Kieron Pollard turned in a dazzling all-round performance as Mumbai crushed Bangalore by 35 runs to secure their place in the final of the IPL.
Opting to bat first in the first semi-final at the DY Patil Stadium in Mumbai, the hosts were lifted to a formidable 184 for five by superb batting performances from Saurabh Tiwary (52 not out), Ambati Rayudu (40) and an excellent cameo from Pollard (33).
The West Indies international then took three for 17 in his four overs as Bangalore caved in and were restricted to 149 for nine in what eventually fizzled out into a one-sided game.
Bangalore initially gained the edge when Dale Steyn had Sachin Tendulkar caught by Ross Taylor in the second over for nine, his first single-figure score in the competition this year, and his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan was then run out for 12.
Abhishek Nayar (22) and Rayudu, however, briefly arrested the slide and lifted Mumbai’s run rate with a flurry of boundaries which had Bangalore rattled and left their side poised nicely on 54 for two at the end of the powerplay.
Captain Anil Kumble called Bangalore into a huddle during the strategic time-out and, when they returned, Kumble brought himself and Kevin Pietersen on to bowl from either end.
Pietersen secured the breakthrough by removing Nayar and Kumble struck in his second over to scalp JP Duminy cheaply, and Bangalore again had the advantage as the two spinners put the brakes on the scoring.
But Kumble slipped up when he brought on Virat Kohli in the 14th and Tiwary, who had joined Rayudu at Nayar’s dismissal, immediately eased the pressure by hitting the part-time bowler for a six in an over which yielded 10.
Tiwary then cut loose and, with Rayudu chipping in nicely, Mumbai easily wrested the initiative.
Rayudu fell after a 67-run stand with Tiwary, but his replacement Pollard smacked three sixes and a four in his 13-delivery stint as the Indians finished on a high.
Mumbai carried the momentum into the second innings as Jacques Kallis (11), who had earlier conceded 25 from two overs, completed a forgettable match when he edged Lasith Malinga to wicketkeeper Rayudu.
Although several batsmen got starts thereafter, Bangalore lost wickets regularly and were out of the contest long before the final delivery.
Pietersen (19) was castled by Harbhajan Singh in the bowler’s first over immediately after fielding restrictions were relaxed.
Although Robin Uthappa (26) and Rahul Dravid (23), who had opened alongside Kallis, briefly kept the chase alive, their dismissals within the space of two deliveries pegged Bangalore back.
Pollard, who had removed Uthappa in his first over, then had Kohli caught behind and it was all over bar the shouting.