Mumbai Indians will take on Rising Pune Supergiant in Sunday's Indian Premier League final, as they coasted to a six-wicket win over a below-par Kolkata Knight Riders in Twenty20 cricket action on Friday.
After being put in to bat, Kolkata crumbled in their attempt to get runs on the board, finding themselves at 31 for five wickets at one point. Eventually they mustered 107 thanks to a knock of 31 from Suryakumar Yadav; Karn Sharma shone with ball for Mumbai, finishing with figures of four wickets for the loss of just 16 runs.
It left Mumbai with a routine chase, and while they lost some early wickets, Krunal Pandya eventually saw them home with an entertaining and unbeaten 45 with 33 balls to spare.
Here's a reminder of how the contest played out, as Mumbai earned a chance to become champions of the 2017 tournament.
Mumbai vs. Kolkata
Mumbai, 111 for four (Pandya 45*, Sharma 26) beat Kolkata, 107 (Yadav 31, Jaggi 28), by six wickets with 33 balls remaining
Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir said at the toss he would have preferred to chase if possible. The early stages of their innings showed why.
Both Chris Lynn and Sunil Narine struggled to find the middle of the bat, with both men frustrated as they went in search of a quick start. The former was gone for just four in the second over, while Narine departed for just 10, as he left his crease and was stumped.
Typically, Robin Uthappa and Gambir settle down the Knight Riders when they are at the crease. But the Indians kept the pressure on brilliantly. Uthappa only added one, while Gambhir was snaffled by Sharma, too.
When Colin de Grandhomme was out to the same bowler off his first ball, Kolkata were in a big hole at 31 for five.
As noted by the HoldingWilley Twitter account, the Kolkata batsmen were making a succession of shocking choices during their time at the crease:
HoldingWilley 🏏 @holdingwilley
Nothing wrong with the squad selection for #KKR. It's the shot execution that has troubled them! #MIvKKR #IPL5/19/2017, 3:17:16 PM
Thankfully for Kolkata fans, there was some resistance, with Yadav and Ishank Jaggi putting on a much-needed 56 runs for the sixth wicket. It meant that even when Jaggi departed, there was still a chance of the Knight Riders posting a target near a run-a-ball 120.
Meanwhile, the Indians paid tribute to their man Sharma, who had taken four crucial wickets:
Mumbai Indians @mipaltan
Take a bow, Karn! His finest @IPL spell! 👏👏👏 #CricketMeriJaan #MIvKKR #MI https://t.co/0hq7vmq0aB5/19/2017, 3:48:53 PM
When Yadav did eventually fall for a determined 31, the wheels came off the Indians batting lineup again. Eventually, they were blitzed out for just 107 before the end of the 19th over.
Per cricket journalist Freddie Wilde, it was going to take a special performance from the Knight Riders bowling attack to turn this one around:
Freddie Wilde @fwildecricket
The lowest first innings score successfully defended in 20 over matches the IPL is 116-9 by CSK v KXIP in 2009. #IPL5/19/2017, 4:25:17 PM
They did stoke some early hope, as Piyush Chawla bowled beautifully up front, taking the wickets of Lendl Simmons (three) and Ambati Rayudu (six); Parthiv Patel also fell for just 14 after a fast start.
However, as soon as Pandya and Rohit Sharma came together at the crease, they ended any slender hopes held by Kolkata. The duo put on 53 for the fourth wicket before the latter fell for 26. It was left to Pandya, who finished not-out on 45, and Kieron Pollard to finish off the chase.
The win will give the Indians, who topped the regular season table with 10 wins from their 14 games, the chance to get revenge on the Supergiant. Rising Pune beat Mumbai by 20 runs in the first qualifier and twice during the regular season.