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After a disastrous start to the season, Royal Challengers Bangalore have reached the final on the back of a five-game winning streak, and captain Anil Kumble has asked for one more victory to cap their resurgence.
"One more win will be nice," he said after Bangalore outclassed Chennai Super Kings in the semi-final on Saturday. Kumble said the tight bowling at the death - only 42 runs were conceded in the final six overs - and the 72-run partnership Manish Pandey and Rahul Dravid for the third wicket were the keys to Bangalore's victory. "We really bowled well to restrict them to 146. Manish and Rahul batted brilliantly. Manish is a fantastic talent."
The 19-year-old Pandey's brisk 48, which helped Bangalore recover from the early loss of two wickets, earned him his second consecutive Man-of-the-Match award. "Last match was good and today I had the confidence," he said. "It was a good experience scoring against [Muttiah] Muralitharan. It was good to bat with Rahul bhai and we tried to rotate the strike as much as we could."
Murali was again economical, but the rest of the Chennai bowlers struggled to contain the scoring. "They bowled better than us," MS Dhoni, the Chennai captain, said. "We did not come up good in batting also. Surely we are disappointed. But they played better cricket and outplayed us."
Chennai's openers Parthiv Patel and Matthew Hayden had provided a cracking start, sprinting to 61 in seven overs, but the rest of the batsmen didn't capitalise on it and Bangalore were set a middling target of 147. "We thought 160 would be good but we could not get it. We lost wickets at wrong times," Dhoni said. "Raina and I got out at wrong time. We were short by 15 runs."