IPL desk in Mumbai 26 May 2012 - 12:33am IST
Report: Qualifier 2 – CSK v DD
Vijay ton helps Chennai Super Kings set up IPL 2012 final clash with Kolkata Knight Riders
Earlier, DD surprised everyone by opting to play debutant off-spinner Sunny Gupta in place of Purple Cap-holder, Morne Morkel. With Irfan Pathan also nursing a hand injury, the Daredevils opted to play all-rounder Andre Russell instead. CSK, on the other hand, played the same XI that triumphed against the Mumbai Indians in Bengaluru.
Soon, these changes made by the Daredevils backfired completely as the Super Kings openers set off at a brisk pace. Vijay led the assault from the very beginning as he hit Gupta for a couple of fours in the very first over and then went on to do the same to Varun Aaron to bring up CSK’s 50 at the end of the sixth over.
Michael Hussey, who led CSK’s resurgence against MI, hit a steady 22-ball 20, before he edged a delivery to wicketkeeper Naman Ojha while charging down the track to Aaron. CSK were 68 for one in 8.1 overs at the loss of Hussey’s wicket.
There was no slowing down Vijay though. With Virender Sehwag attempting to bring himself on to curtail CSK’s run-rate, Vijay hit the Daredevils captain for a sequence of 6, 4, 0, 4, 6 and 1 to take Chennai to 104 for one at the end of 11 overs. The first of those hits, a six, was caught by Ross Taylor, standing at the midwicket boundary, who unfortunately stepped over the ropes as he landed.
Suresh Raina too contributed to CSK’s cause with a 69-run stand with Vijay that saw the left-hander hit a 17-ball 27, before he was caught and bowled by left-arm spinner Pawan Negi. MS Dhoni then continued his good form with a 10-ball 23-run cameo. While he was dropped by David Warner at long-on when he was on 14, he was eventually caught by Negi off Aaron in the 17th over.
Meanwhile, Vijay, who had reached 99 at the fall of Dhoni’s wicket, brought up his first century of IPL 2012 in just 51 balls by flicking a delivery from Aaron off his pads behind square. Although Albie Morkel fell to Umesh Yadav for a first-ball duck, with Dwayne Bravo (33* off 12 balls) cutting loose, CSK reached a mammoth 222 for five in 20 overs. Bravo hit Aaron for 25 runs in the 19th over, which led to the pacer finishing with figures of 4-0-63-2 – the worst by any bowler in the IPL. Sunny Gupta, the debutant, also fared poorly; his three overs cost DD 47 runs.
Faced with a stiff target, DD made another unusual decision with Mahela Jayawardene sent ahead of Virender Sehwag to open the innings along with David Warner. However, even that move didn’t pay off as Warner (3) fell to Ben Hilfenhuas in the third over. Sehwag (1), batting at No.3, also didn’t trouble the scorers much as he was caught brilliantly by Michael Hussey off Albie Morkel in the fourth over.
From 22 for two, Delhi tried to stay in the game with Jayawardene forging a 52-run stand with Ross Taylor. However, after Taylor (24) was caught by Suresh Raina at long-on in the ninth over, CSK’s spin duo of R Ashwin and Shadab Jakati combined to take five wickets and brought an end to DD’s innings in just 16.5 overs. Jayawardene, who was bowled by Ashwin in the 15th over, top scored for DD with 55 (38 balls); the Daredevils compiled only 136 runs.
CSK will now have the opportunity to win their third consecutive IPL titles when they take on the Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on May 27 at the same venue.
Man-of-the-match: Murali Vijay for his brilliant innings of 113* off 58 balls, which powered CSK to their third successive IPL final