Rajasthan beat Chennai by 14 runs to enter final
Rajasthan Royals beat Chennai Super Kings by 14 runs in the first semi-final, in Jaipur, to enter the final of the Champions League Twenty20 on Friday.
The hosts posted a competitive 159 for eight before restricting the former champions to 145 for eight. The victory extended their unbeaten run at the Sawai Mansingh stadium to 13 matches.
Rajasthan will face the winners of the match between Mumbai Indians and Trinidad and Tobago at the Ferozshah Kotla on Sunday.
Earlier, Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to field.
Both teams made one change each. While Chennai replaced Albie Morkel with Chris Morris, Rajasthan brought in Dishant Yagnik for Ashok Menaria.
Rajasthan Royals: Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson, Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain), Mike Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Jason Holder, R Ashwin, Chris Morris, Mohit Sharma.
Image: Pravin Tambe of Rajasthan Royals celebrates as teammates Dishant Yagnik and Rahul Dravid congratulate him
Morris picked two wickets
Put in to bat, Rajasthan lost captain Rahul Dravid (5) early once again; he was dismissed by Chris Morris in the third over.
In the next over, Kevon Cooper too was sent back to the hut when Mohit Sharma had the batsman caught by S Badrinath at extra cover to reduce the Royals to 29 for 2.
Morris went on to finish with figures of two for 25.
Image: Chris Morris of Chennai Super Kings celebrates the wicket of Rajasthan Royals captain Rahul Dravid
Watson scored a 23-ball 32
Opener Ajinkya Rahane took the onus on himself, and along with Sanju Samson (11), kept the scoreboard ticking. The duo took the hosts past the 50-run mark.
However, Rahane lost this third partner in the ninth over when Jason Holder induced a top edge from Samson, which went high into the air before landing safely in the hands of R Ashwin at mid-wicket.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson (32) then joined Rahane and the duo rallied the Rajasthan innings, the former taking the hosts across the 100-run mark with a four across the mid-wicket fence off Bravo.
After two boundaries in the 15th over, Watson was back in the pavilion when Holder held on to a high catch which flew off a thick edge from the Australian.
Image: Shane Watson and Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan Royals celebrate a boundary
Rahane hit a resolute half-century
Rahane hit a resolute half-century; he brought up his third fifty in the tournament with a boundary across the short-fine leg area.
He blasted six fours and two sixes in his 56-ball 70-run innings.
The Mumbaikar anchored the Royals innings but the hosts could not get their partnerships going; they lost three wickets in the last over and settled within the 160-mark.
Rahane too was dismissed in the next over when he tried to a play a Bravo delivery across the leg side. Dishant Yagnik (0) and Stuart Binny (5) too were dismissed in the same over.
Image: Ajinkya Rahane of Rajasthan Royals
Bravo picked three wickets in his final over
Dwayne Bravo picked three wickets in his final over to finish with figures of three for 26.
Rahane was dismissed when he tried to a play a Bravo delivery across the leg side in the final over of the Rajasthan innings.
Dishant Yagnik (0) and Stuart Binny (5) too were dismissed in the same over.
Image: Chris Morris of Chennai Super Kings congratulates teammate Dwayne Bravo on the wicket of Stuart Binny
Hussey was run out following a terrible mix-up
Defending 159, Rajasthan were athletic on the field while Chennai looked sloppy in their running between the wickets and it cost them their first two wickets.
A terrible mix-up between Michael Hussey (9) and Murali Vijay (14) ended with the opener losing his wicket in the third over, while two overs later Vijay too ran himself out, with Kevon Cooper hitting the stumps directly.
Image: Shane Watson of Rajasthan Royals celebrates the wicket of Michael Hussey of Chennai Super Kings
Tambe's three wickets took his tally to 10
Spinner Pravin Tambe and pacer Rahul Shukla then wrecked havoc on the Chennai batsmen, the former scalping the wickets of S Badrinath (8) and Dwayne Bravo (3), and the latter removing the dangerous Mahendra Singh Dhoni (3) cheaply.
Wickets kept falling like nine pins as Watson then induced an edged off Ravindra Jadeja which landed in the safe hands of wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik.
Tambe then got rid off Raina, who was caught by substitute Ashok Menaria at mid-off and Chennai were looking down the barrel at 72 for seven in 12.3 overs.
Tambe was named man-of-the-match for his effort.
The 41-year-old now has 10 wickets in the tournament, at just over three runs per over.
Image: Pravin Tambe of Rajasthan Royals celebrates trapping Dwayne Bravo of Chennai Super Kings out leg before
Ashwin's quickfire 46 wasn't enough
Lower-order batsman Ravichandran Ashwin blasted a quickfire 28-ball 46, studded with three fours and as many sixes, to give some hope to the Chennai side in the last stages of the match but it was not enough in the end.
A 43-ball 73-run partnership between Ashwin and Chris Morris (26) for the eighth wicket kept Chennai in the hunt till the last over.
Needing 23 runs in the last over, Ashwin blasted the first ball for a six but bowler James Faulkner made a quick recovery to restrict them comfortably in the end.
Image: R Ashwin and Chris Morris of Chennai Super Kings