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June 1, 2008
Suresh Raina was Chennai's in-form batsman and was striking the ball with a fluency that even Shane Warne couldn't contain him. He had scored 43 off 29 balls and with Mahendra Singh Dhoni striking the ball well, Chennai were preparing to launch an assault. However Raina holed out to long-off in the 17th over with the score on 128. Chennai managed to score only three off that over and their decision to promote Chamara Kapugedera ahead of S Badrinath punctured the momentum at the end of the innings.
Raina drops Yusuf Pathan
Yusuf Pathan's nerves were evident at the start of his innings with Rajasthan precariously placed at 42 for 3. He tried to break free but several of his early attempts where mis-hits. When he was on 13, Yusuf skied Muttiah Muralitharan towards midwicket where Raina failed to catch a difficult catch on the second attempt after fumbling the first. Yusuf capitalised on the break, smashing Murali for consecutive sixes in his next over on his way to 56 off 39 balls.
Yusuf gets run out
The final was boiling down to a tense finish. Rajasthan had lost two wickets in three balls and needed 23 runs off 16 with four wickets in hand when Chennai missed an easy opportunity to run out Yusuf. However, Shane Warne hit the very next ball to point and called for a risky single. Raina had one stump to aim at and threw it down to run out Yusuf and bring Chennai once again into the contest.
Warne's timely four
Makhaya Ntini had conceded only six runs off the first five balls off the penultimate over and the equation read 12 off seven balls. Warne was on strike with Sohail Tanvir at the non-striker's end. Ntini delivered a length ball around off stump, Warne's strongest when hitting through the cover region and he backed away to swat the ball through the gap for an invaluable boundary.
Balaji strays off line in the final over
Having exhausted his main bowler's quotas, Dhoni had to give the final over to the weakest link in Chennai's bowling attack - L Balaji. He had eight runs to defend and began strongly, conceding only two off the first three balls. However, he went round the wicket to Tanvir for the fourth ball and bowled a wide outside off stump. To make matters worse for Chennai, Parthiv Patel fumbled the take and allowed another run. The equation had been hacked from six off three to four off three.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Shorter tours don't allow you time to get into form, and domestic cricket isn't demanding enough