Shreyas Iyer scored a magnificent half-century to guide Mumbai to a convincing five-wicket win over Vidarbha in the semifinals and get his team a place in the final of the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy for the first time at the Eden Gardens here on Thursday.
Mumbai will take on another first-timer Himachal, which outwitted a strong Punjab by 13 runs, in the summit clash on Saturday.
Electing to bat, Vidarbha progressed due to opener Atharva Taide (29, 22b, 3x4, 1x6) and Apoorva Wankhede (34, 26b, 3x4, 2x6) even as the Mumbai bowlers made frequent dents.
Jitesh Sharma (46 n.o., 24b, 3x4, 3x6) switched gears at the right time, hitting three sixes in the last over, to get Vidarbha a fighting total.
Shams Mulani bowled accurately to scalp three batters.
After Mumbai lost skipper Ajinkya Rahane and Yashasvi Jaiswal for 31, Prithvi Shaw (34, 21b, 2x4, 3x6) and Shreyas (73, 44b, 7x4, 4x6) gathered 43 runs with the former displaying some well-timed shots.
Shreyas took his time before flexing his muscles, especially on the onside. He was severe on pacer Yash Thakur, plundering 19 runs, including a six and three fours, in the 14 th over.
Shreyas, who formed a 71-run partnership with Sarfaraz Khan (27, 2x4, 1x6), was held at deep square-leg off Akshay Karnewar when Mumbai needed only 20 runs.
Inserted in, Himachal rode on quick-fire knocks of Sumeet Verma (51, 25b, 3x4, 3x6) and Akash Vashisht (43, 25b, 4x4, 2x6) to post 176 for seven.
Vashisht, the match-winner in the quarterfinals, added 45 with Sumeet in the middle overs and 47 with Pankaj Jaswal (27, 16b, 2x4, 1x6) in the slog overs.
Led by an inspiring Rishi Dhawan, who claimed three for 25, Himachal bowlers stuck to their plans and took wickets regularly.
Efforts of Shubman Gill (45, 32b, 6x4, 1x6), Anmolpreet Singh (30, 25b, 3x4, 1x6), captain Mandeep Singh (29 n.o., 15b, 3x4, 1x6) and Ramandeep Singh (29, 15b, 3x4, 2x6) were in vain.
Himachal Pradesh 176/7 in 20 overs (Sumeet Verma 51, Akash Vashisht 43) bt Punjab 163/7 in 20 overs (Shubman Gill 45, Anmolpreet Singh 30, Rishi Dhawan 3/25).
Vidarbha 164/7 in 20 overs (Jitesh Sharma 46 n.o., Apoorv Wankhede 34, Shams Mulani 3/20) lost to Mumbai 169/5 in 16.5 overs (Shreyas Iyer 73, Prithvi Shaw 34).