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Pathan inspired Royals Final win

Yusuf Pathan inspired Rajasthan Royals to a three-wicket defeat of Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling Indian Premier League final on Sunday.

He took three wickets to reduce Chennai, who lost the toss and were put into bat, to 163 for five, and then smashed 56 - including four sixes and three fours - in a 39-ball innings.

Needing eight runs off the final over, Shane Warne (nine not out) and Sohail Tanvir (nine no) kept their cool to reach the target, with the latter grabbing the one run needed for victory off the final ball of the match.

Rajasthan made a shaky start as they chased down Chennai's target, losing Niraj Patel in the fourth over for just two runs off 11 balls.

He played Manpreet Gony on to his leg stump attempting a pull, but fellow opener Swapnil Asnodkar (28) looked in better touch.

He seemed to have the measure of Makhaya Ntini, hitting the South African for consecutive fours, but could not cope with the pace of Albie Morkel and slashed at a wide ball to Suresh Raina at point.

The Royals suffered a double blow as in the same over Kamran Akmal (six) went for a suicidal single after nudging to mid-on and was run out by Ntini's direct hit.

Pathan proved he was just as capable with the bat as with the ball, although he was lucky to be dropped by Raina in the 11th over on 13.

Raina's error proved costly as Pathan went on to smash Muttiah Muralitharan for back-to-back sixes.

Shane Watson chipped in with a quickfire 28 off 19 balls but succumbed when he came down the track to Muralitharan but missed and was bowled.

Needing 52 off the last five overs, Pathan launched Lakshmipathy Balaji for 12 off one over and then dished out the same treatment to Muralitharan, hoisting the spinner over midwicket to bring up his half century.

But Mohammad Kaif then lobbed Muralitharan into the hands of Mahendra Singh Dhoni at cover and Ravindra Jadeja followed the next ball when he lamely pulled Morkel straight to Kapugedera at mid-on.

Rajasthan's hopes were knocked when Pathan was run out by Raina's superb direct hit but Warne and Tanvir steered the Royals to victory.

Earlier, Chennai openers Vidyut Sivaramakrishnan and Parthiv Patel put on 39 before the former was dismissed in the sixth over. He tried to pull Pathan over deep midwicket but mistimed it and was caught by Jadeja sprinting in from the boundary.

Patel looked a touch nervy from the off and survived two decent lbw appeals, but he hit five fours in a 38-run innings off 33 balls before being caught behind by Akmal off Pathan.

Morkel attempted to accelerate the run rate and smashed two sixes before he became Pathan's third victim, top-edging behind high behind him.

Akmal backpedalled to take the catch, despite colliding heavily with Kaif who was running in from short fine leg.

Aiming for a flurry of runs in the final few overs, Raina tried one shot too many and was caught on the long-off boundary by Jadeja off the bowling of Watson, and Chamara Kapugedera did not last long, adding just eight runs before lofting to Asnodkar at long on off Tanvir.

Dhoni smashed 29 off 17 balls, including a huge six in the last over, and Subramaniam Badrinath made six off the final two balls of the innings to reach 163 for five but it proved insufficient.

source - sportinglife.com
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