CSK crush RCB by 58 runs to retain IPL title
After putting up a formidable 205 for five riding on a smashing 95 from Murali Vijay, the champions restricted their opponents to a meagre 147 for eight thereby winning an incredible eighth match on trot at the Chepauk.
Although Saurabh Tiwary (42 not out) hit the last ball of the tournament for six, the celebrations in jam-packed stands had started much earlier as delirious fans wearing the canary yellow jersey were seen waving the CSK flags vociferously.
It was an icing on the cake for CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the historic World Cup triumph last month.
Chasing 206, RCB depended on Chris Gayle (0) but the big Jamaican fell prey to the law of averages as he was snapped up by Dhoni in the very first over bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.
The match was over as a contest after that moment only.
It was a faster one bowled after two classical off-breaks and Gayle went for the cut shot only managing faint edge. RCB never looked like making a match of it after that although Virat Kohli (35) tried a bit. But they lost wickets regularly as half the side was back in the dug-out after 10 overs making it the most lopsided of the four IPL finals so far.
Ashwin (3/16) was again the pick of the bowlers while Shadab Jakati (2/21) complemented him well.
Earlier, Vijay came good when it mattered most as his blistering innings helped Chennai Super Kings reach an imposing 205 for five after winning the toss.
Put into bat, Vijay (95, 52 balls, 4×4, 6×6)led the mayhem with some clean hitting and was ably supported by `Mr Cricket` Mike Hussey (63, 45 balls, 3×4, 3×6) as they put on record 159 runs for the opening wicket. As the CSK openers took the bowlers to the cleaners, there were also helped by some sloppy work by the RCB fielders.
Vijay missed out on a well-deserved century when he was caught in the covers by Daniel Vettori off Sreenath Aravind`s bowling.
RCB bowlers made some sort of a comeback towards the end of the innings as they snared four wickets in the final two overs bowled by Aravind and Gayle respectively. It was Dwayne Bravo who hit six off the final delivery to help CSK cross 205.
Vijay and Hussey started off in a whirlwind fashion which hasn`t been their style during the league phase. The idea was to dominate from the onset and the exactly did that. The first six overs produced as many as four sixes — couple each from both the openers as CSK scored 56 in that period.
Vijay played his signature lifted shot over mid-wicket off Sreenath Aravind and then lifted Gayle over mid-wicket for another six.
Hussey who has had a good IPL pulled Zaheer over backward square leg for a six. Left-arm spinner Syed Mohammed, who outsmarted Sachin Tendulkar yesterday was sent soaring into mid-wicket stands by the Australian as he danced down the track.
The Tamil Nadu opener who has failed to convert good starts in most of the matches hit some classy boundaries.
Vijay gave rival Vettori the charge as the ball sailed into stands. The only blemish was when Luke Pomersbach misjudged a catch at deep mid-wicket off Abhimanyu Mithun`s bowling when the batsman was on 40. He duly completed his 50 in 29 balls.
With Hussey playing the role of sheet anchor to perfection, the 100 came up in 63 balls. In the 12th over, Vijay suddenly launched into Sreenath Aravind hitting him for two sixes over mid-wicket region. The over yielded 18 runs.
Hussey completed his fourth IPL half century off 40 balls. The 150 came in the 15th over and Hussey was finally out when he tried a flat-batted shot off Syed and was caught at long-on. The duo added 159 runs which is highest partnership for any wicket recorded by Super Kings.
Vijay in the meantime battled cramps but continued the lusty hits in the arc between mid-wicket and long-on.