A brilliant display of composed aggression from Suresh Raina ensured that the Chennai Super Kings reached their second IPL final in a row. The left-hander smacked 73 off 50 balls to complete a deserving six-wicket win over the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The Royal Challengers must have been confident at the break after putting 175 on the board. But consistent hitting at the end from the likes of Raina and Albie Morkel was too much for RCB to handle.
Chennai began their chase in disastrous fashion with both openers Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay back in the pavilion within nine balls. But Subramaniam Badrinath’s calming presence brought things back in order for the defending champions.
MS Dhoni brought some intent with him after Badrinath’s dismissal and his 29 off 19 balls came just at the right pace. Albie Morkel and Raina got the required rate to within reach and eventually their power-hitting saw the Super Kings home with 2 balls to spare.
Earlier, the Royal Challengers Bangalore began well with Mayank Agarwal scoring 34 at a tame but consistent pace. Chris Gayle however didn’t quite make the impact expected of him, as Ravichandran Ashiwn dismissed the big Jamaican before he could really get going. But Virat Kohli stepped up to the plate and delivered in the crunch match, his 70 off 44 balls was just what the Royal Challengers required. Luke Pomersbach too chipped in with a well-made 29 to propel the total to a very competitive 175/4.
But Raina’s fireworks spoiled RCB’s party as the Super Kings powered their way to yet another final. RCB still have another shot at reaching the final, as they wait to play the winner of the Eliminator match between Mumbai Indians and the Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday.