New Delhi, Oct 6: Mumbai Indians rode on Dwayne Smith's quick-fire half-century and his 90-run opening-wicket partnership with Sachin Tendulkar to book a final berth in the Champions League Twenty20 with a six-wicket win over Trinidad and Tobago here Saturday night (October 5).
They will play Rajasthan Royals in the title clash here Sunday (October 6). Chasing 154 to win, Smith fired a 38-ball 59 while Tendulkar played a fine cameo of a 31-ball 35, which also saw the batting great complete 50,000 runs in all forms of cricket, helping Mumbai finish at 157 for four and make their second summit clash appearance in the short history of the tournament.
Mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine tried to make things difficult for MI with his three-wicket burst but he did not get enough support from the other bowlers.
If the first half of the semi-final belonged to Trinidad opener Evin Lewis, who hit an attacking 46-ball 62 to help the Caribbean side post a competitive 153 after being sent in to bat, the limelight shifted to Smith and Tendulkar in the second half as they put Mumbai on track from the outset.
Mumbai started off on an attacking note with Smith and Tendulkar carting the T&T bowlers all around the park. It was Smith who set the ball rolling with two fours off pacer Ravi Rampaul before Tendulkar took centrestage with two successive sixes off left-arm spinner Yannick Ottley in the sixth over.
Tendulkar, in the process, also completed his 50,000 runs in all recognised forms of cricket when he reached an individual score of 26. Tendulkar raised his bat after reaching the milestone and acknowledged the loyal crowd as a packed Kotla stadium gave the batting great a standing ovation.
Skipper Rohit Sharma and coach John Wright had said before the match that Tendulkar loves to deliver a match-winning knock on big occasions and the batting legend, playing in his last Champions League, did just that.