Incredible Chennai enter final

Raina braves cramps to power defending champions to six-wicket win over RCB

Incredible Chennai enter final

Chennai Super Kings players mob Suresh Raina after the left-hander guided the defending champions to a six-run win over  the Royal Challengers Bangalore, scoring an unbeaten 53-ball 73 at the Wankhede stadium on Tuesday. AFPHaving mustered a daunting 175 for four after put into bat, Royal Challengers had the match by the scruff of its neck when they reduced Super Kings 62 for two at the half-way stage of the chase. Needing 116 from the last 10 overs, Chennai found a super hero in man of the match Suresh Raina who smashed an unbeaten 73 (50b, 4x4, 6x6) to guide the defending champions to a six-wicket win in front of a crowd that was vertically split in their support.

With skipper MS Dhoni chipping in with a valuable 29 (19b, 3x4, 1x6) and Albie Morkel firing an undefeated 28 (10b, 1x4, 3x6), Super Kings replied with 177 for four in 19.4 overs to make their second straight final of the tournament. The heart-breaking defeat notwithstanding, not all is lost for the Challengers, as the Bangalore side will get another chance to have a shot at the title if they win Friday’s second Qualifier in Chennai.

Zaheer Khan and S Arvind had nicely set the game up with an impressive show up front, but towards the end they were simply helpless as Raina and Morkel went on a six-hitting spree. The carnage began in the 13th over when A Mithun conceded 23 runs. Upon his return, Zaheer did manage to dismiss Dhoni but went for 20 runs. Requiring 33 off the last two overs, Chennai collected 21 off the penultimate over from Arvind before Morkel completed the formalities with a six off Daniel Vettori. 

Impressive Bollinger

Earlier, having been at the receiving end of Gayle’s punishing blade, Super Kings did well to get rid of the West Indian in the fourth over just when he had warmed up with a big six off R Ashwin over mid-wicket. Gayle was kept quiet during his brief stay, Doug Bollinger unleashing some well-directed bouncers.

The introduction of Ashwin, however, prompted Gayle to go over the top. After defending the first ball, he smacked the next one over the fence. Like he has done often this season, the off-spinner had the last laugh as he trapped Gayle the next ball. With Gayle threat thwarted early, Super Kings might have harboured chances of restricting Challengers to a gettable total, but Kohli had other ideas.

The second most consistent batsman behind Gayle, the right-hander brought up his fourth half-century of the tournament as Royal Challengers decisively negated Gayle set-back. He was slow to begin with and allowed Mayank Agarwal (34, 33b, 5x4) do all the running before the young Bangalorean was done in by a Dwayne Bravo slower delivery. AB de Villiers flickered for a while, but it was Luke Pomersbach who provided the real impetus to the innings. The southpaw carted Bravo for 17 runs in the 15th over to set the tempo for a racy second half of the innings. The Australian was out to an impressive Doug Bollinger (1/20) in a bid to accelerate the scoring, leaving the scene for Kohli to unleash the mayhem. There was no dearth of sweetly-timed drives, but he was also equally effective when he took the aerial route. The 22-year-old chose Albie Morkel for some special treatment picking up two consecutive sixes in the 19th over as that over went for as many runs. By the end of the final over bowled by Bollinger, Royal Challengers might have thought they had enough in the deposit, but Super Kings left them bankrupt.

Score board

ROYAL CHALLENGERS BANGALORE: Mayank Agarwal c Bollinger b Bravo 34 (33b, 5x4), Chris Gayle lbw Ashwin 8 (9b, 1x6), Virat Kohli (not out) 70 (44b, 5x4, 3x6), AB de Villiers c Vijay b Jakati 11 (10b, 1x6), Luke Pomersbach b Bollinger 29 (18b, 2x4, 2x6), Saurabh Tiwary (not out) 9 (6b, 1x4) Extras (B-1, LB-7, W-5) 14. Total (for 4 wkts, 20 overs) 175.
Fall of wickets: 1-30 (Gayle), 2-65 (Agarwal), 3-85 (de Villiers), 4-133 (Pommersbach).
Bowling: Albie Morkel 4-0-40-0, Doug Bollinger 4-0-20-1 (w-1), R Ashwin 4-0-30-1 (w-1), Dwayne Bravo 3-0-28-1 (w-3), Shadab Jakati 4-0-37-1, Suresh Raina 1-0-8-0. 
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 39/1; 10: 73/2; 15: 122/3; End of innings: 175/4 in 20 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 44/1.

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Michael Hussey lbw Zaheer 0 (4b), M Vijay lbw Arvind 5 (5b, 1x4), Suresh Raina (not out) 73 (50b, 4x4, 6x6), S Badrinath c Arvind b Mithun 34 (32b, 5x4), MS Dhoni c Mithun b Zaheer 29 (19b, 3x4, 1x6), Albie Morkel (not out) 28 (10b, 1x4, 3x6) Extras (B-1, LB-1, W-4, NB-2) 8. Total (for 4 wkts, 19.4 overs) 177.
Fall of wickets: 1-3 (Hussey), 2-7 (Vijay), 3-70 (Badrinath), 4-131 (Dhoni).
Bowling: Zaheer Khan 4-0-31-2 (w-2), S Arvind 3-0-32-1, A Mithun 3-0-32-1 (nb-1, w-1), Virat Kohli 2-0-19-0 (nb-1), Daniel Vettori 3.4-0-42-0, Chris Gayle 4-0-19-0 (w-1).
Scoring pattern: 5 overs: 24/2; 10: 62/2; 15: 110/3; End of innings: 177/4 in 19.4 overs.
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 25/2.         

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