Riding on skipper Rohit Sharma's blistering half-century, Mumbai Indians cruised into the Champions League Twenty20 semifinals with a crushing six-wicket victory over Perth Scorchers in their must-win final group match here today.
While Rohit bludgeoned his way to an unbeaten 51 off 24 deliveries, Dwayne Smith also played a blinder as he smashed a 25-ball 48 at the top to enable MI achieve the target with as many as 40 balls to spare.
Mumbai were required to chase the target in 14.2 overs to make it to the last-four stage of the tournament, and they did it in 13.2.
Rohit smashed three boundaries and four sixes while putting on a solid 65-run stand for the fourth wicket with Kieron Pollard (23) off just 37 balls.
Earlier, some fine bowling by Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pragyan Ojha helped Mumbai restrict the Scorchers to 149 for six at the Feroz Shah Kotla ground.
In reply, opener Smith gave Mumbai Indians a rollicking start even as veteran Sachin Tendulkar disappointed the full house once again, getting out without scoring big when he was caught at the deep square leg by Sam Whiteman off Jason Behrendorff's bowling.
But that did not affect the in-form Smith, who sent the Scorchers' bowlers on a leatherhunt, smashing boundaries at will.
Though Glenn Maxwell (10 off seven balls) got out cheaply, Smith continued in the able company of Rohit.
The duo put on 38 runs together for the third wicket in just 2.2 overs and took the team past fifty in only 32 balls.
It was the experienced Brad Hogg, who finally got the prized wicket of dangerman Smith as Behrendorff took a brilliant catch at the boundary.
Rohit, however, was unmoved by his partner's dismissal and continued to play his shots with ease. He along with the hard-hitting Pollard made sure that Mumbai run-rate didn't drop.
Rohit and Pollard stole 14 runs off the ninth over, bowled by Hogg before the captain hit Joel Paris for two fours and a six in the next over to take 17 and help Mumbai Indians reach a commanding 117 for three at the half-way stage.
Rohit brought up his half-century in 23 balls