Chennai Advances To IPL Final

Chennai Super Kings defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore by 3 wickets and with a ball to spare on Friday at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi to book a place in Sunday’s final.  Having lost to Mumbai Indians for the automatic place in the final, Chennai had to face a Royal Challengers Bangalore outfit that had three of the most destructive batsmen in the league.  Openers Chris Gayle (41) and Virat Kohil (1) got off to a circumspect start with the pair unable to get any momentum.

An impressive Ashish Nehra (3/28) dismissed both Kohli and AB De Villiers in the same over.  Nehra dismissed the former the sixth time out of the last eight meetings.  Bangalore was struggling on 25/2 after five overs.

Michael Hussey rolled back the years with a stunning diving catch to dismiss Mandeep Singh (4) off spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.  Gayle, who had found it difficult to adjust to the slow pitch, miscued a pull shot for Suresh Raina to take a return catch.  After Dinesh Karthik (28) misread another Nehra slower ball to depart on 107/5 in the 16th over, David Wiese (12) and Harshal Patel (2) soon followed cheaply.

17-year old livewire Sarfaraz Khan (31) battled gallantly to keep the score ticking.  Bangalore eventually stumbled to 139/8.  In the second innings Dwayne Smith (17) was the first to go bowled by Sreenath Aravind after the third over.

The dismissal brought Hussey to the crease who shared a 40-run partnership with Faf Du Plessis (21) before he played all round a Yuzvendra Chahal delivery in the ninth over.  Chahal had Raina caught by Wiese two deliveries later with the score on 61/3 after 9.4 overs.  The fall of that wicket brought hometown hero and captain Dhoni to the crease.

The experienced duo of Hussey and Dhoni put on a seemingly leisurely 47-run stand before Wiese (1/30) rocked the ship by taking Hussey’s wicket to disturb the Chennai pleasure cruise at 108/4 after 16.3 overs.  It was all panic stations as teenager Khan brilliantly ran out Pawan Negi (12) and Mitchell Starc bowled the ever consistent Dwayne Bravo for a duck in consecutive balls.  Chennai lost skipper Dhoni (26) to Harshal Patel before crossing the line at 140/7 in the final over with a ball to spare.

The Super Kings will again face the Mumbai Indians but this time in the final on Sunday.