as India team-mate Pandya, had been called before a Board of Control for Cricket in India ombudsman to explain controversial comments made on a television show.

Any possible disciplinary action did not weigh on his shoulders, though, as he hit an unbeaten 64-ball hundred to help Kings XI reach 197-4 from their 20 overs – ably assisted by Chris Gayle.

However, their 116-run opening stand was not enough as Kings XI slipped to a third defeat of the campaign.
 

POLLARD PUNISHES CURRAN

Curran had claimed an IPL hat-trick earlier in the competition but there were no heroics this time for the England all-rounder as Pollard targeted him.

The West Indian launched six maximums off Curran's bowling and added two fours to make it 44 runs in boundaries off the 20-year-old.

Curran – who was announced as one of Wisden's cricketers of the year earlier on Wednesday – finished with figures of 1-54 from his four overs – his worst of the campaign to date.

WINDIES STARS BRING THE RUNS

If Pollard's brutal display of hitting helped finish the game in style, Gayle's equally impressive knock had kicked things off beautifully.

While Rahul carefully picked the gaps, left-hander Gayle bludgeoned the Mumbai bowling like only he can.

His 36-ball 63 included seven maximums and looked like being another match-winning display until Pollard’s second-innings fireworks.

Alzarri Joseph made history on a sensational Indian Premier League debut, leading Mumbai Indians to a convincing 40-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

West Indies paceman Joseph claimed the best bowling figures in IPL history as he picked up 6-12 from his 3.4 overs, surpassing Sohail Tanvir's haul of 6-14 back in 2008.

The 22-year-old's efforts were also the eighth-best in a Twenty20 game.

Kieron Pollard had earlier lifted Mumbai from 65-5 with an unbeaten 46 off just 26 balls, helping set the Sunrisers a target of 137.

Jonny Bairstow (16) and David Warner (15) got Hyderabad off to a solid start, but the hosts lost their final five wickets for just eight runs in an astonishing collapse.

Joseph sparked the incredible finale by removing Deepak Hooda (20) and he ended it with 14 balls remaining by drawing an outside edge from Siddarth Kaul (0) that was snaffled by wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock.

 

JOSEPH'S DREAM DEBUT

There cannot be many better ways to begin your first IPL appearance than by removing one of the competition's leading run scorers with your first delivery. That is precisely what Joseph did.

Warner – who sits fourth in the list of all-time IPL runs – attempted to play a huge shot to the boundary at the start of the fifth over but only edged Joseph back onto his stumps.

After Windies quick removed Hooda and Rashid Khan off successive deliveries in the 16th over, Hyderabad wilted and Mumbai surged to an impressive victory.

 

POLLARD PUNISHES SUNRISERS

Mumbai were sitting uncomfortably at 97-7 at the end of the 18th over, with Pollard making just nine off the first 13 balls he faced.

However, the 31-year-old plundered a trio of powerful maximums – one from a free hit – off the next set of six from Kaul.

The final over saw Pollard add another six and a pair of fours, with some sloppy fielding from Mohammad Nabi and Hooda proving key as the game turned on its head.

Kings XI Punjab picked up their second win of the 2019 Indian Premier League, with KL Rahul's unbeaten half-century guiding them to an eight-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians.

Having beaten Rajasthan Royals in their first match but then come up short against Kolkata Knight Riders, Kings XI chased down a target of 177 with eight balls to spare to make it two wins from three.

Mumbai posted 176-7 in their 20 overs, Quinton de Kock (60) making the most significant knock, while Mohammed Shami, Hardus Viljoen and Murugan Ashwin all took two wickets apiece.

In Kings XI's reply, Chris Gayle (40) smashed four sixes and three fours in a brisk opening partnership with Rahul (71 not out), who received good support from Mayank Agarwal (43) and David Miller (15 not out)

After a bright start from Rohit Sharma (32) and De Kock, Kings XI were able to halt Mumbai’s progress by dismissing the Indian opener and Suryakumar Yadav in quick succession.

De Kock eventually brought up his 50, his first of this year’s IPL, with a slog to long on that narrowly evaded Agarwal and bounced once before clearing the rope. Just as it looked as if the South African would kick on, hitting a wonderful six over square leg, he was gone, trapped lbw by Shami.

Yuvraj Singh was the next to fall, picking out Shami at square leg off Ashwin’s bowling, while Agarwal took a wonderful catch on the boundary to dismiss Kieron Pollard before Hardik Pandya helped propel his side to 176-7 with a hard-hitting 31 off 19 balls.

After surviving a pair of early speculative lbw shouts, Gayle fired Kings XI towards their target with a volley of sixes before holing out off Krunal Pandya's bowling.

With Rahul playing a watchful innings at the other end, the onus was on Agarwal to pick up where West Indies veteran Gayle left off and he struck a series of boundaries before being brilliantly caught and bowled by Krunal Pandya.

The 28-year-old’s dismissal roused Rahul, who upped the tempo and soon brought up his 50. With Miller providing support at the other end, the target was ultimately chased down with time and wickets to spare.

SPIN DOES THE TRICK

Just as it looked as though Mumbai could be on for an imposing total, with De Kock well set and Yuvraj finding his range, the two Ashwins, Ravichandran and Murugan, were able to slow up the run rate effectively, with the latter ending with impressive figures of 2-25.

Losing wickets in clusters slowed down the run rate effectively. Mumbai then subsequently failed to threaten when bowling and this ultimately led to their defeat.

KINGS XI VARY THE PACE

Despite his eventual match-winning knock, Rahul struggled to get out of the traps and it seemed as though the run chase was passing him by.

However, he was fortunate to have batting partners who were willing to take the pressure off him, with Gayle and Agarwal happy to take on the role of the aggressor.

AB de Villiers and Virat Kohli joined the Indian Premier League party on Thursday but it was not enough to steer Royal Challengers Bangalore to victory over Mumbai Indians.

After failing in the opening loss to Chennai Super Kings, both men found their form in Bangalore as RCB looked set to claim their first win.

However, the hosts fell agonisingly short as Jasprit Bumrah (3-20) and Lasith Malinga (0-47) bowled superbly at the death to earn Mumbai a six-run triumph.

Mumbai set a challenging target after being put in, captain Rohit Sharma leading the way with some trademark hitting, the opener falling two short of a half century.

Hardik Pandya, Yuvraj Singh and Quinton de Kock all followed their captain's lead as Mumbai reached 187-8 from their 20 overs, only the control of Yuzvendra Chahal (4-38) keeping them in check.

Chahal's work with the ball seemed to have been enough as Kohli - who reached 5000 IPL runs as he made 46 - and De Villiers led the run chase, the pair sharing 49 for the third wicket.

De Villiers was given a life by Yuvraj early on and he quickly took advantage, upping the pace following Kohli's departure to finish unbeaten on 70, however it left RCB just short.

Bumrah bowled a penultimate over that only went for five to leave RCB needing 17 to win, and Malinga – playing his first IPL match since May 2017 – ensured they would not reach it as the hosts finished 181-5.

BANGALORE'S BRILLIANCE ON THE BOUNDARY

Mumbai's big-hitters delivered some devastating blows to the RCB bowlers but in the end they were all snared on the boundary by some superb fielding.

Rohit and Yuvraj cleared the ropes four times between them but ultimately they perished before being able to inflict serious damage as Mohammed Siraj took two fine catches.

The dangerous Kieron Pollard went before clicking into gear as West Indies compatriot Shimron Hetmyer clung on at deep extra cover.

Hardik could not be stopped, though, with three huge maximums, including one that flew out of the ground.

YUVRAJ'S RELIEF

Mumbai's win could have been less stressful had Yuvraj sent De Villiers packing on his first ball.

Buoyed from removing Parthiv Patel, Mayank Markande pushed through his next delivery and it brought an edge from De Villiers, but Yuvraj spilled the chance at first slip.

Luckily for the veteran it did not prove costly as Mumbai earned their first win.

Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni will go head-to-head in the opening game of the 2019 Indian Premier League as defending champions Chennai Super Kings face Royal Challengers Bangalore.

An eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad brought a third title for Chennai last year and they have assembled a star-studded squad in an attempt to retain their crown.

The IPL will act as a Cricket World Cup warm-up for some of the leading stars over the coming seven weeks, while there are returns for some controversial figures.

Ahead of match one, we run through everything you need to know about IPL 12.

 

When does it start?

Saturday sees the tournament kick-off in Chennai as the Super Kings host RCB, with the home side looking to win a seventh successive game against their opening-day rivals.

When is the final?

As well as hosting game one, Chennai will also provide the stage for the final on May 12, but there are 59 games to play before the showpiece contest.

Which teams are competing?

The line-up shows the same eight franchises that competed 12 months ago, although the Delhi Daredevils have renamed themselves as the Delhi Capitals for 2019.

What happened at the auction?

Two players topped the auction list in December – Indian seamer Jaydev Unadkat and compatriot legspinner Varun Chakravarthy.

Unadkat will turn out for the Rajasthan Royals this year – his fifth IPL team – after they paid an eye-watering 8.4 crores for his services, a figure matched as Kings XI Punjab secured Chakravarthy.

England all-rounder Sam Curran was the most expensive overseas player after he signed for Kings XI for 7.2 crores, while household names like Cheteshwar Pujara, Brendon McCullum and Alex Hales went unsold.

Who are the star players?

Chennai have the likes of Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson to choose from, while RCB will be led by India skipper Kohli.

The new-look Capitals have teenage sensation Prithvi Shaw in their squad, while Shikhar Dhawan has joined from Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Hardik Pandya, Kieron Pollard and Jasprit Bumrah make up a strong Mumbai Indians line-up, while IPL legend Chris Gayle joins Curran at Kings XI.

Kolkata Knight Riders have big-hitter Chris Lynn within their ranks, while fellow Australians Steve Smith and David Warner return following their 12-month suspensions.

The duo will be eligible to compete for the Royals and Hyderabad respectively from March 29, when their bans are lifted.

England hopeful Jofra Archer joins Smith at the Royals, with Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler for company. Meanwhile, Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan is one of Warner's team-mates.

Five West Indians have been retained to their various teams for the Indian Premier League’s 2019 season. 

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