Chennai: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) retained the Indian Premier League (IPL) title after crushing Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 58 runs in a thoroughly one-sided final here on Saturday.
After putting up a formidable 205 for five riding on a smashing 95 from Murali Vijay, the champions restricted their opponents to a meagre 147 for eight thereby winning an incredible eighth match on trot at the Chepauk.
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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.
Chennai Super Kings captain M. S. Dhoni along with the team players celebrates with the IPL 4 trophy in Chennai on Saturday. PTI Photo
It was an icing on the cake for CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the historic World Cup triumph last month.
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. 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.
Ashwin (3/16) was again the pick of the bowlers while Shadab Jakati (2/21) complemented him well.
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.
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.
RCB bowlers made some sort of a comeback 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 and Hussey started off in a whirlwind fashion which hasn’t been their style during the league phase. The idea was to dominate from the onset and the exactly did that. The first six overs produced as many as four sixes --- couple each from both the openers as CSK scored 56 in that period.
Vijay played his signature lifted shot over mid-wicket off Sreenath Aravind and then lifted Gayle over mid-wicket for another six.