Captain Cool wins battle of skippers in Ranchi thriller
MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings proved to be the hard nuts to be cracked when it came to securing their final berth in the IPL-8 by beating Royal Challengers Bangalore by 3 wickets at Ranchi on Friday. Chasing a small total of 140 runs, the run-chase was led by opener Mike Hussey (56 off 46) who took the team close to the target and it was successfully accomplished by skipper Dhoni (26) with the team reached 140/7 in 19.5 overs.
Already in the finals Mumbai Indians will now lock horns with Chennai Super Kings in the final match of the IPL on Sunday at Eden Gardens.
Earlier, left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra shone with the ball as Chennai Super Kings produced a fine bowling display to restrict Royal Challengers Bangalore to a modest 139 for eight.
Nehra (3/28) picked up three crucial wickets to dismantle RCB’s innings. He was ably supported by Ravichandran Ashwin (1/13), Mohit Sharma (1/22), Dwayne Bravo (1/21) and Suresh Raina (1/36).
Chris Gayle top-scored for RCB with <g data-gr-id="58">a unfamiliar</g> 41 off 43 balls which <g data-gr-id="56">was</g> studded with two fours and three sixes.
Young Sarfaraz Khan (31 off 21 balls) played short little cameo towards the end to give RCB bowlers something to defend.
Dinesh Karthik (28 off 26) also played a good hand but just when his team need him, the wicket-keeper batsman perished in search of quick runs.
Sent into bat, Gayle and skipper Virat Kohli made a steady start to RCB’s innings on a slow and difficult pitch.
Gayle smashed Nehra for a six in the second ball off the innings to make his intentions clear.
In his next over, Nehra once again was at the receiving end, this time Kohli smacked the left-arm pacer for a four and six in consecutive balls.
But Nehra had the last laugh as he struck twice in his next over to rattle RCB’s innings.
First Nehra removed Kohli, who flicked the first delivery off the fifth over straight to Mohit at short fine leg and then four balls later he dismissed in-form AB de Villiers.
De Villers was adjudged LBW after he missed an <g data-gr-id="53">inswinger</g> that struck his back <g data-gr-id="54">pad</g> but TV replays showed the ball pitched just outside the leg stump.
The twin blow dealt a severe blow to RCB’s innings as even big-hitting Gayle found it difficult to rotate the scoreboard, leave aside hitting big shots.
Last match’s half-centurion Mandeep Singh failed to rescue his side on Friday and was the next to depart, caught by Mike Hussey off Ashwin as RCB slumped to 36 for three.
In a real spot of bother, Gayle and <g data-gr-id="60">new</g> man in Karthik joined hands and tried to <g data-gr-id="59">ressurect</g> RCB’s innings with a 46-run fourth wicket stand. The duo found runs hard to come by but stuck in there and waited for their opportunity.
After a lull of few overs, Karthik finally opened up, hitting Raina for back-to-back fours in the 12th over.
Gayle was not to be left behind as he struck Raina for consecutive sixes in his next over. But Raina took his revenge a ball later when the West Indian top-edged a pull shot straight to the bowler while going for too many big shots.
But Sarfaraz was not to be bogged down as he welcomed Ravindra Jadeja with <g data-gr-id="50">conesecutive</g> fours in the 16th over.
In the next over Karthik was holed out at the deep by Mohit as Nehra picked up his third scalp of the day.
Sarfaraz then used his long handle to pick up a few boundaries while David Wiese (12) failed to capitalise on a life as RCB finished on 139.
Royal Challengers Bangalore: Chris Gayle c & b Raina 41 Virat Kohli c Mohit Sharma b Nehra 12 AB de Villiers lbw b Nehra 1 Mandeep Singh c Hussey b Ashwin 4 Dinesh Karthik c Mohit Sharma b Nehra 28 Sarfaraz Khan c Negi b Bravo 31 David Wiese c Bravo b Mohit Sharma 12 Harshal Patel run out (Dhoni) 2 Mitchell Starc not out 1Sreenath Aravind not out 0 Extras: (LB-2, W-5) 7 Total: (for 8 wickets in 20 overs) 139 Fall of wickets: 1-23, 2-25, 3-36, 4-80, 5-107, 6-125, 7-138, 8-139 Bowling: Nehra 4-0-28-3, Ashwin 4-0-13-1, Mohit Sharma 4-0-22-1, Raina 3-0-36-1, Bravo 3-0-21-1, Negi 1-0-4-0, Jadeja 1-0-13-0.
Chennai Super Kings: (target: 140 runs from 20 overs) Smith c <g data-gr-id="83">Starc</g> b Aravind 17 Hussey c Patel b Wiese 56 Plessis b Chahal 21 Raina c Wiese b Chahal 0 Dhoni*† c †Karthik b Patel 26 Negi run out (Khan) 12 Bravo b <g data-gr-id="84">Starc</g> 0 Jadeja not out 0 Ashwin not out 1 Extras (b 3, lb 1, w 3) 7 Total (7 wickets; 19.5 overs) 140 (7.05 runs per over)Did not batMM Sharma, A Nehra Fall of wickets 1-21 (Smith, 3.1 <g data-gr-id="85">ov</g>), 2-61 (du Plessis, 9.2 <g data-gr-id="86">ov</g>), 3-61 (Raina, 9.4 <g data-gr-id="87">ov</g>), 4-108 (Hussey, 16.3 <g data-gr-id="88">ov</g>), 5-135 (Negi, 18.5 <g data-gr-id="89">ov</g>), 6-135 (Bravo, 18.6 <g data-gr-id="90">ov</g>), 7-139 (Dhoni, 19.4 <g data-gr-id="91">ov</g>) Bowling MA <g data-gr-id="92">Starc</g> 4-0-27-1 S Aravind 4-0-25-1 Patel 3.5-0-26-1D Wiese 4-0-30-1 YS Chahal 4-0-28-2