After ferrying drinks in the first half of Mumbai Indians' campaign, and later being a fill-in for the injured Krunal Pandya, legspinner Karn Sharma took the more experienced Harbhajan Singh's spot on Friday night and put his side in the IPL final.
Mumbai's innings didn't start well, losing three early wickets, but the duo of Sharma and Pandya powered the chase through the middle overs. As Rising Pune Supergiant defeated Mumbai Indians in the Qualifier-1, MI had to play the Qualifier-2 against KKR.
Krunal proceeded to finish unbeaten on 45 off 30 balls, which included eight boundaries, as the Indians reached their target with 33 balls to spare. Besides Pandya, skipper Rohit Sharma too showed his class and played the knock 26* off 24 balls. The offspinner had the second-best economy rate (6.21) among spinners who have bowled at least 50 balls to left-hand batsmen this season. Their 54 runs stand sealed Mumbai's victory.
The Mumbai Indians have rolled into the Indian Premier League final, after defeating Kolkata Knight Riders by six wickets in the second qualifier yesterday. Ishank scored 28 and Suryakumar scored 31.
Karn was named Man of the Match.
Gambhir and de Grandhomme fell off successive deliveries soon after and the Knight Riders found themselves staring at a below-par total.
Bumrah started proceedings in his first over (second of the innings) with the big wicket of Chris Lynn who mishit his characteristic swipe straight down to long-on where Pollard pouched it easily.
Sunil Narine only managed to make 10 runs before he was stumped by Parthiv Patel off the bowling of Karn.
Four balls later, Bumrah got the big wicket of Robin Uthappa, who, while trying to flick a fast and straight delivery at 144kph, missed it to be trapped in front, LBW.
KKR were in the dumps by the seventh over, losing half of their side for just 31 runs on the board. The southpaw was looked good before playing against the turn off Karn for Hardik Pandya to pouch the ball at deep midwicket. "The main motivation when I get a game is to perform for the team and help the team win", Sharma said.
Lynn and Narine, who had enjoyed batting in the Powerplay previously, failed to get going as Kolkata were restricted to 25-3 at the end of six overs.
Jaggi and Suryakumar provided a glimmer of hope for their team, but another collapse was triggered when the former holed out to long-on off Karn in the 15th over.
Piyush Chawla was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Coulter-Nile and Umesh Yadav claimed one wicket each.