Super Kings v Royal Challengers, Qualifier 2, IPL 2015, Ranchi May 22, 2015

Nehra, Hussey carry CSK to the final

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Chennai Super Kings 140 for 7 (Hussey 56, Chahal 2-28) beat Royal Challengers Bangalore 139 for 8 (Gayle 41, Nehra 3-28) by three wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

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'Starc's presence turning point for RCB'

Chennai Super Kings entered their sixth IPL final in eight attempts, withstanding and overcoming Royal Challengers' fightback on a slow pitch. Super Kings seemed to have the game in control from the moment Ashish Nehra took out Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers in the fifth over. But Royal Challengers scrapped their way through to set a fighting target of 140. Their bowlers kept the Super Kings top order quiet in the first half of the chase, and the wickets came in the second. MS Dhoni hung in but fell after levelling the scores. R Ashwin nudged a single off the penultimate ball to seal the win.

Both captains had their wish fulfilled at the toss. Dew in mind, Dhoni wanted to chase. Knockout pressure and a dry pitch in mind, Kohli wanted runs on the board.

With R Ashwin turning and bouncing the ball right away, the Royal Challengers openers targeted Nehra. Kohli pulled and lofted him for a four and a six after which Nehra asked Dhoni to stand up to the stumps. First ball of Nehra's next over, Kohli stayed on the crease and tucked one straight to backward square leg.

Two balls later, Chris Gayle survived a close leg-before shout. Three balls later, de Villiers was not so lucky, given leg-before with replays showing the ball to have pitched just outside leg stump.

Ashwin removed Mandeep Singh soon, and Royal Challengers were limping at 36 for 3 in the eighth over.

Gayle bided his time, waiting for Dhoni to bring on his two left-arm spinners so he could attack them. Dhoni brought them on only after Gayle fell in the 14th over for 41 off 43. He instead used the part-time offspin of Suresh Raina after Ashwin had bowled out.

Dinesh Karthik and Gayle took Raina for a few runs, Gayle swinging a couple of big sixes over long-on, before Dhoni had his bowler change his line to get the left-hander. Raina went over the stumps, Gayle attempted the third six of the over and the bowler settled under the top-edge.

Nehra made his third important intervention of the night when he had Karthik caught at long-on in the 17th over for 28. Sarfaraz Khan made an intelligent 31 off 21 to drag the total to 139 for 8, but as Kohli said later, Royal Challengers were 15-20 runs short.

Dwayne Smith holed out early in the chase but Michael Hussey and Faf du Plessis had pushed the score to 61 by the tenth over. They had several close calls while running, and were put down once each, Hussey by Karthik and du Plessis by Gayle.

Yuzvendra Chahal broke the stand in the tenth over, bowling du Plessis for 21. Raina's poorest IPL season with the bat became worse when he charged out second ball and mishit Chahal to long-off.

Playing only his third match of the season, Hussey steered the score past 100, relying on the pull and the drive. Two sixes off Chahal in the 16th over reined in the asking-rate, which had almost touched ten.

Even after Hussey fell mishitting a pull off David Wiese in the 17th over, Super Kings found the big shot just when they needed it. Pawan Negi swung Harshal Patel over deep midwicket for six in the 18th, Dhoni stepped out to lift Mitchell Starc over mid-off for four in the 19th.

Negi was run out in the same over, and Starc broke Dwayne Bravo's off stump with his last ball, but only five were needed by then, and Royal Challengers were left to rue the rare collective failure of their big three batsmen.

Abhishek Purohit is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Debargho on May 25, 2015, 1:59 GMT

    Yesterday's match puts an end to all who were hoping chennai was winning :)

  • Debargho on May 24, 2015, 8:45 GMT

    Buddy .. whosoever pointed David Warner's run .... Please point out the full stats CSK got hit for 2073 runs in 274 overs odd whereas SRH got hit for 2126 in 251 overs .. Now you know why SRH is not in the playoffs

  • Satish on May 23, 2015, 20:47 GMT

    CSK is the real kings of IPL. 6 Finals out of 8 with Same captain..

    The real cricket players, not the arm-chair commentators knew how hard EVEN for a very good team to do that successfully through these 8 years. Those who say "Luck", pity on them. PERIOD.

    C'mon Spartans.. Hit them hard. Die-Hard-CSKian.

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2015, 19:21 GMT

    Pls stop calling ABD the best, I fail to understand what has he reserved his 'best' for.

  • sathya on May 23, 2015, 16:31 GMT

    CSK was the better team on the day and they won. But their performance wasn't very convincing. One would have expected them to finish it off with two overs to spare rather than one ball. I think they have more talent than Mumbai Indians, but they'll have to raise their game several notches on Sunday.

    Lack of DRS continues to be the bane of Cricket in India. That LBW decision against ABD was really awful. Who knows what might have happened if he had batted for even as little as 6 overs ? Assuming he got the strike half the time, at his average strike rate of 150, it'd easily add 25 runs more which could have been significant on that sluggish pitch.

    Lucky for CSK to get that favorable decision, but India won't be as lucky next year as ABD playing for South Africa will have the benefit of DRS.

  • J on May 23, 2015, 16:23 GMT

    For AB , the half the ball fell in line...otherwise also, it was coming in....so he was clearly out....(unlike Smith who really got a 'horrible' decision)

  • Naz on May 23, 2015, 15:18 GMT

    Sarfaraz Khan played wonderful for RCB. I hope him the best in his bright future. Keep up the great work! Your last match of this season was wonderfully played! Do start exercising a bit more though. : )

  • Dummy on May 23, 2015, 13:47 GMT

    David warner scored more than 550 runs in the leagues, clearly won many matches single handedly, also had the support of moses hendricks and even then the team failed to qualify for the playoffs... And still u believe that mucullum scoring 400 runs was the obly reason csk qualified... Seriously!!!!

  • Dummy4 on May 23, 2015, 12:58 GMT

    DEV20123 : A team can not win consistently and top the points table this year just because of 1 player, who scored 400+ runs in the league phase. Cricket is a team sport. To win games, you need all round performance viz. batting, bowling, fielding, captaincy and even support staff & mgmt.

  • JAYARAMAN on May 23, 2015, 12:50 GMT

    IF CSK has to succeed well from next season onwards they must have wicket taking bowlers. RCB's fortunes turned for the better with the arrival of wicket taking bowler Starc.

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