Millennium Post

Super Kings set Knight Riders 191-run target in IPL final

Suresh Raina's blitzkrieg and Mike Hussey's priceless knock helped defending champions Chennai Super Kings post a commendable 190 for three against Kolkata Knight Riders, in the final of the fifth edition of Indian Premier League, here on Sunday.

Opting to bat, Hussey (54, 43 balls, 4x4, 2x6) along with Murali Vijay (42, 32 balls, 4x4, 1x6) set the platform with blistering opening partnership of 87 runs. Raina (73, 38 balls, 3x4, 5x6) then complemented the opening duo's effort as he hit some of the biggest sixes in the tournament with a few of them flying out of the stadium. Along with Hussey, he added 73 in less than 7 overs.

Another highlight of the CSK innings was brilliant running between the wickets by trio of Hussey, Raina and Vijay on a humid Chennai evening.

When it mattered most, the KKR attack flopped badly.

A desperate KKR skipper Gambhir had to bring in his trump card Sunil Narine early for an over but it was the sixth over bowled by Lee that shifted momentum in favour of 'Men in Yellow'. Both Vijay and Hussey hit Lee for a six each as CSK reached 50. The over from Lee cost KKR 19 runs.

Even more impressive was their running between the wickets as senior pro Hussey pushed Vijay for converting ones into twos.

It needed an inspirational catch from Shakib Al Hasan in the deep to break the partnership as Vijay didn't get the required elevation off Rajat Bhatia's slower delivery.

The tempo however didn't drop as Raina brought up team's 100 with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Kallis's bowling after Hussey had played a nice square-cut. Hussey reached his 50 off 38 balls.

As Raina went on a hitting spree, Hussey started playing the second fiddle until he played a cross-batted shot off Jacques Kallis' bowling.

Laxmipathy Balaji's absence was felt as Brett Lee (0/42 in 4 overs) turned out to be very expensive as the trio of Hussey, Vijay and Raina took him to cleaners. Such was the pressure on Sunl Narine (0/37 in 4 overs) that he ended up with his worst figures in the tournament.

After quiet first two overs, the mayhem started in the third over bowled by Lee. Hussey first played a lofted shot over bowler's head for a boundary and then Vijay played his trademark shot over mid-wicket for another boundary.

In the very next over from Shakib Al Hasan, the seasoned Aussie first swept over fine leg and then played a reverse sweep as floodgates opened.

Brief Scores:
CSK 190/3 in 20 overs (S Raina 73, M Hussey 54, M Vijay 42; S Al Hasan 1/25, R Bhatia 1/23, J Kallis 1/34)
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