Mumbai Indians entered this season of the IPL as serious contenders for the title and through some good cricket have set up a rematch of the 2010 final against Chennai Super Kings. Here, we take a look at how Mumbai's season has panned out.
1st match, v RCB in Bangalore - lost by two runs
Royal Challengers Bangalore, inspired by Chris Gayle and indebted to Vinay Kumar, made a winning start to their IPL 6 campaign in nail-biting manner by beating Mumbai Indians by two runs. Defending 10 runs off the last over of Mumbai's innings, Vinay removed half-centurion Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu in consecutive deliveries before bowling a blockhole-length final ball to Kieron Pollard to send the RCB dugout into a tizzy.
A look at the road Mumbai took to set up a replay of the 2010 IPL final against their toughest competitors, Chennai Super Kings. (BCCI Images)
2nd match, v CSK in Chennai - won by nine runs
Mumbai moved further south to Chennai where they handed the home team a narrow defeat. Chennai Super Kings' bowlers had Mumbai on the mat until Pollard exploded with 57 off 38 balls to get the total to 148 for 6, a target which CSK fell short of despite MS Dhoni blazing 51 in 26 balls. A superb boundary catch by Pollard cut off Dhoni and the hosts ended up nine runs short.
3rd match, v DD in Mumbai - won by 44 runs
Rare is the day that a team recovers from 1 for 2 to post a 200-plus total. But the fans at the Wankhede Stadium saw the home team do just that, thanks to blazing fifties from Karthik and Rohit Sharma. Delhi Daredevils lost a wicket first ball of their chase thanks to one of the best catches of the modern era from 40-year-old Ricky Ponting, and the visitors wilted under the pressure of a daunting target to end up 44 runs short.
4th match, v PWI in Mumbai - won by 41 runs
Rohit's unbeaten 62 off 32 balls set up Mumbai's match-winning total of 183 for 3, which the bowlers defended comfortably. Mitchell Johnson struck two early blows with his searing left-arm pace and finished with 3 for 33.
5th match, v RR in Jaipur - lost by 87 runs
In the 11 previous matches in which they made 170 or more batting first, Rajasthan Royals had never lost in the IPL. True to history, that trend was maintained at their home fortress of the Sawai Mansingh Stadium where they piled up 179 for 3 and defended that to beat Mumbai by a whopping 87 runs. It was Mumbai's heaviest defeat ever in terms of runs.
6th match, v DD in Delhi - lost by nine wickets
To beat Mumbai and get off a six-match losing streak, it was always going to take something special and that is precisely what Delhi got in the form of an unbeaten 95 from Virender Sehwag that helped turn a tough chase of 162 into a cakewalk at the Feroz Shah Kotla . Sehwag roared back to form with an innings of superb timing and determination, and was supported by his Mahela Jayawardene (59) in a record opening stand of 151. In the end, the fact that Mumbai scored seven off the first three overs and just 24 in the Powerplay was made to look very peculiar on a belter of a track.
7th match, v KKR in Kolkata - won by five wickets
The fans that thronged to Eden Gardens hoping to see a special innings from Sachin Tendulkar on his 40th birthday were sent home disappointed doubly disappointed, as the master batsman flopped and Kolkata Knight Riders were beaten in another last-over match. Set a target of 160, Mumbai won with five wickets off the penultimate delivery thanks to Dwayne Smith's bullish 62 and two stabilizing innings from Rohit Sharma and Pollard.
8th match, v RCB in Mumbai - won by 58 runs
Medium-pacer Dhawal Kulkarni removed RCB's top order in the blink of an eye to help Mumbai to a thumping 58-run win, their fifth in eight matches. Smith (50) and Karthik (43) as well as some late hitting down the order got Mumbai to 194 for 7, which proved way too much for a feeble RCB batting display.
9th match, v KXIP in Mumbai - won by four runs
The most expensive final over in the history of the IPL proved decisive for Kings XI Punjab's replacement captain David Hussey, who opted to bowl it and conceded 27 runs to his rival number. From 147 for 3, Mumbai were boosted to 174 as Rohit smacked Hussey for three sixes and two fours to finish not out on 79 off just 39 deliveries. That onslaught ultimately came in very handy for Mumbai, who won by four runs after a frenetic final over from Kulkarni that included a no-ball that produced two singles, a wide, a six and three dot balls.
10th match, v SH in Hyderabad - lost by seven wickets
A disciplined bowling performance was backed by a determined run chase as Sunrisers Hyderabad won by seven wickets at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. The home team found inspiration from their two leading Indian bowlers, Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra, in restricting Mumbai to 129 for 4 on a slow surface after which Shikhar Dhawan reeled off a crisp 73 not out to seal Hyderabad's sixth win.
11th match, v CSK in Mumbai - won by 60 runs
It was always going to need something dramatic to stop CSK's seven-match winning streak (the joint-best in the history of IPL) and Mumbai benefited from an absolutely shambolic batting effort from the visitors to win by a humungous margin. Seeking the two points needed to extend their winning run at home, Mumbai were lifted by their bowlers after a late rally from Rohit and Harbhajan Singh got them to 139. This despite Pollard dropping Michael Hussey three times in three balls during the opening over of CSK's chase, which was snuffed out for 79 in 15.2 overs.
12th match, v KKR in Mumbai - won by 65 runs
Mumbai's top order set up a total of 170 which as defended superbly by the bowlers, each of which took at least one wicket. Harbhajan (3 for 27) and Johnson (2 for 13) were the pick of the lot.
13th match, v PWI in Pune - won by five wickets
What was expected to be a mismatch turned out to be just that, as Mumbai beat Pune by six wickets in front of their home fans at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium. With a place in the IPL 6 playoffs at stake, Mumbai kept Pune to 112 and knocked off the target inside 19 overs to move to second place on the leaderboard with 18 points.
14th match - v SH in Mumbai, won by seven wickets
Pollard made a blistering 27-ball 66* as Mumbai came from behind to register a thumping seven-wicket win over Hyderabad and put one foot in the IPL 6 play-offs at the Wankhede Stadium. In pursuit of 179, Pollard and Rohit (20*) added 85 runs in 37 balls to take Mumbai over the line with three balls to go. This was Mumbai's 10th win in 14 matches.
15th match, v RR in Mumbai - won by 14 runs
Mumbai went top of IPL 6 table following a convincing 14-run win over Rajasthan. Both teams went into the match with the knowledge that they had already made it to the play-offs, and that took plenty of significance off the match. In pursuit of Mumbai's 166 for 8, the visitors could only go as far as 152 for 7. It was Mumbai's eighth win on the bounce at home this season.
16th match, v KXIP in Dharamsala - lost by 50 runs
With their campaign already over, Punjab pulled off a well-earned 50-run victory against the table-toppers with Azhar Mahmood and Shaun Marsh hitting brisk half-centuries to set Mumbai a stiff target of 184. Sachin Tendulkar once again missed the fixture to rest his injured hand, which meant Mumbai's opening combination remain unchanged. However, it did not work out according to plans as Praveen Kumar picked up Glenn Maxwell with the third ball of the innings.
17th match, Qualifier 1 v CSK in Delhi - lost by 48 runs
CSK sealed their place in the final thanks to an unbroken stand of 140 between Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina that put up 192 for 1 on board, and once Smith (68) was dismissed Mumbai's chase gave way. CSK's chief all rounders Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja pocketed three wickets each.
18th match, Qualifier 2 v RR in Kolkata - won by four wickets
Mumbai set their date with CSK in Sunday's IPL 6 final after beating Rajasthan by four wickets in the second Qualifier at Eden Gardens. Following a stellar performance in the field by Harbhajan (3 for 23), Mumbai were steered towards victory by Smith before a collapse of 4 for 16 changed the tone of the chase. In the end, Mumbai held their nerve to win with one delivery remaining, leaving Rajasthan to rue a very poor fielding effort.