Chennai claim title in lopsided final
Chennai Super Kings retained the Indian Premier League title after crushing Royal Challengers Bangalore by 58 runs in a thoroughly one-sided final in Chennai on Saturday.
Openers Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey smashed half centuries (Vijay 52-ball 95 and Hussey 45-ball 63) and vindicated captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's decision to bat first. They stitched up an opening stand of 159 runs in just 14.5 overs in hot and humid conditions at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Image: The jubilant Chennai Super Kings team after winning IPL-4 final
Chennai unbeaten in IPL-4
Egged on by a capacity crowd at home, where the Chennai outfit have remained unbeaten in the fourth edition of the IPL, the openers hit nine sixes and seven boundaries between them as Bangalore's bowling completely fell apart.
Chennai lost quick wickets towards the end as they went for more runs but still managed to reach a mammoth total of 205 for the loss of five wickets.
After putting up the formidable total, the champions restricted their opponents to a meagre 147 for eight thereby winning an incredible eighth match on trot at the Chepauk.
Image: Players from Chennai Super Kings celebrate after winning the IPL-4 final
Double delight for Dhoni
Although Saurabh Tiwary (42 not out) hit the last ball of the tournament for six, the celebrations in jam-packed stands had started much earlier as delirious fans wearing the canary yellow jersey were seen waving the CSK flags vociferously.
It was an icing on the cake for CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the historic World Cup triumph last month.
Image: MS Dhoni (left) congratulates teammate Doug Bollinger after the win
Gayle goes for a duck
Chasing 206, RCB depended on Chris Gayle (0) but the big Jamaican fell prey to the law of averages as he was snapped up by Dhoni in the very first over bowled by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Bangalore's only hope of pulling off an unlikely victory rested on big-hitting West Indian Chris Gayle but the tournament's top scorer fell in the first over for a duck to off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Ashwin picked up three wickets for just 16 runs off his four overs while Shadab Jakati (2/21) complemented him well as the Chennai spinners picked up six out of the eight wickets that fell for the side led by Daniel Vettori.
Image: Chris Gayle
Ashwin picks Gayle
The match was over as a contest after that moment only.
It was a faster one bowled after two classical off-breaks and Gayle went for the cut shot only managing faint edge. RCB never looked like making a match of it after that although Virat Kohli (35) tried a bit. But they lost wickets regularly as half the side was back in the dug-out after 10 overs making it the most lopsided of the four IPL finals so far.
Earlier, Vijay came good when it mattered most as his blistering innings helped Chennai Super Kings reach an imposing 205 for five after winning the toss.
Image: Chennai Super Kings captain MS Dhoni celebrates after the dismissal of Chris Gayle
Vijay puts Chennai in top gear
Put into bat, Vijay (95, 52 balls, 4x4, 6x6) led the mayhem with some clean hitting and was ably supported by 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey (63, 45 balls, 3x4, 3x6) as they put on record 159 runs for the opening wicket. As the CSK openers took the bowlers to the cleaners, there were also helped by some sloppy work by the RCB fielders.
Vijay missed out on a well-deserved century when he was caught in the covers by Daniel Vettori off Sreenath Aravind's bowling.
Image: Murali Vijay with his man of the match award
Vijay records 29-ball 50
RCB bowlers made a comeback of sorts towards the end of the innings as they snared four wickets in the final two overs bowled by Aravind and Gayle respectively. It was Dwayne Bravo who hit six off the final delivery to help CSK cross 205.
Vijay, who has failed to convert good starts in most of the matches, hit some classy boundaries.
Vijay gave rival Vettori the charge as the ball sailed into stands. The only blemish was when Luke Pomersbach misjudged a catch at deep mid-wicket off Abhimanyu Mithun's bowling when the batsman was on 40. He duly completed his 50 in 29 balls.
Image: MS Dhoni chats with Dwayne Bravo
Hussey played sheet anchor role to perfection
With Hussey playing the role of sheet anchor to perfection, the 100 came up in 63 balls. In the 12th over, Vijay suddenly launched into Sreenath Aravind, hitting him for two sixes over mid-wicket region. The over yielded 18 runs.
Hussey completed his fourth IPL half century off 40 balls. The 150 came in the 15th over and Hussey was finally out when he tried a flat-batted shot off Syed and was caught at long-on. The duo added 159 runs which is highest partnership for any wicket recorded by Super Kings.
Vijay in the meantime battled cramps but continued the lusty hits in the arc between mid-wicket and long-on.
On the chase, Bangalore limped to 147 for eight wickets at the end of their 20 overs after being reduced to 70 for six at one stage.
Image: MS Dhoni with the fair-play trophy