DELHI, India (CMC):
Barbadian Dwayne Smith shared an opening partnership of 90 runs with Sachin Tendulkar of India to lead the Mumbai Indians to a six-wicket victory over Trinidad and Tobago in the second semi-final of the Champions League Twenty20 here yesterday.
The win gives the Indian Premier League champions, the Mumbai Indians, a shot at the CLT20 title when they play Rajasthan Royals in today's final.
Man of the Match Smith hit 59 off 38 balls including seven fours and two sixes as the set the tempo for the Mumbai Indians. He was well supported by Tendulkar with his 35 and who in the process surpassed 50,000 runs in all recognised forms of the sport.
By the time Tendulkar departed with the score on 90, the home team was already in charge of the match despite a few setbacks led by the spinning maestro Sunil Narine who bagged three for 17 off his four overs.
Rohit Sharma (25) and Dinesh Karthik (33 not out) proved valuable in the end as the Indians reached their target with five balls to spare. Trinidadian Kieron Pollard was unbeaten on two runs from just three balls.
Earlier, the T&T Red Force sent in to bat, made 153 for five with Evin Lewis hitting 62 off 46 balls and Yannick Ottley unbeaten on 41. Nicolas Pooran (15) and Darren Bravo (14) were the only notable contributors as the Red Force fell short of setting the Mumbai Indians a challenging target.
"We should have got 15 more runs on that pitch, we started really well but then we kept losing wickets and couldn't get any momentum going," said Denesh Ramdin, the captain of T&T.
Captain Rohit Sharma hailed his bowlers for restricting the Trinidadians but also praised the opening stand of Smith and Tendulkar.
"It was really a team effort and we showed the character we have. They started really well but our bowlers did really well to restrict them to 153," said Rohit Sharma.
The final will feature two of India's cricket legends playing for the last time in T20 - Rahul Dravid for the Rajasthan Royals and Tendulkar taking the field for the Mumbai Indians.