Chasing Mumbai Indians’ score of 202/6 in 20 overs, the Royals were well on course before three wickets in the 17th over bowled by Harbhajan Singh spelled doom for the inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) champions.
A batting collapse saw the Royals being bowled out from 155/3 to 169 all out with seven balls to spare.
Chasing the highest CLT20 total at the Kotla, Royals skipper Rahul Dravid, playing in his last T20 match, did not open.
Instead Kusal Perera (8) came out and was run out in the first over. Then, Ajinkya Rahane (65) and 18-year-old Sanju Samson struck a crucial 109-run second-wicket partnership which almost took the game away from the reigning IPL champions.
Kerala youngster Samson played a brilliant 33-ball knock of 60, including four boundaries and sixes each, which took the pressure off Rahane. Samson and Shane Watson (8) perisehed quickly, but Rahane held the innings together.
But the 17th over by Harbhajan (4/32) changed the dynamics of the match as the offie clinched Rahane, Stuart Binny (10) and Kevon Cooper (4) in a span of six balls. Suddenly from 155/3, the Royals were reeling at 159/6.
Dravid came out to bat at No.8 and could manage only one run before being bowled by Nathan Coulter-Nile in the 18th over. It was Dravid’s final walk back to the pavilion.
All Mumbai Indians players rushed to wish him on his wonderful career and by then, could smell victory.
Kieron Pollard clinched the last two wickets to make the Indians the first team to win two CLT20 titles.
Earlier, some remarkable slog overs hitting by skipper Rohit Sharma (33), Dinesh Karthik (15 not out) and Glenn Maxwell (37) turned the match on its head for the Indians.
The 2011 champions were cruising from the start with openers Dwayne Smith (44) and Sachin Tendulkar (15), also playing his final T20. Tendulkar hit three blistering boundaries before being bowled by Shane Watson in the fifth over.
In-form Smith continued his onslaught, hitting five boundaries and a six from his 39-ball knock, with Ambati Rayudu (29).
At the end of the 12th over, Mumbai Indians were batting at 82/2. But the last eight overs yielded 120 runs for Mumbai to reach 202.
Both Sharma and Maxwell pummeled the Royals bowlers. Sharma hit three boundaries and two sixes while million-dollar buy Maxwell scored four boundaries and two sixes, most of his runs coming behind the wicket.
Wicketkeeper batsman Karthik also smashed two sixes to take his side past the 200-run mark.
The Rajasthan bowlers did not have much to boast about, each one of them going for more than 10 runs per over barring 41-year-old leggie Pravin Tambe, who turns 42 Tuesday. He finished with figures of 2/19 from four, claiming two important scalps of Smith and Rayudu.
Brief scores: Mumbai Indians 202/6 in 20 overs (Dwayne Smith 44, Glenn Maxwell 37, Rohit Sharma 33; Pravin Tambe 2/19, Shane Watson 1/30, James Faulkner 1/46) beat Rajasthan Royals (Ajinkya Rahane 65, Sanju Samson 60, Stuart Binny 10; Harbhajan Singh 4/32; Kieron Pollard 3/31, Pragyan Ojha 1/26).