Mumbai Indians setup final date with Chennai Super Kings
Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by 4 wickets in the Qualifier-2 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata to reach the finals of the IPL 2013. They did make heavy weather of the chase after a fine start but managed to scrape through in the end.
Mumbai Indians beat Rajasthan Royals by 4 wickets in the Qualifier-2 at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata to reach the finals of the IPL 2013. They did make heavy weather of the chase after a fine start but managed to scrape through in the end. (BCCI Image)
Harbhajan Singh (3/23 and 2 catches) was involved in 5 dismissals as Mumbai Indians kept Rajasthan Royals to 165/6 in the Qualifier-2 being played at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata. (BCCI Image)
A horrible last over by Lasith Malinga - costing 18 with 2 boundaries and 6 wides - gave Rajasthan something to cheer about late-on. (BCCI Image)
Rahul Dravid (43 off 37 balls), Stuart Binny (27 off 17) and some late hitting by Dishant Yagnik (31 off 17) helped Rajasthan reach a just-about fighting total on a decent batting pitch in Kolkata. (BCCI Image)
After a delayed start to the Qualifier-2 with rains in Kolkata, Rajasthan got off the block in the best possible manner with skipper Rahul Dravid and Ajinkya Rahane. The pair added 44 in 6.3 overs when Harbhajan Singh was introduced. (BCCI Image)
The Indian off-spinner struck right away with the wicket of Rahane, 21 from 18 balls, clean bowled trying a sweep on a ball on the leg-stump. (BCCI Image)
Almost immediately, Royals were dealt a body-blow with the 'turbanator' striking again to remove the dangerous Shane Watson, 6 off 8 balls. The Australian went trying a sweep and getting a top-edge. Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma took an easy catch. (BCCI Image)
It went downhill even further for Rajasthan, as Sanju Samson, sent in early, was dismissed without troubling the scorers. Again Bhajji was involved - took a catch off Lasith Malinga's bowling - as the Royals' batsman misjudged a slower one.
Stuart Binny then joined his skipper at the crease and got going immediately. A four off Harhajan and another six and a four off Pragyan Ojha, relaxed Rajasthan's nerves a bit. (BCCI Image)
That relaxation lasted just a ball though as Harbhajan took his third wicket, another big one, in the form of Dravid, 43 off 37 balls. He tried to flick one away but handed a simple catch to Rohit at mid-wicket. (BCCI Image)
Even as Rajasthan found it hard to get the boundaries away, Mumbai took a strangle hold on the game. Kieron Pollard, who has been ordinary with the ball this season, too struck twin blows in his very first over to give Rajasthan more worries. (BCCI Image)
Mumbai, while batting, were off to a bright start with Dwayne Smith and Sachin Tendulkar's replacement - Aditya Tare. The pair batted freely hitting boundaries at will, without taking too many risks as they progressed in their chase of 166. (BCCI Image)
Tare was the more aggressive of the two - hitting sixes off James Faulkner and Siddharth Trivedi as Mumbai tried to make short work of the total.
Both added 70 before Tare, 35 off 27 balls, picked out the long-on fielder Sanju Samson off Kevon Cooper to gift Rajasthan their first wicket. (BCCI Image)
After the wicket-keeper batsman's dismissal, Smith opened up even more to complete his 5th fifty this season off 38 balls. Dinesh Karthik, who has been a revelation in IPL 6, too gave good company to Smith as Mumbai cruised at this stage. (BCCI Image)
Rajasthan then received a shot in the arm with back-to-back wickets as Mumbai faltered mid-way. Karthik, 22 off 17, became Cooper's second wicket as he cut a short delivery straight to backward-point.
Rohit Sharma then fell soon after when he was clean bowled by Siddharth Trivedi. The biggest blow came as Smith (62 off 44) tried to clear square-leg boundary off Stuart Binny. Samson completed a fine running catch to give Rajasthan a lifeline. (BCCI Image)