Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya starred with the ball as Chennai restricted Mumbai to a paltry 131 for 4. Then, with the bat, Suryakumar Yadav did the star turn with an unbeaten 71 from 54 balls after openers Rohit Sharma and Quinton de Kock fell cheaply.
Post the match, Rohit Sharma said he rated Suryakumar Yadav as one of the best players of spin bowling who could come up with difficult shots on bad tracks as was the case at Chepauk.
"He's probably one of our best batsmen against spin. We knew the spin threat they possess will be a huge factor. Surya plays spin very well. I have seen him at close quarters. The shots he plays behind the wicket, those are not easy shots. Always knew he was going to come good at some stage," the skipper said at the post-match presentation, in praise of Yadav.
Man of the match Yadav said he watched how the pitch behaved in the first innings and how the Chennai players were finding it difficult to hit the lofted strokes. He thus modified his game accordingly.
“After first innings, I saw what happened, not too many players were able to hit the shots in the air. So I wanted to play down the ground, pick singles and doubles. Had the chat after first innings that someone from the top-order will have to play towards the end because it won’t be easy for players coming in later," Yadav explained.
Meanwhile, Rohit credited his three spinners Chahar, Pandya and Jayant Yadav for keeping a tight leash on Chennai batting. "It was important to restrict them to as little as possible, because it can get tricky against their quality spinners,” said Rohit, who was pleased that the move to play Yadav paid off.
Rohit also admitted that they had plans to restrict Dhoni and his bowlers executed the same very well. “We knew MS was going to be crucial towards the end. We had plans laid out. When you restrict a team like that under 140, it looks very good. Credit to our bowlers for executing that," Rohit added.
Mumbai have a few days to relax before the big final. They will meet the winners of Qualifier 2 to be played between Chennai and the winners of DC vs SRH (Eliminator).
--By A Cricket Correspondent