For Mumbai Indians the target was pretty clear with 150 in 14.2 overs or else the semi-final dreams were over. There was much speculation of some attacking batsman opening the innings instead of the regular pair of Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar. However, there was no tinkering at the top as the two batsmen walked in. While Smith collected 11 in the first over to start off in style, Mumbai were jolted by the wicket of Sachin Tendulkar out for a second ball-duck off Jason Behrendorff.
Mumbai though were in no mood to let go off the opportunity. Smith launched an onslaught keeping the side in the hunt. Maxwell who came at No 3 was dismissed by Behrendorff for 10. The overs four to six were most productive for Mumbai with 45 runs coming off it. Maxwell’s wicket got skipper Rohit Sharma to the wicket.
The short boundaries further added to the benefit of Smith as he carted the ball into the stands on three occasions. The West Indian was finally out for 48 trying to slog one to the square-leg stands but was brilliantly caught by Behrendorff. Smith’s 25-ball innings had given Mumbai much-needed impetus.
While Katich looked jubilant after Smith’s dismissal, Sharma continued the onslaught with his silken touch. His short jab over the square-leg landed in the stands. With Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard, they reached 100 in nine overs bringing the target down to 50 off the 32 balls. Many would have expected Kieron Pollard to take charge of the chase, Sharma was unstoppable which meant Pollard was quiet for the few overs of the Mumbai chase.
As the pressure was mounting Sharma hit three sixes and two fours between the ninth and 11th over to bring down the required rate. By the end of 12th over Mumbai were very much on course of victory when Pollard was bowled by a typical chinaman from Brad Hogg for 23.
Ambati Rayudu finished off the chase with two consecutive sixes off Agar to complete the chase with exactly an over to spare according to their target. Mumbai will now face Chennai Super Kings in the semi-finals.
Perth Scorchers 149 for 6 in 20 overs (Sam Whiteman 51*, Ashton Agar 35; Nathan Coulter-Nile 3 for 19) lost to Mumbai Indians 152 for 4 in 13.2 overs (Rohit Sharma 51*, Dwayne Smith 48; Jason Behrendorff 2 for 31) by 6 wickets.
(Abhijit Banareis a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed onTwitterandblog)