The turns and twists in the tale were as good as in any best-selling thriller. Fortune swung like a pendulum with sometimes Mohali in the box seat and the next moment Mumbai calling the shots. In the end, the climax perhaps offered a bit more than many could handle.
It looked all but over for Mumbai when they needed 19 off the last over. But a six off the first ball from V.R.V. Singh, also a no ball, opened up the game and what followed was some unbelievable action.
The remaining deliveries saw three run outs and Mumbai coming as close as needing two runs off the last ball for a win or a single to tie the game. Vikrant Yeligati was off in a flash but Yuvraj Singh fielded the ball cleanly at cover, dashed towards the non-striker's end, took a huge leap to shatter the stumps and snatch a nerve wracking one-run victory along with a semi-final berth.
What has become a norm of sorts, the foundation for the fantastic victory was laid by Mohali's young Australian imports Shaun Marsh and Luke Pomersbach. The duo struck half centuries and shared a crucial 133-run partnership for the second wicket to get a challenging 189-4.
Mumbai required Sanath Jayasuriya to give them a rollicking start and the left-hander didn't disappoint. He was off in a flash, hitting Irfan Pathan for two sixes and a couple of boundaries in the second over. His end came when Sreesanth caught him plumb with a slower ball before he could inflict further damage.
Sachin Tendulkar then took over and kept the team in the hunt with some delectable stroke play. His shots neither had the ferocity of Jayasuriya nor the brute power of Pomersbach but it had the elegance and finesse that only he could have produced.
Just when he looked certain to guide Mumbai home, Pathan ran him out for 65. Yuvraj all but won the game for Mohali in the next over by picking up the crucial wickets of Shaun Pollock and Robin Uthappa. It looked curtains for Mumbai before that nerve wracking over from V.R.V.
Earlier, it was a Marsh-Pomersbach show. The two came together after James Hopes fell, and went on stamp their class yet again. While Marsh started in his composed manner, content to rotate the strike, the other left-hander tried to force the pace from the start.
After getting his eye in, Marsh too joined the party and unleashed a flurry of strokes to put the innings on the fast track.
He looked well set for a hundred when a mishit off Siddharth Chitnis saw him holing out to Pollock at long on for a well-made 81. The wicket choked the free flow of runs and the quick fall of Yuvraj and Mahela Jayawardene further encouraged the Mumbai attack.
But that was the lull before the storm. The hard-hitting Pomersbach (79 n.o.) took control in the last few overs to take Mohali to a challenging total.