Bangalore v Chennai, 1st qualifier, IPL 2011, Mumbai May 24, 2011

Raina stuns Bangalore to power Chennai into final


Chennai Super Kings 177 for 4 (Raina 73*) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 175 (Kohli 70*, Bollinger 1-20) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

How did Chennai win this? How did Bangalore lose this? Chennai always seemed to be lagging behind but surged like a tidal wave towards the end, with the odd run-filled over now and then, to storm into their third IPL final in four seasons. At the forefront was the feisty Suresh Raina, who pulled out the big shots through the latter half of the chase to set up an improbable win. The defeat makes Bangalore's path to the final - and beyond - tougher. They will have to win the second Qualifier on Saturday, if they are to meet Chennai in the final at the MA Chidambaram stadium, where the hosts have been unbeaten all season.

Bangalore will look back and rue at a few poor overs. There were full tosses and length deliveries galore and Chennai capitalised in some style. Virat Kohli bowled a slew of full tosses in the ninth over to leak 16 runs, and Abhimanyu Mithun kept bowling length deliveries in the 13th over, bleeding 23 runs. It included a fabulously carved six over the covers as Raina went down on a bent knee, to follow his muscled heave over long-off. Even then, the equation - 82 from 42 balls - seemed a tough proposition and it got tighter when it came down to 58 from 24. Chris Gayle had led from front with a parsimonious spell that read 4-0-19-0 as he fired in the skidders and the occasional yorker to pin down Chennai.

But Raina wasn't done yet, and he ramped it up style in the 17th over, from Zaheer Khan, who had been exemplary in his opening three-over spell. Raina's two sixes over midwicket, a thumping pull and a clubbed swing, were sandwiched by a bottom-hand powered six over wide long-on by MS Dhoni, who however fell in the same over. Zaheer went for 20 runs in that over and Chennai had well and truly seized the momentum.

More agony awaited Bangalore in the 19th over, bowled by S Aravind. Albie Morkel crashed a slower ball over long-on and clubbed a full toss over long-off before Raina killed another full toss over the midwicket boundary. That 21-run over left Chennai needing 12 off the final over by Daniel Vettori and Morkel dragged a four to wide long-on, before walloping the fourth ball over midwicket to win the contest.

Until those frenetic end overs, Bangalore were well on their way to becoming the first team to enter the final. The big question before the game was whether Bangalore would deflate like cheap party balloons if Gayle went out early. They answered that in an emphatic manner, as Kohli powered them to a competitive total.

Bangalore were in danger of slipping into free-fall after Gayle fell cheaply, trapped by R Aswhin, but Kohli and Luke Pomersbach ensured they stayed afloat. While Kohli batted with calculated aggression, Pomersbach counterattacked, taking 17 runs in the 15th over, off Dwayne Bravo. A murderous heave to wide long-on, a slash to third man and a flat six over midwicket were the highlights. Kohli, though, was the person who sculpted and shaped Bangalore's innings. Two shots in particular reflected the assurance in his knock. In the 13th over, he sashayed back to a back-of-length delivery from Raina to unfurl a peachy punch to the cover-point boundary. Then, off the final ball of the 16th over, he leaned forward to play a classy lofted whip over wide long-on Ashwin. He went on to produce two more screaming sixes - over long-on and covers - off Morkel in the 19th over, to push Bangalore to a good total but Raina decided to gatecrash the party.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

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  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2011, 10:51 GMT

    I personally vl be a mumbai vs dhoni final... Dhoni always rises on big occassions... Dhoni, raina, hussey holds d key for ipl 4 win for CSK...

  • Dummy4 on May 27, 2011, 0:53 GMT

    csk rockd man!!!! RCB shud be cryin that nannes got injured . wud have made a huge impact. gayle needs to understand that indian spinners (both bhajji n ashwin ) for his case r difficult to handle for him .SOME SAY HE IS "THE" T20 PLAYER BUT I THINK OTHERWISE CUZ EVEN IN T20 SOME GUD SHOTS R NEEDED NOT ALL SLOGGING. CSK R A MELLOW TEAM WID A VERY MELLOW N COOL CAPTAIN. HAVE U SEEN THE ADS FOR AFTER MATCH PARTIES BY SIGNATURE CSK NOT IN IT. N I HAVENT SEEN CSK PLAYERS IN ANY MUDDLE ON TV.THE SECRET TO SUCESS IS TRY HARD BUT DONT START PARTYIN FOR EVERY SINGLE THING. kudos to csk.

  • Arvindh on May 26, 2011, 10:42 GMT

    @saccs76....u said kkr gonna stamp csk in final and also u told csk can just dream of winning title....ha ha ha...csk not only dreams but achieves too...we r the ipl champions and world champions too....kkr dreams always and only wins title in the dream...saw how mumbai crushed kkr and knocked it out of the tournament....hahaha

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2011, 6:33 GMT

    morkel is the unsung hero... i can hardly see 1-2 praising him... if it hadnt been for his 28(10)... csk wudnt hav cum this far..

  • harsha on May 26, 2011, 5:19 GMT

    "How did Chennai win this? How did Bangalore lose this?".I do not agree with the fact that RCB lost from a winning position.RCB had two big overs off Bravo and Albie.CSK had two big overs off Mithun and Zaheer.At the end of 10 overs RCB had scored 10 runs more than CSK.It was neck and neck and Please do not ignore the fact that CSK had Bravo and Saha yet to bat.Overs 17-20 are when CSK turn it on.They play T20 like ODI.Preserve,Consolidate,Flourish.The fact that they had lost two wickets by the end of two overs seemed to make their job harder but that had fought back well enough by over 10

  • Dummy4 on May 26, 2011, 4:13 GMT

    geat csk performance . I expect Gayle to knock out Mumbai Indians although Malinga might have other plans.

  • Arun on May 26, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Csk has luck always ......virat kohli is a wonderful player than raina..murali vijay is waste of all the time..he waste the chances...

  • PRABAKAR on May 26, 2011, 2:56 GMT

    @Valavan - I do agree about the spearhead part....Without McGrath, Aussies were just not too strong on the pace department as the 2003/04 series against India showed....And if Bollinger is taken to the cleaners in the final , it will be tough for CSK to regain composure....But about middling the ball - well, that's just plain good cricket....You play good cricket, middle the ball, score runs and win :) Of course, I too can go on and claim RCB's victory over CSK in the league match was because Gayle middled the ball well, and if he had got out for a 0, RCB would have lost....So would have India too, if only Sachin had not middled the ball well all these years....Regarding Captaincy - Daniel is an excellent captain, but the difference lies in the all-powerful team he controls...possibility of multiple power centers in Gayle, Kohli, AB De, Khan - decision making mite be tough in such cases...Hopefully Dan is through all that though...

  • J Ranjith on May 26, 2011, 1:26 GMT

    @Valavan: We cannot say that CSK has a single spearhead. Ashwin, Bollinger and Morkel all are in top 10 of bowlers' list. If you want to a spearhead, Ashwin would be the one consistently. But in the case of CSK, they always play and win or lose as a team.

  • Valavan on May 25, 2011, 20:45 GMT

    @vivek dhayalan, there is always a spearhead in bowling attack. its not about reliant on 1 player. McGrath was premier bowler in Aussie squad and other bowlers rallied around him well. There is always an anchor role, it was zaheer khan who anchored India in wc2011, rest of bowlers responded well around him. its all about middling the bat, morkel meddled it well and raina too, that won it. if Morkel could have been cleaned up in 0, there would be serious issue if raina could get it single handed. it happens in T20 cricket and gayle is the best T20 player, with no second thought. even after having him cheaply RCB made decent total, just bowlers let them down, it doesnt mean CSK wont be let down, as CSK was shut by RCB for 128. so it happens. Dan is equally good captain like dhoni

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