Mumbai Indians lived up to their reputation and form to storm into the Dream11 Indian Premier League final on Thursday.
In a one-sided first qualifier at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, defending champions humbled Delhi Capitals by a big margin of 57 runs to enter back-to-back finals.
MI piled up a huge total of 200 for 5 on the board and then grabbed three wickets in the first two overs to seal the chase there and then.
Holders MI will now have to wait for their opponent of the final, which will take place at the same venue on November 10 (Tuesday).
The first eliminator will be played between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Chasing a daunting target of 201, DC got off to a devastating start and they were never able to recover from the early blows. Despite fighting knocks from Marcus Stoinis (65: 46 balls, 6×4, 3×6) and Axar Patel (42: 33 balls 2×4, 3×6), DC were restricted to 143 for 8. Skipper Shreyas Iyer could contribute just 12 while Kagiso Rabada remained unbeaten on 15.
The lethal pace attack of MI jolted DC too early in the chase. Jasprit Bumrah struck with a swinging yorker and cleaned up Shikhar Dhawan. Trent Boult sent back Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in the first over. Top three batters were gone without scoring and DC were precariously placed at 0 for the loss of three wickets after 1.2 overs.
Bumrah’s uninterrupted display of fast bowling fetched him three more wickets to end his spell with extraordinary figures of 4-1-14-4. Boult provided an able support as the pace duo shattered the hopes of DC. Krunal Pandya and Kieron Pollard chipped in with a wicket apiece to help MI record a comfortable win.
Despite the humiliating defeat, their fifth in last six matches, DC will get another chance to prove their mettle. They will take on the winner of SRH and RCB on Sunday for a spot in the final.
Earlier, pocket-sized dynamo Ishan Kishan exploded, coupled with pyrotechnics of Hardik Pandya in the death overs propelled MI to amass 200 for 5 after being put in to bat.
The sensational batting performance of Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav — both of them hammered powerful half-centuries – and Hardik Pandya helped the four-time champions reach the 200-run mark.
Hardik exhibited a fiery cameo with a blistering 37 not out off just 14 balls. Diminutive Kishan turned out to be the top-scorer with an unbeaten 55 runs off only 30 balls. The in-form southpaw bludgeoned four boundaries and three massive sixes to provide momentum to the MI innings.
Hardik dealt with only sixes during his short but explosive burst of 14 deliveries. The dashing batsman walloped five sixes to give the innings a perfect finish.
Suryakumar Yadav (51: 38 balls, 6×4, 2×6) continued his dream form to notch up his fourth fifty of the season. The No. 3 batsman completed his half-century with a glorious on-drive which raced to the midwicket fence off Anrich Nortje. However, the paceman had his reward soon as Yadav was caught at the fine leg while trying to hit a big one.
For DC, Ashwin was among wickets as he returned with the figures of 3 for 29 in his four-over spell. Stoinis and Nortje took a wicket each.
Mumbai Indians 200 for 5 in 20 overs (Ishan Kishan 55 not out, Suryakumar Yadav 51, Quinton de Kock 40, Hardik Pandya 37 not out, Krunal Pandya 13; Ravichandran Ashwin 3-29, Marcus Stoinis 1-5, Anrich Nortje 1-50) beat Delhi Capitals 143 for 8 in 20 overs (Marcus Stoinis 65, Axar Patel 42, Kagiso Rabada 15 not out, Shreyas Iyer 12; Jasprit Bumrah 4-14, Trent Boult 2-9, Krunal Pandya 1-22, Kieron Pollard 1-36) by 57 runs.
Man-of-the-match: Jasprit Bumrah (Mumbai Indians).