<
>

Bollinger seals final berth for Chennai

Doug Bollinger got the crucial wicket of a set Salman Butt Getty Images

Chennai Super Kings, boosted by a determined display from their bowlers led by Doug Bollinger, put an end to Deccan Chargers' run of five consecutive wins to qualify for the IPL final for the second time. They overcame a poor start, aided by a measured partnership from MS Dhoni and S Badrinath, and a late surge from S Anirudha, to post a competitive 142 in tricky conditions. Bollinger and R Ashwin then crippled Deccan in their chase, and the rest contributed to chip away at the middle order, to seal a hard-fought win.

Deccan, given their successful run, would have backed themselves to overhaul Chennai's score fairly comfortably. The conditions were aiding swing and movement, and the track was taking turn, but that had little to do with their slow start to the chase. Bollinger varied his lengths well, and Ashwin, like he has for much of the tournament, altered his pace and flight to again prove economical. While Deccan's approach, for the most part, remained restrained, a significant number of dot balls in the first six overs were failed attempts at the big shots.

The only convincing shot to the boundary was a straight six from Gilchrist off Ashwin, but Bollinger ended the misery with a double-strike in the sixth over. Gilchrist flicked him straight to midwicket and T Suman, whose promotion to No.3 had triggered a turnaround in Deccan's fortunes this IPL, cut him straight to point. The Powerplay yielded just 23, the second-lowest in the tournament, and it was only a matter of time before the frustration set in. Bollinger returned to nip out two more in his next spell to finish with 4 for 13, and seal Deccan's fate.