Smith on fire
KOLKATA – Mumbai Indians on the strength of the batting of Dwayne Smith and bowling of Harbhajan Singh made it to their second Indian Premier League final with a four-wicket win over Rajasthan Royals at the Eden Gardens today. They will now face Chennai Super Kings in the final on Sunday.
Chasing 166, Aditya Tare hooked James Faulkner for a six to get Mumbai rolling. Tare then hit consecutive boundaries off Shane Watson in the fourth over. Runs continued to flow as Tare and Smith picked up a boundary each off Faulkner in the sixth over.Smith went after Vikramjeet Malik smashing two boundaries in the 8th over. Tare (35) stepped down the track and punched Siddharth Trivedi over the ropes before chipping Kevon Cooper straight to Sanju Viswanadh stationed at long-on. At the halfway stage, Mumbai were 73 for one, still requiring 93 runs.
Dinesh Karthik smashed consecutive boundaries off Cooper as Mumbai plundered 16 runs from the 12th over. Smith brought up his fourth fifty of the Pepsi IPL 2013 with a six off Faulkner in the 13th over. Smith continued his assault launching Watson into the stands in the following over. Then Karthik (22) slashed Cooper straight to Ajinkya Rahane at point to give Royals their second wicket in the 15th over.
Needing 40 from 30 balls, Trivedi bowled captain Rohit Sharma (2) in the 16th over. Smith (62) was then caught by Viswanadh off Binny before Kieron Pollard hit a six in the 17th over. Needing 26 from the last three overs, Pollard (11) holed out off Faulkner. Ambati Rayudu slammed a six before Brad Hodge dropped him, leaving Mumbai to score 8 off the last over. Watson bowled Rayudu (17) but they reached the target with a ball remaining thanks to boundaries from Rishi Dhawan (4 not out) and Singh (6 not out).
Earlier the start of the match was delayed by an hour due to wet outfield. Royals won the toss and elected to bat. Rahul Dravid dismissed Mitchell Johnson for consecutive boundaries in the third over. Rahane joined in with two boundaries off Johnson before Dravid smashed consecutive balls to the fence off Pragyan Ojha. Singh got the breakthrough bowling Rahane (21) in the seventh over. He struck again having Watson (6) caught, top edging a sweep in his next over. Vishwanadh (0) departed soon after caught by Harbhajan off Lasith Malinga in the tenth over.
Stuart Binny stepped down the track and launched Ojha for a six before hitting a boundary. Dravid (43) chipped Harbhajan to Sharma at short mid-wicket to leave Royals four down at the start of the 13th over. Pollard then struck twice having Binny (27) caught by Harbhajan before Cooper (4) was caught by Smith. Dishant Yagnik smashed two boundaries off Ojha in the 18th over before Malinga lost his direction and conceded 18 runs in the last over – courtesy a few lusty blows from Yagnik (31 not out) and wide deliveries.
Singh was named man of the match for his 3 for 21.