Cape Town - The 39-year old Michael Hussey produced a composed half-century and MS
Dhoni demonstrated his superb finishing skills to power the two-time
Indian Premier League champions, the Chennai Super Kings, into the
They overcame a sluggish start to beat the Royal Challengers Bangalore
(RCB) by three wickets in qualifier two at the JSCA International
Stadium Complex in Ranchi on Friday.
The left-arm swing bowler Ashish Nehra nipped out 3-28 to limit Bangalore to 139/8.
Ravi Ashwin clipped Harshal Patel to square leg off the penultimate
delivery of the match to steer Chennai to 140/7 in reply.
Chennai will meet the Mumbai Indians in the IPL final in Kolkata on Sunday.
Hussey struck 56 off 46 balls with three fours and two sixes to take Chennai to within striking distance of the target.
Dhoni contributed a composed 26 off 29 balls before he was caught behind off Patel in the final over.
The left-hander Hussey kept his composure and led Chennai’s batting
assault after a double-strike by the legspinner Yusvendra Chahal had
left Chennai on 62 for three at the halfway-mark.
The Australian shared in a 47-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Dhoni.
The diminutive Pawan Negi’s hammered 14 in the 18th over off Patel to take Chennai to the brink.
There was some late drama in the penultimate over.
Negi was run out for 12 and Mitchell Starc bowled Dwayne Bravo for a
duck to leave Chennai with five runs for victory in the 20th over.
Chennai lost two high-profile batsmen, Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina, in the 10th over.
Du Plessis was bowled around his legs after attempting a fine sweep,
while Raina’s ambitious off-drive found David Wiese on the ropes off
Hussey and MS Dhoni were circumspect in steering Chennai to 91 for three
after 15 overs. Everything hinged on the final five overs.
Hussey launched into Chahal in the 16th over by muscling two sixes to power Chennai to 106 for three.
David Wiese struck in the 17th over by removing Hussey off a failed
pull-shot for 56 off 46 balls as Chennai was reduced to 108 for four.
Bangalore created early opportunities for run-outs in the field. Sloppy
throws as well as dropped chances by Chris Gayle and the wicketkeeper,
Dinesh Karthik, denied them wickets.
The dew-factor at the JSCA International Stadium Complex was a frustrating inconvenience for the RCB-fielders.
Chahal took 2-28, while Starc finished with 1-27. Wiese captured 1-30.
In hindsight, Bangalore would have regretted their poor start which left them on 51/3 after 11 overs.
Nehra produced a double-strike in the fifth over which removed the master batsmen Virat Kohli for 12 and AB de Villiers for 1.
Ashwin impressed with his 1-13 in four overs. The seam bowler Mohit Sharma finished with 1-22 and hardly strayed.
Hussey pulled off a blinder to catch Mandeep Singh at backward square off Ashwin for 4 to limit Bangalore to 36 for three.
Good contributions in trying dry conditions Gayle, Karthik and the
17-year old Sarfaraz Khan helped Bangalore to break the shackles.
Gayle managed 41 off 43 balls before he attempted a third six in a Suresh Raina-over and was caught by the bowler.
Karthik scored a measured 28 off 27 balls and Khan struck 31 off 21
balls with four boundaries as the final five overs yielded 49 runs.
The experienced Dhoni used four spinners to deny Bangalore pace on a slow pitch.