Mumbai Indians will fly to Kolkata for the final on Sunday; while Super Kings will travel to Ranchi to meet the winner of Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals in a do or die match.
Rohit Sharma won the toss and he had a no hesitation to bat first – easily the best strategy against CSK. Lendl Simmons and Parthiv Patel began cautiously, as R Ashwin opened the bowling. Initially they scored at the rate of a run a ball, largely with the help of some hurried singles and fortuitous boundaries. The duo opened up in the final two overs of the power play. Simmons hit a couple of sixes off Ashwin and Mumbai began their charge.
Simmons and Patel put up 86 runs in the first 10 overs. The introduction of Dwayne Bravo for the 11th over broke the opening partnership. A slower ball from the West Indian forced Patel (35 off 25 balls) to hole out to the deep. Simmons continued in his usual style: big hits punctuated by awkward shots that found the fielders. Ravindra Jadeja dismissed him in the 14th over. But he had laid the foundation for a big score with a 51-ball 65.
Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard began to launch a blistering late over assault. But CSK fought back by dismissing Sharma and Hardik Pandya in successive overs. Dhoni applied pressure with some clever field placings. But Pollard (41 off 17 balls) hit some meaty blows to take Mumbai Indians to 187 for six in 20 overs. Bravo took three wickets.
CSK began the chase disastrously. Dwayne Smith missed a low leg side full toss from Malinga in the very first over and was given out lbw. It was a wrong decision. But Michael Hussey and Faf du Plessis launched a counter attack. They biffed 46 runs from 27 balls, helped by some poor fielding by MI. Malinga dropped an easy catch offered by du Plessis.
Hussey got out against the run of play in the sixth over. Suresh Raina came in and looked set for a big innings. CSK reached 86 for two, and looked well-poised for another successful run chase. All they needed was 102 runs 60 balls. However, the 11th over bowled by Harbhajan Singh asserted MI’s stranglehold in the match. He sent back Raina and Dhoni in successive deliveries to puncture CSK’s chase.
The Chennai team never recovered from that and they kept losing wickets whenever they looked like accelerating the scoring. They were eventually bowled out for 162 in 19 overs. Du Plessis top-scored for CSK with a 34-ball 45. Malinga took 3 for 23 in his four overs.
Kieron Pollard is the man of the match.