Mumbai v Rajasthan, IPL, 2nd qualifier, Kolkata May 24, 2013

Mumbai in final after tense finish


Mumbai Indians 169 for 6 (Smith 62) beat Rajasthan Royals 165 for 6 (Dravid 43, Harbhajan 3-23) by 4 wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Half-volleys hit straight to hand. A fielder found perfectly with a long hop. Crazy wide balls. A dropped catch to finally lose the match. Another night in the life of IPL. After which Mumbai Indians made it to the finals. Chennai Super Kings have already made it to the final. Chasing 166, which was thanks to Lasith Malinga's profligate last over, Mumbai were on their way with Dwayne Smith and Aditya Tare strolling through, but a spate of poor shots made for some late drama.

Mumbai were 70 for 0 after nine overs when Tare played a chip straight down long-on's throat. It was not an attempt at hitting a six. It was not an attempt to keep the ball along the ground. Nor was it a mis-hit. He was caught comfortably at long-on. While Smith continued to bat solidly, Dinesh Karthik cut a short and wide delivery straight to point. Mumbai were now 125 for 2 at the start of the 15th over, and Rohit Shamra was soon to make it 128 for 3 with a slog down the wrong line.

In the 17th over, Smith timed a half-volley a bit too well and found deep midwicket to fall for 62 off 44. In the next over, the 18th, Pollard did the same, and this walk had now become treacherous. Ambati Rayudu was the last of the recognised batsmen, and he responded with a six to cow corner to make it 16 off 10 balls. Two balls later, keeping with the spirit of the match, Rayudu mis-hit a full toss, Brad Hodge ran in from deep square leg, got under it, but dropped it.

In the last over, Shane Watson, who had had an ordinary time with the ball thus far, produced a moment of inspiration, an accurate legcutter to knock back Rayudu's off stump. With six required off four balls, and two new batsmen at the wicket, it was game on again. Rishi Dhawan, the young Himachal Pradesh allrounder, produced the other moment of inspiration, ramping a length ball over short fine leg. Game over.

Dhawan was one of the inspirational men for Mumbai with the ball. Brought in to replace Munaf Patel, who was ordinary when replacing the injured Dhawal Kulkarni, bowled ahead of Malinga, and kept it quiet. Harbhajan Singh came on and broke the sizeable but slowish opening stand when he bowled Ajinkya Rahane behind his legs. Harbhajan found a way to stay in the match. Of the six wickets that fell, he either took or caught five.

The biggest of those wickets was Watson, who top-edged him to square leg. Royals kept losing wickets until Dishant Yagnik gave them a total to defend with an innovative 31 off 17. Unsettled by that, Malinga bowled two sets of big wides and conceded 18 runs in the last over. That wasn't to be the last bit of ordinary cricket on the night.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 15:22 GMT

    Personally I feel Rayudu's presence brings lot of energy in to the MI's game.No doubt he is not very effective with the bat this season.But then he is not getting much of an opportunities at present slot offered to him.People should not forget the immence talent he has got.I hope Rayudu will contribute to the success of MI in the final.

  • Earl on May 25, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    Smith should of been MOM.The only batsman to make half century in the match.Without that they might of lost the match,dispite what Harbajan did.

  • sunil on May 25, 2013, 13:30 GMT

    Pollard needs to be cautious when playing shots down the leg side. It has been 2 games in a row that he was caight playing down leg side. Dhoni knows it and he will set the trap. If Pollard recognises that then it will be game, set and Match Mumbai.

  • beverly on May 25, 2013, 11:32 GMT

    Congratulations Mumbai Indians for picking your best team and WINNING! I want to particularly congratulate Harbhijan Singh for his Man of the Match performance. I don't mind it being given to him this time, seeing that he was robbed of it not very long ago. However, I would not have quarreled if it were given to Dwayne Smith for his brilliant innings! Could you see SRT batting and top scoring in the innings, for a match of that magnitude and not given the MOM award? Even if the innings was four times worst than that, once his team WON, he would have been MOM. And if his team had lost, once he played the best innings of the match, he would have been considered for MOM. I'm just showing how extremely easily things have been made for this man throughout his career!

  • Alex on May 25, 2013, 11:31 GMT

    Sachin ,if fit must be in the final eleven in order to beef up the batting . Posting a 190 or 200 is a must if you what to stand a chance against CSK. MI will have to be on top of their game to pull off this one . I look forward to a "good surface" and a great match .

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 10:56 GMT

    @Dipanshu Mathur Go check the records first MI was the runner up in IPL 2010 did reach the semi-finals in the last two editions of IPL. Stop over sympathizing with RR. I am trying to say is that RR played with all their might, they had their share of luck in the from of overthrows, dropped chances and awful wides. MI is a very strong team and I am always in support of MI(my favorite). MI has been playing really wonderful cricket since IPL 2010 and hope they lift the cup this time around.

  • Anthony on May 25, 2013, 10:54 GMT

    For sachin to come and play in the IPL final as his first game back after injury is a huge ask, but i still think it would be the right call, he should come in place of rayudu. To all those who will say that rayudu got mumbai to the brink yesterday that is not relevent, he has been woeful all season and has been given too many chances. sachin never have thrown his wicket away in that chase, he would have seen it to the end. If sachin does play, which he should, it will be intersting to see where he slots in. Tare and dwayne have been prolific opening and doubt the MI thinktank would mess around with the order, eventhough i would have him opening and tare in at 3. I dont think tendulkar will play, which is such a shame, he was finding his rhythem just before he got injured and was looking good. MI shall win IPL 2013, so hope sachin plays, and brings the cup to deserving MUMBAI

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 9:45 GMT

    MI won! what an edge of a seat thriller,though some may asign it 2 mediocrity. nonetheless,2 best teams meet in the final & hope it 2 b a high scoring fiasco befiitting d top billing of MI & csk. it should b one heck of a game & all roads will lead 2 eden gardens. Lastly on a more critical note, with RR's loss, v will b spared of dravid's rag-riches speeches.Allthrough d tournament, they kept bluffing 2 b underdogs with no star-power[d facts prove otherwise] & gaining free epsionages, but that has finally deservedly ended. dravid c u in clt20 if u would play, though i seriously doubt !

  • Arun on May 25, 2013, 9:35 GMT

    i agree with dork29 as it looked like both teams were desperately trying to lose. the events that unfolded on the day of this match, how the fans would respond. but praise to players, the positives of the match, Dywne's matured innings, Baggi's crucial wickets, yagnik's late onslaught, coopers' bowling, the intense last ball finish tare's responsible innings, Sandeep1978 you are right in-drawing the comparison for the past 47 days, 75 matches this has been the statement throughout and people seen to think that MI have reached was only a fluke, every team had equal opportunity, but not only 4 made to the playoff by their own effort and not by failure of somebody like last year (you know what i mean).

  • Dummy4 on May 25, 2013, 9:20 GMT

    @saurab kumar MI is very strong team then RR we have better record then and yesterday MI prooved this again ,,overthrow is bt watson is caused 5 runs only we can say because of luck rr got that 5 extra run my malig RR IS poor team by luck they reached in playoff otherwise in last 4 ipl they are not able to reached in playoff