Mumbai Indians
File photo: Mumbai Indians are the first team to win the IPL three times Getty

Mumbai Indians finally beat Rising Pune Supergiant when it counted as they emerged victorious in the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2017 on Sunday (21 May).

Mumbai had already lost to RPS three times this season — both times in the group stage and in Qualifier 1 — but were able to get the job done in a thrilling one run win.

Rohit Sharma's side had gone 129-8 as they were given the task of defending the lowest runs total in the IPL this season.

With Pune needing just 11 runs in the final over, it looked like they would get the job done with Mitchell Johnson conceding a four in his first ball.

However, the Australian fast bowler then consecutively removed Manoj Tiwari and Steve Smith, who scored 51 runs, and Mumbai were able to successfully defend their total and win yet another IPL crown.

The win adds to Mumbai's titles from 2013 and 2015 and the franchise became the first team in IPL history to win the Twenty20 competition three times.

"It was a great game of cricket," Sharma said in the post-match ceremony. "I'm sure the spectators enjoyed it. To be able to defend a score like this was a brilliant effort, I couldn't ask for more. Whenever you're defending a total like that, the first thing you've to do is believe.

"I told the boys if we could do it against KKR (105) there was no way we couldn't do it here. There was assistance from the pitch too so it was a matter of exploiting the conditions.

"When three overs were left, I had confidence in the bowlers. They've always done the job wherever they've played. It was about giving freedom to them because they're the masters and they've done it before. I just told them to do whatever they want and set the field accordingly."

Following the loss, Smith reflected on how the defeat was tough to take but was proud of how RPS performed this season as the franchise may have played their last game in the IPL due to the impending returns of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals next year.

"It's a hard one to swallow," Smith said. "I am proud of the way the boys played throughout the tournament. Mumbai were probably below par with 129. It was a tough wicket to get runs, everyone could see that."

"We just couldn't get over the line. We had wickets in hand as well. It was only one or two good overs that we needed to get in front so full credit to them.

"It's been fantastic, I've learnt so much from the IPL over the last two years. I'd like to thank my franchise. Who knows where we'll be next year. It's just disappointing to lose; it wasn't the fairy tale finish we wanted."