Chennai Super Kings of IPL Three

Chennai Super Kings Suresh Raina pulls one to the boundary during his unbeaten half-century against Mumbai Indians in the IPL final. PTI

Chennai Super Kings of IPL Three

Chennai Super Kings players celebrate with the winning trophy after beating Mumbai Indians in the final of the Indian Premier League-3 match in Navi Mumbai on early Monday. PTI

Neither the inspirational presence of Captain Courageous Sachin Tendulkar nor the late charge by Kieron Pollard, inexplicably held back by the think-tank, could prevent the Super Kings from keeping their tryst with destiny at the DY Patil stadium on Sunday night.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s luck with the coin put the Super Kings in a position from where they could dictate terms. The Chennai boys, beaten finalists in the inaugural edition at the same venue, gave themselves an outstanding chance by posting 168 for five, then strangulated the Mumbai Indians and restricted them to 146 for nine to troop out convincing victors by 22 runs.

The Indians will look back and rue two dropped catches that allowed Suresh Raina to flourish and provide the impetus the Super Kings innings so badly needed. Put down on 13 and 28, the classy left-hander remained unbeaten with a brilliant 57 (35b, 3x4, 3x6), the rock around which the Super Kings erected their impressive edifice.

Tendulkar, who braved the split webbing to play an innings of characteristic flair and panache, didn’t receive too much support from the other end, but the Indians didn’t do their cause any good by keeping the big-hitting Pollard back until 55 were required off the last three overs. The decision to promote Harbhajan Singh to number four and to not allow Pollard to bat higher than number eight will come back to haunt the crowd favourites. Despite being left with too much to do, the Trinidadian made a brave fist of it until a smart piece of captaincy by Dhoni ended outside hopes of an Indians triumph.

The Indian captain positioned a very straightish mid-off, and Pollard found Matthew Hayden to a nicety in the penultimate over, triggering wild celebrations in the Super Kings camp with the fall of the one man who stood between them and victory.
Despite Murali Vijay’s incandescent strokeplay – including two spectacular front-foot pulls that cleared the mid-wicket boundary – the Super Kings innings was going nowhere, Hayden’s inability to shrug off his horror run weighing the team down when they batted first. Consequently, the pressure on Vijay to ensure an acceptable rate multiplied manifold, particularly with the Indians bowlers on the money.

The first-wicket duo had painstakingly accrued 44 in as many deliveries when both fell within three runs of each other. Vijay’s hurt the Kings because he was batting quite beautifully, though they wouldn’t have minded Hayden’s dismissal too much.
It came as no surprise that the Super Kings innings found momentum in the immediacy of the Aussie legend’s departure. S Badrinath turned things around with a quick 14, then ceded centrestage to Dhoni and Raina.

With time running out, Dhoni took it upon himself to get the ball rolling. One astonishing one-handed swat off a Pollard slower ball set off alarm bells in the Indians’ camp, though in the end, it was Raina more than Dhoni who did the damage.

Never one to look a gift horse in the mouth, Raina made the Indians pay a heavy price for letting him off twice with beefy sixes off Zaheer Khan and Pollard, dominating a 72-run (35b) with his captain as the Indians went to pieces under pressure.

The accuracy that had characterised their early stints suddenly deserted them, Zaheer, Malinga and Pollard failing to respond to the ferocity with which the Super Kings came at them. The last ten overs yielded a massive 110, converting what should have been a regulation chase into a demanding one.

Score Board

CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Murali Vijay c Tiwary b Fernando 26 (19b, 1x4, 2x6), Matthew Hayden c Rayudu b Pollard 17 (31b, 1x4, 1x6), Suresh Raina (not out) 57 (35b, 3x4, 3x6), S Badrinath c Malinga b Fernando 14 (11b, 2x4), Mahendra Singh Dhoni c Fernando b Zaheer 22 (15b, 2x4, 1x6), Albie Morkel (run out) 15 (6b, 1x4, 1x6), Aniruddha Srikkanth (not out) 6 (3b, 1x4). Extras (LB-3, W-8) 11. Total (for 5 wkts, 20 overs) 168.
Fall of wickets: 1-44 (Vijay), 2-47 (Hayden), 3-67 (Badrinath), 4-139 (Dhoni), 5-157 (Morkel).
Bowling: Harbhajan Singh 4-0-30-0, Lasith Malinga 4-0-33-0 (w-5), Zaheer Khan 4-0-34-1 (w-1), Dilhara Fernando 4-0-23-2 (w-2), Kieron Pollard 4-0-45-1. Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 40/0.

MUMBAI INDIANS: Shikhar Dhawan c Dhoni b Bollinger 0 (8b), Sachin Tendulkar c Vijay b Jakati 48 (45b, 7x4), Abhishek Nayar (run out) 27 (26b, 1x4, 1x6), Harbhajan Singh lbw Raina 1 (2b), Ambati Rayudu (run out) 21 (14b, 1x4, 1x6), Saurabh Tiwary c Raina b Jakati 0 (2b), Jean-Paul Duminy c Jakati b Muralitharan 6 (7b), Kieron Pollard c Hayden b Morkel 27 (10b, 3x4, 2x6), Zaheer Khan (run out) 1 (3b), Lasith Malinga (not out) 1 (1b), Dilhara Fernando (not out) 2 (2b). Extras (B-1, LB-6, W-5) 12. Total (for 9 wkts, 20 overs) 146.
Fall of wickets: 1-1 (Dhawan), 2-67 (Nayar), 3-73 (Harbhajan), 4-99 (Tendulkar), 5-100 (Tiwary), 6-114 (Duminy), 7-142 (Rayudu), 8-142 (Pollard), 9-143 (Zaheer).
Bowling: R Ashwin 4-1-24-0 (w-2), Doug Bollinger 4-0-31-1, Albie Morkel 3-0-20-1 (w-1), Muttiah Muralitharan 4-0-17-1, Shadab Jakati 3-0-26-2, Suresh Raina 2-0-21-1 (w-2).
Runs during Power Play: 1-6 overs: 33/1.

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