Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar provided the searing start that set Mumbai Indians on course for a second Champions League T20 final in three years, a final which will now be an all-IPL affair. Smith bludgeoned 59 from 38 as the pair made 90 together in 11 overs, in pursuit of T&T's middling 153 for 5. Though the openers' demise in the space of an over comprised a stutter, they had done enough to ensure the middle order could see out the dangerous Sunil Narine, and complete a straightforward victory, made easier by the injury to Rayad Emrit, who hurt his shoulder in the first over.
Nathan Coulter-Nile had earlier been instrumental in subduing T&T, who had their own blazing start courtesy Evin Lewis' 46-ball 62. Coulter-Nile conceded only 20 in his four overs, in which he also took one wicket, while both Kieron Pollard and Pragyan Ojha also took one apiece and gave away less than a run a ball in their three-over spells.
Smith bludgeoned one back past the bowler and struck one sweetly in front of point to begin his onslaught, in the second over, and then, having ambled to three off seven balls, Tendulkar found form for the first time in the tournament. A crisp straight drive on the up off Rampaul was a throwback to his heyday, but the slog over long-on and a back-away inside-out drive that yielded consecutive sixes soon after were more a product of the present age than a bygone one.
The pair took 49 runs from the Powerplay, but even the onset of spin only brought a slight dip in the run rate, as they were only made to deal with one over from Sunil Narine, even as they took the game away from T&T. Tendulkar crossed the 50,000-run aggregate for recognised cricket across all formats in the eighth over, to the crowd's delight, while Smith doled out boundaries fashioned from power and touch in equal measure.
Tendulkar was caught behind for 35 from 31, before Narine struck twice in the following over, to give rise to T&T hopes, but Mumbai needed only 58 runs from the last eight overs, and Dinesh Karthik's unbeaten 33 ensured not even Narine would derail the chase. A six over extra cover off Lendl Simmons off the first ball of the 20th over sealed the victory.
Lewis' first boundary in T&T's innings was off a Mitchell Johnson edge through second slip, but he slapped the next one over the third-man boundary and rarely erred again until his demise. Lewis took a liking to Johnson's next over as well, carving two off side boundaries off it, but though Darren Bravo's early strokeplay suggested he too had the Mumbai attack's measure, he walked past Pragyan Ojha's legside wide to have himself stumped for 14.
Having hit 61 off the first eight overs, T&T slowed significantly against Ojha, Coulter-Nile and Pollard, who bowled tight lines and mixed up their pace to good effect on a dry Delhi surface. Yannick Ottley's unbeaten 41 off 30 pushed T&T beyond 150, which seemed a competitive total despite the mediocre returns from the middle overs, but with one bowler down and the remaining quicks far from their best on the night, T&T could not deny the IPL champions.