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Chennai Super Kings Make It To Sixth IPL Final In Thrilling Win

Ashish Nehra registered figures of 3-28 against Royal Challengers Bangalore helping Chennai Super Kings reach their sixth Indian Premier League final.
Ashish Nehra registered figures of 3-28 against Royal Challengers Bangalore helping Chennai Super Kings reach their sixth Indian Premier League final.

CSK 140-7 (Hussey 56) beat
RCB 139-8 (Gayle 41) by three wickets
Qualifier 2, Indian Premier League, Ranchi

Ashish Nehra and Michael Hussey starred with ball and bat respectively as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the Second Qualifier by three wickets with one ball to spare to make it to their sixth Indian Premier League (IPL) final setting up a clash with arch-rivals Mumbai Indians. 

CSK won the toss and opted to bowl first on a track that was slow and had a lot of turn.

Chris Gayle (41) got a six second ball of the innings from Nehra (3-28) off a thick edge over the cover.

Virat Kohli (12) looked in handsome form as he hammered Nehra for a four and then a six down the ground, charging down, to take RCB to 21 for no loss after three overs.

However, Nehra came back wonderfully after two expensive overs to get a double strike for CSK.

He first got Kohli with a length delivery that the latter clipped off his hips straight to short fine leg.

AB de Villiers (1) was given out lbw in the last ball of the same over, a contentious one as the ball pitched on the mat, and straightened, with doubt over whether it pitched more on the leg stump or outside it.

RCB finished their power-play at 29 for two losing both Kohli and AB de Villiers.

Ravichandran Ashwin (1-13) bowled four excellent overs on the trot getting Mandeep Singh (4) in his final over.

Mandeep mistimed a slog sweep that Hussey took beautifully with a forward dive at deep backward square leg.

Gayle could hardly get going, way below a strike-rate of 100 at one point with RCB managing just 46 for three in their 10 overs.

However, Dinesh Karthik (28) got some bustle into the innings with two delicious fours off Suresh Raina (1-36) even as the tactically shrewd Dhoni delayed his left-arm spinners to keep Gayle waiting.

Eventually Gayle who was on 29 off 40 balls managed to hit two sixes off Raina before top-edging a pull off a wider seam-up delivery that Raina took well backpedalling to mid-on, to end a 44-run partnership.

RCB reached 90 for four in their first 15 overs. Sarfaraz Khan (31) started well with two fours off Ravindra Jadeja (0-13) in the 16th over which went for 13 runs.

Nehra came back to bowl his final over, getting hit for a four by Karthik before the latter scooped a low full toss straight to long on.

Sarfaraz’s 21 ball cameo took RCB to 139 for eight, as they accumulated 49 in their last five overs losing wickets quickly in the last two overs.

Mohit Sharma (1-22) was very economical for CSK while the left-arm spinners bowled just two overs between them.

RCB made a good fight of their low tally after falling about 10 runs short of the par score.

Dwayne Smith (17) started well cracking three fours in the first three overs, before Sreenath Aravind (1-25) got him to hole out at deep square leg.

It turned out to be an eventful over as Aravind could have had Faf du Plessis (21) the very next ball, only for Gayle to spill a regulation catch at first slip.

The very next ball, Hussey (56) pulled one straight to deep backward square leg but the ball just fell short of Harshal Patel who stayed back instead of attacking the ball.

CSK were slow in the power-play too reaching 34 for one after six overs.

David Wiese (1-30) got an edge from Hussey only for Karthik to drop it. That turned out to be an expensive miss for RCB who virtually dropped the game in catches.

Wiese was struck for two consecutive fours by du Plessis. However, Yuzvendra Chahal (2-28) front-runner for the Emerging Player got two wickets in three balls in his second over.

He knocked over du Plessis’ leg stump as the latter missed a paddle sweep. Raina (0) lofted a googly to long-off leaving CSK at 62 for three in 10 overs.

However, Kohli made a tactical mistake removing Chahal from the attack.

MS Dhoni (26) and Hussey played cautiously until the 15th over as CSK reached 91 for three, neck and neck with RCB, requiring 49 off 30 balls.

But, Hussey used all his experience and changed the match situation smacking two sixes off Chahal’s final over that went for 15 ruining his numbers.

The second six also brought up Hussey’s 50 in 43 balls.

Wiese brought back RCB into the game ending Hussey’s 46-ball knock as he lobbed a simple catch to square leg off a mistimed pull.

RCB were still in the game with CSK needing 27 off 18 balls. But Pawan Negi (12) played yet another cameo with CSK stealing 14 off Patel’s over in the 18th.

Mitchell Starc (1-27) bowled the 19th and went for 8 runs and even though Negi was run out and Dwayne Bravo (0) was knocked out first ball, there were only five runs to get from the last six balls.

Even though the match went down to the wire as Patel picked up Dhoni’s wicket off the fourth ball of the last over, CSK had enough batsmen in their lower order, Ashwin (1 not out) finishing the game with a flick to square leg.

Nehra picked the man-of-the-match becoming only the second bowler after Sohail Tanvir in the inaugural season, to pick five three wicket hauls in one season.

CSK will play their sixth IPL Final against arch-rivals Mumbai Indians who had defeated them in the First Qualifier.

© Cricket World 2015