Royal Challengers Clinch Top Spot And CLT20 Berth

	Royal Challengers Clinch Top Spot And CLT20 Berth
Royal Challengers Clinch Top Spot And CLT20 Berth
©REUTERS / Action Images

Royal Challengers Bangalore 129-2 (Gayle 75no) beat
Chennai Super Kings 128-8 (Dhoni 70no) by 8 wickets
Indian Premier League 2011, Bangalore
| Report by Chetan Narula

The Royal Challengers Bangalore turned out victorious over defending champions Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets at Bangalore in their last league game of the Indian Premier League 2011.

The win meant that they will finish top of the table with 19 points and have automatically qualified for the Champions League T20. Chennai will remain on 18 points but their position in the table and which play-off they will contest was undecided.

The home team won the toss and elected to field first, putting the visitors in all kinds of trouble. They were reduced to 22 for four by the sixth over as the top order vanished without anyone reaching double digits. Michael Hussey (4), Murali Vijay (6), Suresh Raina (4) and S Badrinath (0) were the casualties as Bangalore got on top.

The early wickets allowed the next partnership some breathing space to grow and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni carved out a 42-run partnership with Wriddhiman Saha. The latter was out pulling Virat Kohli in the 14th over and it left much work to be done still but the batting was running out.

From there on, Dhoni put on a different display than earlier on in the innings, as with six sixes and three fours, he strode to 70 not out off only 40 balls. It eventually allowed Chennai to cross the 100-run mark in the 18th over, but there was another burst of wicket falling in the lower order that did not allow them to have a go at the end.

They ended their innings at 128 for 8 in twenty overs, a far too low score considering who they were up against. Zaheer Khan and Sreenath Aravind took two wickets each, as also did Daniel Vettori on his return from injury.

AB de Villiers opened the batting for Bangalore with Chris Gayle, perhaps to try and add solidity to the batting order in the wake of the West Indian’s explosive starts. But that ploy failed as he was out stumped for a duck on the third ball of the innings.

But Gayle was in fine fettle, again, marauding the Chennai bowling with some controlled aggression. He scored 75 not out off 50 balls, countering Dhoni’s efforts and the fact that there was no batting collapse played in their hands. Along with Virat Kohli, he added 80 runs for the second wicket and that took the game away from Chennai.

Kohli made 31 runs off 29 balls with five fours and he was finally snapped up by Ravichandran Ashwin in the tenth over, but there was no way Bangalore were going to lose from there. Gayle opened up towards the end, hitting four fours and six sixes in all, helping Bangalore cruise home by eight wickets in 18 overs.

© Cricket World 2011