Mumbai Indians march into CLT20 final

New Delhi, Oct 5 (IANS) Mumbai Indians became the first team to feature in two Champions League Twenty20 finals as they marched past Trinidad and Tobago in the semifinal at the Ferozeshah Kotla here Saturday. They will face Rajasthan Royals in Sunday's final here.

Chasing a respectable target of 154, the 2011 edition champions managed to finish the game with five balls and six wickets to spare as a beautiful 90-run opening wicket partnership between Dwayne Smith (59) and Sachin Tendulkar (35) guided the team home.

Mumbai started the run-chase in fantastic fashion with Smith's 38-ball knock and Tendulkar striking a fantastic partnership till the 11th over.

Tendulkar was in a class of his own.

The packed 45,000-seater Kotla erupted when he started dealing in sixes. When Tendulkar reached 26 with a nudge to backward point, the crowd got their monies worth as the legend reached his 50,000th run in all forms of cricket, becoming the first Asian to do so.

The 40-year-old became the 16th batsman to aggregate 50,000 runs in all three formats combined.

The Mumbai team suffered a jolt when they lost three wickets in a span of six runs and suddenly from 90/0 became 96/3, losing Smith, Tendulkar and Ambati Rayudu (0).

Tweaker Sunil Narine was again at work again, clinching two of the three wickets as he stopped the rampaging Smith, who hit seven fours and two sixes in his 38-ball knock.

Skipper Rohit Sharma and wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (33 not out), however, provided solidity in the middle-order. Sharma managed 25 before being bowled by Narine, who finished with figures of 3/17 from his four overs.

Karthik, on the other hand, continued and hit a six off the last ball to finish off the innings.

Earlier, Evin Lewis continued his fine form as he took flight from the first over. Lewis slashed hard to hit a six over deep backward point off Mitchell Johnson in the first over showing his intentions.

Harbhajan Singh started well by scalping in-form Lendl Simmons (0), who was lured into short pitched delivery and got caught at deep midwicket.

The 21-year-old Lewis meanwhile continued his onslaught, going all out against pacer Johnson, whose first two overs went for 23.

The Trinidadian then took on Harbhajan and overall piled on 62 runs off 46 balls, including six boundaries and four sixes to score his second half-century of the tournament.

Lewis was supported well by Darren Bravo (14) and 22-year-old Yannick Ottley (40 not out). Ottley too came good towards the end hitting two fours and sixes each to take the Caribbean side past the 150-mark.

Brief scores: Trinidad and Tobago 153/5 in 20 overs (Evin Lewis 62, Yannick Ottley 41 not out, Nicolas Pooran 15; Pragyan Ojha 1/16, Kieron Pollard 1/16, Mitchell Johnson 1/31) lost to Mumbai Indians 157/4 in 19.1 overs (Dwayne Smith 59, Sachin Tendulkar 35, Dinesh Karthik 33 not out; Sunil Narine 3/17, Lendl Simmons 1/17).

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