Aaron Moores | cricket20
The Chennai Super Kings stunned the defending IPL champions by successfully defending a total of just 142 as the Deccan Chargers slumped to a 38 run defeat.
Having restricted the Super Kings batsman the Chargers were favorites to reach the IPL final but MS Dhoni’s men fought back to set up an explosive clash with the Mumbai Indians on Sunday in the final of the 2010 Indian Premier League.
The Chargers got their run chase off to an incredibly slow start with Adam Gilchrist in particular taking his time to get started, the Aussie faced the first 6 balls of the game scoring just 1 run off the final delivery of Ravichandran Ahswin’s first over.
It took Gilchrist another 8 balls before he found the boundary dispatching Ashwin for a huge six straight down the wicket at the end of the third over.
With such a slow start the last thing the Chargers could afford to do was lose an early wicket but that’s exactly what they did in the fifth over as the impressive Doug Bollinger picked up two huge wickets.
Gilchrist () was to the first go as his poor tournament with the bat continued when he picked out Srikkanth Anirudha at mid wicket who took a diving catch to remove the Chargers skipper.
Amazingly four balls later Bollinger struck again to remove Tirumalasetti Suman (4) to give the Super Kings fresh hope as the Chargers slumped to 23-2.
The Super Kings chances of causing an upset were increased two overs later when Rohit Sharma (2) was caught by Muttiah Muralitharan off the bowling of Albie Morkel to reduce the defending champions to 31-3.
Although the Super Kings had picked up three wickets opener Herschelle Gibbs remained at the crease and he was joined by Andrew Symonds but the Chargers still had a lot of work to do in order to rescue the game.
The gamble of bringing Gibbs (18) back into the line up for such an important game after missing the last 7 matches backfield when he was bowled by Shadab Jakati to leave the Chargers a mountain to climb with another 95 runs needed from just 55 balls.
The defending champions were now in free fall losing Monsih Mishra (2) cheaply but with Symonds still at the crease the Chargers still had a small chance of pulling off an amazing comeback.
Symonds and Shadab Jakati managed to score an important 17 runs in the 14 over to set up a thrilling finish with another 62 runs from just 30 balls.
But the Super Kings struck back as Symonds (23) went on the offensive as he tried to smash a six off the bowling of Ashwin but was dismissed when he could only pick out Murali Vijay out on the boundary.
With the loss of Symonds the Chargers chances of reaching the IPL Final were all but over as their defense of the IPL title ended with a whimper.
The defeat leaves the Chargers having to face the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday in the third place playoff for a place in Septembers Twenty20 Champions League.
The Super Kings won the toss and elected to bat but it was the Chargers who got off to the better start picking up the wicket of Matthew Hayden at the end of the second over.
Hayden (8), had already enjoyed a charmed life before he was caught by Andrew Symonds in the covers. The Aussie was dropped in the first over by RP Singh before Bodapati Sumanth put down an easier catch at the start of the second over.
After suffering a disappointing tournament with the bat the dropped catches were the double slice of luck Hayden needed but the Chargers finally struck from the last ball of the second over.
Hayden tried a forward drive but he could only pick out Symonds who took the easy catch to give Ryan Harris the big break through.
Murali Vijay (15) responded in fine fashion smashing RP Singh for a huge six and a four before Harris returned in his next over to trap the Indian international LBW leaving the Super Kings 25-2.
With the Super Kings in deep trouble the Chargers could have struck a further blow but their inability to hold on to catches haunted them again as Suman dropped Suresh Raina in the gully to.
It could have been a costly mistake, but Symonds spared Tirumalasetti’s blushes when he dismissed Rainia (2) in the next over to leave the slumping Super Kings 29-3.
In deep trouble with 5 over gone the Super Kings need another man of the match performance from their skipper MS Dhoni to keep this hopes of reaching the IPL final alive.
Dhoni built an important 50 run partnership with Subramaniam Badrinath to give the Super Kings a solid foundation to attack the Chargers bowlers in the last 7 overs but, in another twist to a thrilling semi final the Chargers struck back.
With Dhoni still at the crease the Super Kings would have been looking at total of around 150 but the impressive Harmeet Singh struck to remove Dhoni (30) to put the Chargers in control.
With Dhoni gone the pressure was on Albie Morkel (4) to remain at the crease to help Badrinath keep the Super Kings in the hunt but the South African threw away his wicket with an ill advised attempt at smashing Pragyan Ojha for a six which was caught by Symonds out on the boundary.
With only five overs to go the Super Kings found themselves 96-5, Badrinath and Srikkanth Anirudha added another 21 runs before Badrinath (37) was run out at the start of the 18th over which left Anirudha and Ravichandran Ashwin to mount a re-guard action to help set the Chargers a run chase of 143.
After winning the toss the Super Kings will be disappointed to have scored such a low total on a wicket which got easier to bat on as the innings went on.