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October 13, 2012
Since lifting their first IPL trophy in 2010, Chennai Super Kings have proven time and again why they are among the most successful Twenty20 franchises, with two IPL titles and a Champions League (2010) title to boot. They nearly made it a hat-trick of IPL titles this year; they were upstaged in front of delirious home fans by Kolkata Knight Riders in a tense, high-scoring final. Their path to the final was a story in itself. A patchy league stage raised doubts of them making the playoffs, but with a mixture of incredible luck and self belief, they made it one step further.
Their batting in the league stages was inconsistent, despite possessing many hitters. It came down to a stage where they needed to win four out of four to make the playoffs. They won the first three - including crushing wins against Rajasthan Royals and Delhi Daredevils - but lost the fourth, against Kings XI Punjab. Their only hope was if the other results went their way and incredibly, they did. Super Kings sneaked into the playoffs as the fourth team, before overpowering Mumbai Indians and Daredevils to make it to the finals. For the second season in a row, adversity brought out the best in them.
Super Kings mastered South African conditions in their last visit in 2010, lifting the Champions League after upsetting the home side Warriors in a one-sided final. This time they will be without Dwayne Bravo - who pulled out due to a thigh strain - and the batsman S Anirudha. They are clubbed with Sydney Sixers, Lions, Yorkshire and Mumbai Indians.
How they qualified
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Kanishkaa Balachandran
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