Rising Pune Supergiant secured their place in Sunday's IPL final with a 20-run win over Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier.
In a typically blistering knock, MS Dhoni (40no off 26 balls) fired five sixes - four coming in the final two overs - to lift the Supergiant score up to 162-4.
Pune ultimately defended that total with ease thanks to a hugely disciplined effort - spinner Washington Sundar taking T20-best figures of 3-16, which included two sharp catches by skipper Steve Smith at midwicket.
Despite the defeat, Mumbai have the chance to earn a re-match with RPS in the final if they beat the winner of Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders - live on Sky Sports 1, 3pm on Wednesday - in Friday's second qualifier.
Put into bat by their hosts at the Wankhede Stadium, Pune got off to a poor start as Mitchell McClenaghan (1-46) bowled Rahul Tripathi for a duck with a brutal inswinger in the first over, and then Lasith Malinga (1-14) picked up Smith (1) off a leading edge in the second.
Ajinkya Rahane (56 off 43) and Manoj Tiwary (58 off 48) both hit half centuries as RPS rebuilt, but slowly - a spell of three runs in 10 balls coming at one stage - before Dhoni came in and blasted the team to a competitive score.
Mumbai's chase started well enough, with Parthiv Patel (52 off 40) striking three sixes in the opening four overs, but then the unfortunate run-out of his opening partner Lendl Simmons (5) when backing up out of his crease triggered a mini-collapse.
Sundar first trapped Rohit Sharma (1) lbw, then removed Rayudu three balls later, while his third strike in his subsequent over was the crucial wicket of Kieron Pollard (7).
Hardik Pandya (14 off 10) and brother Krunal Pandya (15 off 11) came and went either side of Parthiv bringing up his 37 ball fifty, but he too fell in the deep while desperately trying to up the scoring.
Jaydev Unadkat (1-24) added the wicket of Karn Sharma (4) and very nearly had another off a relay catch on the boundary, only for Rahane's stunning effort to be denied as he had just touched the rope.
Instead, Shardul Thakur (3-37) claimed McClenaghan in the final over to add to his tally as Pune confirmed a comfortable win.
Live coverage of the IPL playoffs continues with Wednesday's eliminator game between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kolkata Knight Riders, live on Sky Sports 1 from 3pm.