Source - supersport.co.za
The Chennai Super Kings' cruised into the Final thanks to their pace attack who ripped apart the Kings XI Punjab top-order in a one sided game at the Wankhede Stadium.
Chennai eventually posted 116 for one in response to Punjab’s 112 for eight.
With their batsmen having failed to give them a decent total to bowl at Punjab’s bowlers had to start well and when Irfan Pathan had Vidyut out, caught hooking, with the score on 14, things were looking up for Punjab.
The early wicket though proved to be something of a false dawn as Parthiv Patel (51 not out, 48 balls, 8x4) and Suresh Raina (55 not out, 34 balls, 4x4, 4x6) settled in and began to build a match-winning partnership.
The pair played sensibly and did not take undue risks. Then again, chasing such a low total there was no need to play risky cricket. Both batsmen were content to wait for the bad ball before unleashing any big shots.
In an attempt to take wickets, Punjab’s captain Yuvraj Singh, kept a slip in place past the end of the power play overs but the Chennai batsmen refused to be intimidated and simply continued on their merry way.
Raina brought up his team’s fifty with a glorious six over long on and the match was slipping away from Punjab with increasing momentum. Just to rub it in Raina hit a massive six, measuring 108 metres, that sailed out of the stadium and it signaled the beginning of the end for Punjab.
Raina eventually put Punjab’s players out of their misery when he stroked the ball to the boundary to score the winning runs in the 15th over.
For Punjab Irfan Pathan looked good with the ball and he got some decent swing with the new ball but with so few runs to play with it was always going to be a mission impossible for Punjab.
Chennai will now face the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL final on Sunday.
Earlier Punjab had found themselves in early trouble when they were reduced to 11 for two with Makhaya Ntini and Manpreet Gony picking up the wickets to fall.
In the face of some excellent bowling Shaun Marsh and Yuvraj Singh attempted to restore some respectability to the score. However, Yuvraj succumbed to the pressure and was out, caught at midwicket, off the bowling of Gony, to reduce Punjab to 28 for three.
Marsh, the IPL’s leading run scorer, was riding his luck somewhat but he managed to survive until, with his score on 23, he got an inside edge onto his stumps, off the bowling of Ntini, and Punjab were four wickets down with only 34 runs on the board.
Punjab’s run-rate was dropping all the time but they were forced to defend as Chennai’s bowlers smelt blood. The pressure eventually told, once again, as some suicidal running saw Pathan run out which meant that Punjab were 40 for five and in all sorts of trouble.
Albie Morkel then claimed the big wicket of Mahela Jayawardene and at 45 for six Punjab’s innings was in tatters.
Only a spirited late partnership of 35 runs from Wilkin Mota (25, 26 balls, 2x4) and Ramesh Powar (28 not out, 21 balls, 4x4, 1x6) helped stave off complete embarrassment for Punjab.