Two legends, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, will play the last limited-over game of their careers as Mumbai Indians and Rajasthan Royals lock horns in the Champions League T20 summit clash at the Ferozeshah Kotla here on Sunday.
Mumbai defeated Trinidad and Tobago by six wickets in the semifinals on Saturday to book a berth in the final.
It was a comprehensive win for Mumbai, which chose to field first and achieved the target of 154 with five balls to spare.
Young Evin Lewis shouldered the responsibility and carried the T&T innings almost single-handedly.
His assault was clinical. Without any expression on his face, he dispatched with contempt some of the best bowlers in world cricket to the boundary and helped his team maintain a decent run rate.
Early in his innings, Lewis ferociously cut Mitchell Johnson to collect 18 runs through three fours and a six. Later he was severe on Harbhajan Singh, hitting him for two sixes and a four.
Lewis scored his second half-century of CLT20 in the form of a 46-ball 62. He put on 48 runs with Darren Bravo for the second wicket. A soft dismissal brought Lewis’s end as fellow Trinidadian Keiron Pollard took one of the easiest catches of his career off his own bowling.
Mumbai skipper Rohit Sharma used his bowling resources well. Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pollard and Pragyan Ojha showed good discipline to check runs and provide important breakthroughs.
Yannick Ottley also entertained with his breezy cameo (41 not out off 30 with two fours and two sixes) and forged a useful 23-ball 37-run stand with Nicholas Pooran in the death overs to guide T&T to a 150-plus aggregate.
Mumbai’s run chase could not have had a better start.
With Dwayne Smith in fine form and crowd favourite Sachin Tendulkar displaying his old magic, runs came in abundance.
Smith pummelled the T&T bowlers with his trademark ruthlessness, while Tendulkar cast a spell with some exquisite shots.
Tendulkar made the day of the 30,000-plus crowd when he played Yannick Ottley to leg-side to reach 26 and complete his 50,000 runs in all recognised forms (First Class, List A and Twenty20) of cricket.
The master hammered two fours and two consecutive sixes (off Ottley) before being caught behind off Lendl Simmons on 35.
With Smith, he laid a solid 90-run partnership for the opening stand.
Smith struck seven fours and two sixes in his 38-ball 59.
Even as T&T missed the services of Rayad Emrit, who injured his shoulder while fielding, bowling trump card Sunil Narine rekindled hopes by accounting for Ambati Rayudu and Smith in his second over.
He returned to claim the wicket of Rohit Sharma (25) in his last over, but it was a little too late for the Caribbean outfit.
Mumbai, helped by Dinesh Karthik, reached the winning total without much trouble.