Monday, April 26, 2010

Chennai Super Kings - IPL 2010 CHAMPIONS

Chennai were crowned Indian Premier League champions after defeating Mumbai by 22 runs in the final of the Twenty20 tournament in Mumbai.

Suresh Raina hit an unbeaten 57 and shared in a half-century stand with Mahendra Singh Dhoni (27) as Chennai posted 168 for five after opting to bat first.

Sachin Tendulkar (48) led a spirited chase, but Chennai were immaculate in the field as they restricted the Indians to 146 for nine.

Chennai off to a cautious start and while Murali Vijay looked in good touch, Matthew Hayden could only scratch around during an opening stand worth 44.

Vijay, however, was the first to depart, the right-hander holing out in the deep in the eighth over, while Hayden departed in the next when he mistimed a pull which went straight up for wicketkeeper Ambati Rayudu to glove a comfortable catch.

Dilhara Fernando, who had removed Vijay, then snared Subramaniam Badrinath and Chennai were left floundering at 68 for three at the end of the 12th over.

Dhoni joined Raina and immediately injected some pace by smashing Kieron Pollard for a six and four in the medium pacer's third over.

The turnaround came when Raina, who had played himself in nicely while Badrinath had attempted to up the ante, was let off twice - first on 13 when a mistimed pull which landed safely between Fernando and Abhishek Nayar, and again on 28 when Zaheer Khan grassed another straightforward chance.

In between those missed chances, Raina had lifted the tempo by smashing a four and a six and went on to club two more sixes before raising his half-century with his second boundary.

Together the duo added 72 in just 5.5 overs and although Dhoni departed, a few big hits from Albie Morkel and Srikkanth Anirudh helped the Super Kings keep the momentum.

Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin piled pressure on Mumbai opener Shikhar Dhawan by beginning with a maiden and Doug Bollinger picked off the batsman by having him edge to Dhoni in the second.

Tendulkar and Abhishek Nayar (27) got the chase back on track with a 66-run stand, although both presented Chennai with several opportunities with shoddy running and calling.

Nayar was eventually run out and Raina, introduced for the first time in the 12th over, also got rid of Harbhajan Singh - promoted up the order - in the same over.

The bigger blow, however, came in the 15th over when left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati removed Tendulkar and Saurabh Tiwary in the same over.

With Chennai needing 55 from the last three overs, the Super Kings were in dominant position, but Pollard narrowed the equation by hammering Bollinger for two sixes and two fours in the 18th which yielded 22.

However, both Rayudu (21), who had turned in a steady hand, and Pollard fell in the penultimate over from Morkel and the chase fizzled out.

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