Rajasthan checkmate Kings to enter final

Royals stave off late fight from Chennai outfit

Rajasthan checkmate Kings to enter final

Ajinkya Rahane hit a resolute fifty and spinner Pravin Tambe scalped three crucial wickets as Rajasthan Royals notched up a 14-run victory over Chennai Super Kings to advance to the fin­als of the Champions League Twenty20 here on Friday.

Rajasthan posted a competitive 159 for eight, courtesy a 56-ball 70-run innings by opener Rahane, after they were sent into bat by Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The hosts then rode on a sensational spell of spin bowling by Tambe (3/10) to restrict the Super Kings to 145 for eight and register their 13th successive victory at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium.

Lower-order batsman Ravichandran Ashwin blasted a quickfire 28-ball 46, studded with three fours and as many sixes, to give some hope to the Chennai side in the last stages of the match but it was not enough in the end.

Defending 159, Rajasthan were athletic on the field while Chennai looked sloppy in their running between the wickets and it cost them their first two wickets.

A terrible mix-up between Michael Hussey (9) and Murali Vijay (14) ended with the opener losing his wicket in the third over, while two overs later, Vijay too run himself out with Kevon Cooper hitting the stumps directly. However, Suresh Raina, who came as first down, clobbered the last two deliveries off Cooper for boundaries to ease the pressure as Chennai reached 41 for two in six overs.

Spinner Tambe and pacer Rahul Shukla then wrecked havoc on the Chennai batsmen with the former scalping the wickets of S Badrinath (8) and Dwayne Bravo (3) and the latter removing the dangerous Mahendra Singh Dhoni (3) cheaply.

Wickets kept falling like nine pins as Watson then induced an edged off Ravindra Jadeja which landed on the safe hands of wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik.

Tambe then got rid off Raina, who was holed out by substitute Ashok Menaria at mid-off as Chennai was looking down the barrel at 72 for seven in 12.3 overs.

However, a 43-ball 73-run partnership between Ashwin and Chris Morris (26) for the eight wicket kept Chennai in the hunt till the last over.

Needing 23 runs in the last over, Ashwin blasted the first ball for a six but bowler James Faulkner made a quick recovery to restrict them comfortably in the end.

Earlier, Rahane blasted six fours and two sixes in his half-century and shared a 59-run partnership in 39 balls with Shane Watson (32) for the fourth wicket to lay the foundation for Rajasthan’s innings.

The Mumbaikar anchored the Royals innings but the hosts could not get their partnership going and lost three wickets in the last over to settle within 160-mark.

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