(Reuters) - Mumbai Indians batsman Suryakumar Yadav scored an unbeaten half-century to help the three-times champions beat Chennai Super Kings by six wickets on Tuesday and reach their fifth Indian Premier League (IPL) final.
Chasing 132 for victory in the playoff clash, Yadav scored 71 runs from 54 balls to help table-toppers Mumbai comfortably cross the finish line with nine balls to spare.
The 28-year-old was dropped by Murali Vijay off Deepak Chahar early on in his innings and made Chennai pay with a match-winning knock that included 10 boundaries.
“It was important for one of the top three to bat till the end,” Yadav said. “It was a big game and it needed a bigger performance.”
Earlier, Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat but the hosts found themselves in trouble early on, losing three wickets with only 32 runs on the board.
Vijay, who replaced the injured Kedar Jadhav, was dismissed after a run-a-ball 26 before Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni helped Chennai post a competitive total on a challenging M. A. Chidambaram Stadium wicket.
The pair were unbeaten at the end of 20 overs, with Rayudu on 42 and Dhoni on 37 having struck three sixes in his knock.
Spinner Rahul Chahar was the most successful of the Mumbai bowlers, claiming two wickets for only 14 runs in four overs.
Chennai will have another opportunity to reach the final of the tournament when they face the winners of Wednesday’s clash between Delhi Capitals and Sunrisers Hyderabad.
“Hopefully, we crack the code in the next game,” Dhoni said.
“I feel we could’ve bowled better... once you don’t have enough runs, every boundary hurts you. After a good start with the ball, we kept giving boundaries. The good thing is you have another crack after a top-two finish.”
Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis