Chennai drub Bangalore

Chennai drub Bangalore

Jubilant lot: Chennai Super Kings celebrate their victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL Twenty20 cricket  final match at the M A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. AFP

In the end, Royal Challengers Bangalore stum­bled at the final hurdle for the second time in three years.

The IPL II runners-up had to settle for that same status as defending champions Chennai Super Kings emerged triumphant in IPL IV, with a comprehensive 58-run win in a one-sided final on Saturday night.

Super Kings pocketed Rs 10 crore and the trophy for their effort.

At the MA Chidambaram stadium, where the Super Kings had won all their previous seven games this season, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men rounded off a perfect eight in commanding style.

The title clash wasn’t decided at the toss, but it helped that Dhoni won a significant victory for his team when Daniel Vettori called wrong. Making the most of the best batting conditions, the Super Kings rode on an IPL record opening partnership to post a massive 205 for five.

Gayle’s dismissal

R Ashwin’s first-over dismissal of Chris Gayle then helped them restrict the out-of-sorts Challengers, playing their second game in 24 hours, to 147 for eight.

Murali Vijay hasn’t had the best run in the competition, but he chose the biggest stage of the IPL season to produce his most memorable knock of the tournament.

The classy right-hander totally dominated a first-wicket stand of 159 (89b) with Mike Hussey, despatching the flat Challengers’ bowling attack to all corners of the ground but particularly favouring the arc between long-on and deep mid-wicket, where he struck all of his six giant sixes.

Hussey played an excellent support role, allowing Vijay (95, 52b, 4x4, 6x6) to hit the big strokes but matching the much younger man stride for stride as the openers ran wonderfully well between the wickets.

A capacity crowd—and no prizes for guessing who they were rooting for—lapped up the entertainment, then erupted in unbridled joy as Ashwin foxed and dismissed Gayle, caught behind, for nought. The powerful Jamaican had represented the greatest threat to the Super Kings; once he was packed off early, the Challengers caved in meekly.

“We would like to be the Manchester United of the IPL, and we are slowly getting there,” crowed Ashwin, minutes before Dhoni held aloft a second piece of significant silverware in the last two months. This wasn’t quite the World Cup, but no one in Chennai was complaining.

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