New Delhi: Rohit Sharma and Dwayne Smith played important innings to drive Mumbai Indians into the semi-finals of the Champions League Twenty20, beating Perth Scorchers by six wickets in their last group match at the Feroze Shah Kotla Stadium on Wednesday.
Mumbai needed to chase Perth's 149 in 14.2 overs in order to qualify for the semis and Smith provided them a rollicking start, scoring 48 off just 25 balls before Rohit took over from him, scoring 51 off just 24 balls and remaining unbeaten till the end.
Ambati Rayudu, who came at the crease after the dismissal of Kieron Pollard, ended the match with two sixes as Mumbai chased down the Perth score in just 13.2 overs.
Rohit smashed three boundaries and four sixes while putting on a solid 65-run stand for the fourth wicket with Pollard (23).
Earlier, some fine bowling by Nathan Coulter-Nile and Pragyan Ojha helped Mumbai restrict the Scorchers to 149 for 6.
In reply, opener Smith gave Mumbai a rollicking start even as 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 Perth's 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 reach a commanding 117 for three at the half-way stage.
Rohit brought up his half-century from 23 balls with three fours and four sixes. Though Pollard did not stay till the end, by the time he was dismissed the damage was already done.
In the end, Ambati Rayudu hit two sixes to finish it off in style.
(With inputs from PTI)