Ishan Kishan’s attacking 55 and four wickets by Jasprit Bumrah powered Mumbai Indians to their sixth Indian Premier League final with a 57-run win over Delhi Capitals on Thursday.
The left-handed Kishan put on an unbeaten 60-run partnership with Hardik Pandya, who hit 37 off 14 balls, to steer holders Mumbai to 200 for five in the first qualifier in Dubai.
Delhi could only manage 143 for eight as Bumrah returned figures of 4-14 to lead this season’s bowling chart with 27 wickets as four-time winners Mumbai sealed a direct entry into the final on November 10.
“We know in the big games runs on the board is always critical no matter what the conditions are,” skipper Rohit Sharma told reporters.
“You put runs on the board there is always an additional pressure on the opposition. And also of course our bowling unit has been terrific through the tournament. The way we played today was absolutely perfect.”
The Shreyas Iyer-led Delhi will get another crack at qualifying against either Virat Kohli’s Royal Challengers Bangalore or Sunrisers Hyderabad, who clash on Friday in an eliminator.
Delhi were reduced to 0-3 after pace spearhead Trent Boult struck twice in his first over with the wickets of Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane while fellow quick Bumrah sent back Shikhar Dhawan.
Marcus Stoinis made a valiant 65 including a sixth-wicket partnership of 71 with Axar Patel, who made 42, to put up some resistance for Delhi.
Bumrah kept up the pressure and struck twice in one over including Stoinis, bowled after his 46-ball knock, to go past Delhi quick Kagiso Rabada’s 25 scalps this season.
“When you have bowlers like Bumrah, it makes your life easy. And Bumrah and Boult are in top form,” said Sharma.
“When they play for different countries and franchises, they have different plans. Hats off to them for buying into our plans and executing them so well.”
But it was the batsmen who set up the win for Mumbai with Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock and Pandya taking the attack to the opposition bowlers.
De Kock ensured a brisk start for Mumbai with his 40 off 25 deliveries after losing opening partner Sharma for a first-ball nought.
Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took three wickets including Sharma, who was trapped lbw for nought, and De Kock.
Yadav hit his fourth half-century of the season in his 38-ball 51 before Kishan and Pandya finished off the innings with a run-rate of 10 an over.
Delhi coach Ricky Ponting said “under pressure today our execution was miles off”.