Sachin Tendulkar grabbed himself another landmark, as the Mumbai Indians strolled to the Champions League T20 final, with a comfortable six-wicket win over Trinidad & Tobago.
With the Rajasthan Royals lying in wait, the Mumbai Indians made sure it would be an all-IPL final courtesy a sound all-round semifinal effort at the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi.
Mumbai Indians opener Dwayne Smith in a punishing mood against Trinidad & Tobago in their CLT20 semifinal, October 5
Asked to bat first, Trinidad, on the back of a nice 62 (46b) from Evin Lewis, posted a decent 153 for five in their 20 overs.
However, against a side that hit 150 in a little over 13 overs to secure their place in the semifinals a couple of days back, that score was never going to be enough, even on a slow pitch.
Tendulkar and Dwayne Smith gave their side a sound start, with the Little Master completing 50,000 runs in all recognised cricket in the process, before Rohit Sharma and Dinesh Karthik took over to set up a final against the Royals in the same ground on Sunday night.
The onus was on Tendulkar, desperate for some kind of score after a miserable tournament, and Smith to give their side a steady start to settle the nerves - prevent the kind of start that CSK suffered against the Royals yesterday.
Tendulkar took a little time to get going, but with Smith looking good at the other end, the great man was afforded that luxury.
The Mumbai Indians rely greatly on Smith to give them a blazing start, and once the West Indian started finding the boundary with regularity, the dugout seemed a lot happier and content.
Tendulkar found his mojo with a slap straight down the ground, before smashing a couple of sixes in style.
The opening duo took the Mumbai Indians to 90 for no loss in 10.5 overs, before Tendulkar (35, 31b, 2x4, 2x6) lost his wicket, edging one off Lendl Simmons.
A big fat cat was then thrown amongst the fluttering pigeons in the next over when Sunil Narine sent Ambati Rayudu and Smith (59, 38b, 7x4, 2x6) packing. Rayudu first edged one to wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin, before Smith was castled with a pure off-spinner.
Sharma and Dinesh Karthik came in and settled the Mumbai Indians nerves, with the team at that time needing a further 58 from eight overs. The two put on 42 from 5.4 overs to take their side to the brink of victory.
Narine would pick Sharma in his final over to end with brilliant figures of 4-0-17-3, but the Mumbai Indians did not have too many further hiccups as they eased into the final and with it becoming the first side to reach two CLT20 summit clashes.
Earlier, Lewis was the star man as the left-handed opener took on the Mumbai Indians bowlers right from the off. However, Lewis did not have too much support, with Yannick Ottley coming to the party late on courtesy a 30-ball 41 to push the total past 150.
Lewis lent into Mitchell Johnson, in for Glenn Maxwell, early on and looked good right through his 46-ball 62-run innings (6x4, 4x6) as Trinidad looked to post a total over 160 at the very least.
However, the West Indian side lost their way a bit in the middle overs, and a 37-run partnership from 23 balls was needed between Ottley and Nicolas Pooran towards the end to take them to a decent score.
With the batting form that the Mumbai Indians are on, however, and the crowd backing them to the hilt, it was never going to be enough.
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