Chennai charge through, Mumbai knocked out

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The Mumbai Indians' 2012 Indian Premier League campaign met its end on Wednesday, when the Chennai Super Kings took one step closer to landing their successive title.

The Mumbai Indians' 2012 Indian Premier League campaign met its end on Wednesday, when the Chennai Super Kings took one step closer to landing their successive title.

The 38-run victory at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore left just the Delhi Daredevils – their opposition for Friday's qualifier – standing between the defending champions and a berth in Sunday's tournament final.

Mumbai's choice to field first after winning the toss enjoyed a superb start. With Murali Vijay and Suresh Raina removed for just one run between them in the wake of Dhawal Kulkarni's initial brace, a big job awaited the rest of the specialist batsmen.

Michael Hussey and Subramaniam Badrinath duly delivered, yet it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo's theatrics that later all but took the contest away from Mumbai.

Hussey and Badrinath laid the groundwork. Their alliance weighed in to the collective tune of 94 runs. With minimal flair but plenty of measured calculation, the pair went about the business for 12 overs at a rate of a little under eight.

Falling within an over of each other, the Australian for 49 and the Indian for 47, they headed back to the hut in full confidence that their captain and West Indian recruit could, and probably would, continue the job.

Dhoni and Bravo didn't disappoint. There was no end to the right-handers' successful bid to find the fence with great regularity. Mumbai's death bowlers, particularly Kulkarani, lost the plot in conceding as many 73 runs in the 4.5 overs the Indian captain and Windies all-rounder at the crease.

Dhoni finished on 51 not out from just 20 balls. Bravo's complementary cameo amounted to an unbeaten 33 from 14. Together they clubbed nine fours and four sixes. A total previously destined for average proportions suddenly skyrocketed to a hefty 187 for five.

Mumbai's doomed pursuit was riddled with a severe lack of finishing. Eight of their XI made it to double figures, but not one could travel any further than Dwayne Smith's 38.

Sachin Tendulkar managed just 11, the in-form Rohit Sharma failed to deliver this time around, Dinesh Karthik flattered to deceive and James Franklin seemed out of place in the middle order. By the time Ambati Rayudu and Kieron Pollard arrived at the crease, the asking rate was beyond even their big-hitting prowess.

Each of Chennai's six-man attack took at least one wicket. Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can rest assured in their fine stranglehold, which left boundaries relatively far and few between, while seamers Albie Morkel and Bravo snared two victims apiece as Mumbai succumbed to 149 for nine.

The all-round performance of Bravo was a good bet for Man of the Match, but that accolade instead went to the triumphant Dhoni for his half-century blitz, three catches and imperious leadership in the pressure clash.

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