Mumbai Indians became the first team to feature in two Champions League Twenty20 finals as they marched past Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinal at the Feroz Shah Kotla here Saturday.
They will face Rajasthan Royals in Sunday’s final here. Chasing a respectable target of 154, the 2011 edition champions managed to finish the game with five balls and six wickets to spare as a beautiful 90-run opening wicket partnership between Dwayne Smith (59) and Sachin Tendulkar (35) guided the team home.
Mumbai started the run-chase in fantastic fashion with Smith's 38-ball knock and Tendulkar striking a fantastic partnership till the 11th over.
Tendulkar was in a class of his own.
The packed 45,000-seater Kotla erupted when he started dealing in sixes. When Tendulkar reached 26 with a nudge to backward point, the crowd got their monies worth as the legend reached his 50,000th run in all forms of cricket, becoming the first Asian to do so. The 40-year-old became the 16th batsman to aggregate 50,000 runs in all three formats combined.
The Mumbai team suffered a jolt when they lost three wickets in a span of six runs and suddenly from 90/0 became 96/3, losing Smith, Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu (0). Tweaker Sunil Narine was again at work again, clinching two of the three wickets as he stopped the rampaging Smith, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his 38-ball knock.
Skipper Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (33 not out), however, provided solidity in the middle-order. Sharma managed 25 before being bowled by Narine, who finished with figures of 3/17 from his four overs.
Karthik hit a six off the last ball to finish off the innings. Earlier, Evin Lewis (46-ball 62) and Yannick Ottley (40 not out) were the major contributors as T&T got past the 150-mark.
TrInidad & Tobago
L Simmons c Smith b H’bhajan 0
E Lewis c&b Pollard 62
D Bravo st Karthik b Ojha 14
K Ottley not out. 41
D Ramdin b Johnson 9
N Pooran c Rayudu b Coulter-N 15
N Stewart not out 2
Extras (Lb5, W5) 10
Total (5 wickets; 20 overs) 153
Fall of wickets 1-13, 2-61, 3-93, 4-111, 5-148
M Johnson 3-0-31-1
R Dhawan 3-0-30-0
K Pollard 3-0-16-1
P Ojha 3-0-16-1
D Smith b Narine 59
Tendulkar c Ramdin b Simmons 35
A Rayudu c Ramdin b Narine 0
R Sharma b Narine 25
D Karthik not out 33
K Pollard not out 2
Extras (Lb1, W1, NB1) 3
Total (4 wkts, 19.1 overs) 157
Fall of wickets 1-90, 2-91, 3-96, 4-138
S Badree 4-0-25-0
R Rampaul 4-0-29-0
K Ottley 3-0-38-0
S Narine 4-0-17-3
L Simmons 2.1-0-27-1
N Stewart 2-0-20-0
Result: Mumbai Indians won by six wickets and five balls to spare