The Ricky Ponting-coached Mumbai Indians have advanced to the IPL finals with a resounding nine-wicket win over David Warner’s Sunrisers Hyderabad as the preliminary round of matches were completed on Sunday.
Warner, winning the toss and choosing to bat at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad, made just six before he miscued a pull shot from the bowling of New Zealand left-arm quick Mitchell McClenaghan.
McClenaghan was the pick of the Mumbai bowlers, snaring 3-16 and Lasith Malinga took 2-17 as Hyderabad were rolled for 113, with another Australian Moises Henriques contributing only 11 batting at No.3.
In reply, Mumbai cruised to the victory target in the 14th over, with openers Lendl Simmons (48) and Partiv Patel (51no) having few troubles.
After starting the season with four consecutive losses, Mumbai ended in second place on the ladder and will face the top-of-the-table Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday for a place in the final.
In the elimination finals clash, Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Rajasthan Royals – who finished third and fourth respectively – face off in Pune on Wednesday in a match with some mouth-watering match-ups between a number of Australia’s World Cup stars.
Mitchell Starc has expertly led the Bangalore attack, boasting the best strike rate in the competition this season – taking a wicket every 11.6 balls – in his 18 scalps at an average of 13.44.
Shane Watson is in blazing form for Rajasthan, blazing an unbeaten 104 from just 59 balls in their hard-fought win over the Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.
He also chipped in with 2-38 with the ball, while Steve Smith and James Faulkner will be primed for their test against Starc’s pace and swing.