x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Mumbai Indians set up Royal Challengers Bangalore clash

Harbhajan Singh kept his head as his Mumbai Indians teammates threatened to lose theirs to book his side a date with Bangalore tomorrow for a spot in the IPL final.

Harbhajan Singh kept his head as his Mumbai Indians teammates threatened to lose theirs to book his side a date with the Royal Challengers Bangalore tomorrow for a spot in the IPL final.

Mumbai had looked as if they would cruise through their Eliminator clash with the Kolkata Knight Riders when they stood at 81 without loss in pursuit of a total of 147, with openers Adam Blizzard (51) and Sachin Tendulkar, the captain, on great form.

But they lost quick wickets in the middle of the innings to slump to 133 for six and seven was required off the last over.

But after James Franklin (29 not out) had taken a single off Shakib al Hasan's first ball, Harbhajan kept his cool to lift the next second delivery over the boundary for a maximum to clinch the win.

A delighted Franklin paid tribute to Harbhajan in his post-match television interview.

"My role was to stay till the end," the New Zealander said. "Harbhajan got those boundaries and took off the pressure. Quality players step up and he is one of them."

Earlier, Kolkata were rescued by Ryan ten Doeschate after they had made a woeful start to their innings.

They had slumped to 20 for four after being put into bat by Mumbai as their top order including Gautam Gambhir (4), the Kolkata captain, and Jacques Kallis (7) were dismissed cheaply.

Munaf Patel was the instigator of Kolkata's problems, taking three for 27 for Mumbai.

But ten Doeschate batted superbly to hit an unbeaten 70, sharing in stands of 60 with Yusuf Pathan (26) and Al Hasan (26) to get them up to 147 for seven.

It was not enough, but Gambhir paid tribute to his side as they exited the competition.

"The boys were professional and showed what character they are made off," he said. Even today, Mumbai were cruising but the boys fought hard."

A relieved Tendular said: "Victory means a lot. In between we had a rough patch but there has been a good turn around in the last two games. That's a real tonic for the team."