Chennai Super Kings177-4 (Raina 73no) beat
Royal Challengers Bangalore 175-4 by 6 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Mumbai
The Chennai Super Kings left it late but managed to score 59 runs in the final four overs to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets and make it to the final of the Indian Premier League 2011.
Albie Morkel won the match with a six over midwicket off Daniel Vettori with two balls remaining as the Super Kings came from nowhere to take the game - they had needed 66 runs to win from 30 balls.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore were looking in good shape having made 175 for four but despite stuttering to 28 for two in seven overs, Chennai held their nerve and thanks to fine innings from Suresh Raina, Subramniam Badrinath, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Morkel, they booked their place in the final.
The Royal Challengers will have a second chance to earn a place in the final when they take on the winner of the second play-off eliminator between the Mumbai Indians and the KoOlkata Knight Riders.
They were thankful to Virat Kohli for playing an excellent 70 not out in 44 balls after Chris Gayle's early storm of eight in nine balls was quietened when he was trapped in front by Ravi Ashwin. Off-spinner Ashwin would end the game with his head bandaged after he was hit off his own bowling by Saurabh Tiwary but fortunately for him, and for Chennai, he wasn't required to bat.
Mayank Agarwal (34) and then Luke Pomersbach (19) offered Kohli, who hit five fours and three sixes, vital support while Doug Bollinger bowled superbly to return one for 20 in his four overs.
Bangalore then came out and struck quickly with the ball, putting themslves in prime position when Zaheer Khan had Michael Hussey trapped in front for nought and Sreenath Aravind removed Murali Vijay to the same method of dismissal for five.
Badrinath (34 in 32 balls) and Raina (73 not out in 50 deliveries) then put together a 63-run partnership to get Chennai back on track and the dismissal of Badrinath, caught by Aravind off Abhimanyu Mithun, allowed Dhoni to come in just when the situation was beginning to look desperate for Chennai, particularly with Raina cramping up.
His solution was to swing from the hip with good effect while Dhoni cracked 29 in 19 balls, whipping balls viciously through the on-side before he was caught in the deep.
Morkel was left with no choice but to hit out, and hit out quickly but he managed to do so, and following expensive overs from Aravind and Zaheer, Morkel hitting two sixes and Raina one in the 19th, the Super Kings needed 12 to win from the final over.
Despite the best efforts of captain Daniel Vettori, Raina and Morkel were able to take seven from the first three balls before Morkel applied the coup de grace and sent the Super Kings into their second straight final and third overall.
© Cricket World 2011