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A sublime performance from all departments saw the Chennai Super Kings register a massive seven-wicket win over the Mumbai Indians. As a result of this win, CSK will now face Kings XI Punjab in Qualifier two – scheduled for 8 pm on May 30, 2014 at Wankhede Stadium. Meanwhile, this loss spells the end of the road in IPL 2014 for defending champions MI.
Powerplay: Openers shine despite slow start
After MS Dhoni asked MI to bat first upon winning the toss, Lendl Simmons and Michael Hussey opened the innings at Brabourne Stadium. The duo started out cautiously, scoring a total of 23 runs in the initial four overs. However, both MI openers opened their shoulders thereafter, plundering 15 and 19 runs off the fifth and sixth overs respectively.
As a result, MI posted 53 for no loss in the powerplay despite a slow start. Middle Overs: Simmons shines even as MI lose two key wickets
With the field spread out, Dhoni introduced spin in the seventh over in order to stem the flow of runs. R Ashwin conceded just four runs off that over, followed by a six-run over by Ravindra Jadeja. And while the next two overs yielded a combined 19 runs, it also cost MI the wicket of Michael Hussey (39) – who as cleaned up Jadeja. At the halfway stage, the scorecard read 82 for one.
And while Corey Anderson (20) struck two maximums, he perished in the 13th over while going for his third big hit – off the bowling of Ashwin – leaving MI on 99 for two. But Simmons struck a six off the very next delivery to take MI past the 100-run mark. The West Indian opener then brought up his half-century with a strike to the boundary in the 14th over. And by the end of the 15th over, thanks largely to Simmons, MI were on 127 for two, scoring 75 runs during the crucial nine-over period.
Final Stretch: CSK pull back MI with timely strikes
With Simmons and Rohit Sharma in the middle, and a great platform to launch off, a big score appeared to be on the cards for MI. The 16th over went for 13 runs, but the next over – bowled by Jadeja – saw the end of Simmons (67), as he holed out at the long-on fence. With the scorecard reading 143 for three, Kieron Pollard came in to bat with his skipper. But the two had only added seven runs, when Rohit was dismissed by Mohit Sharma.
MI were on 153 for four with 12 balls left in their innings, and they had the right pair – Pollard and Ambati Rayudu – to take advantage of this situation. However, after picking a four and boundary off Ashish Nehra, Pollard (14) perished while going for another maximum later in the 19th over. Nehra then dismissed Aditya Tare (0) to finish off his four-over quota. And CSK then got another vital breakthrough – courtesy Mohit – as Rayudu (2) holed out to mid-off. The pacer then bowled Praveen Kumar (1) out a couple of deliveries later. However, Harbhajan Singh (7*) ended the MI innings with a big hit, breaking the shackles that CSK had applied, thanks to a seven-ball stretch that saw four batsmen walk back to the dugout.
As a result, MI ended up with 173 for eight after their 20 overs. For CSK, Mohit picked up three wickets, while Nehra and Jadeja accounted for two scalps apiece.
Powerplay: CSK make a strong start
While MI had a couple of near misses in the early overs, CSK’s openers – Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis – were largely dominant in the early stages. While they were treading with caution against Praveen Kumar, who was swinging the ball prodigiously, they took Anderson to the cleaners in the fourth over, off which they plundered 18 runs. They even scored 17 runs off the sixth over, courtesy four fours off du Plessis’ willow.
By the end of the powerplay, the CSK batsmen had completely dominated the MI pace attack and posted 60 runs without loss.
Middle Overs: CSK on top despite triple-blow
The middle stretch seemed promising for MI as Harbhajan Singh bagged two key wickets in the seventh over. At first, the veteran spinner got rid of Smith (24), who holed out in the deep. And a couple of deliveries later, he dismissed du Plessis (35). But with Suresh Raina and Bredon McCullum in the middle, MI were not really out of the woods. They had the uphill task of stemming the flow of runs while picking timely wickets. And while they did get rid of McCullum (14) in the 10th over – off the bowling of Pragyan Ojha – CSK still managed to post 89 runs for the loss of three wickets by the halfway stage.
McCullum’s wicket was the last bit of success MI would taste as Raina kept chipping away at the target with David Hussey for company. By the end of the 15th over, the duo had laid the foundation for what was shaping into a match-winning partnership. At that point, the scorecard read 132 for three.
Final Stretch: Clinical Raina drives CSK home with David Hussey
With 42 runs needed from the last 30 balls, both Raina and David Hussey (40*) stepped up to the plate and put the pressure back on the bowling side. They plundered 20 runs off the 16th over to bring the required run-rate to below six-an-over. Raina (54*) then brought up his half-century in the 18th over with CSK within striking distance of their target. The southpaw then struck the winning four in the next over to complete a clinical run-chase in 18.4 overs.
Man of the Match: Suresh Raina for his match-winning half-century
In what turned out to be an anticlimactic finish to the battle of the top two, the Kolkata Knight Riders overcame Kings XI Punjab by 28 runs. As a result, the Gautam Gambhir-led side has stormed into the Pepsi IPL 2014 Final – to be held at 8 pm on June 1, 2014. KKR Innings
Powerplay: KKR bounce back after losing the toss and their skipper
Earlier, George Bailey won the toss and chose to field first at Eden Gardens. The decision paid off as Mitchell Johnson struck in the second over to get rid of Gambhir (1). But Robin Uthappa and Manish Pandey then partnered to bring the innings back on track. Riding high on his great run during the league stage, Uthappa raced away to 37 off 21 deliveries during the powerplay. Even Pandey joined in the action – albeit a bit later – as KKR posted 55 for one in the first six overs.
During this period, barring the first two overs – which cost a combined five runs – every other powerplay over yielded at least nine runs. In fact, the fourth over, bowled by Johnson, went for 17, including two fours and a maximum by Uthappa.
Middle Overs: KXIP make crucial dents before death overs
KXIP did much better initially with the field spread out. Against the run of play, Akshar Patel conceded just three runs off the seventh over. And while KKR scored nine runs off the next over, Akshar dismissed the dangerous Uthappa (42). And off the very net ball, the KXIP spinner bowled Pandey (21) out, leaving KKR on 67 for three after nine overs. And at the halfway stage, the scorecard read 73 for three, with Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan in the middle.
Yusuf then survived a close leg-before shout in the next over, off Johnson. But the big-hitting batsmen did get into the groove, and after playing a few iffy shots, struck a six in the 14th over. However, soon thereafter, Shakib (18), who was looking to emulate his batting partner, ended up holing out to David Miller off the bowling of Karanveer Singh. And then, for a second time in the game, KKR lost two wickets in two balls off a spinner, as Yusuf (20) also got out off the leggie while trying to dispatch him over the ropes. Thanks to the two double-blows, the middle overs saw KKR score 57 runs for the loss of four vital wickets, with the scorecard reflecting 112 for five after 15 overs.
Final Stretch: KKR post 163/8 despite rain and spin
With two new batsmen – Ryan ten Doeschate and Suryakumar Yadav – at the crease, KKR looked to accelerate in the last five overs. However, their attempt was initially interrupted by a spell of rain. And then, even Akshar, who bowled the 16th over, muzzled the batsmen, giving away just two runs. But Yadav unleashed in the next over, striking a six and a four, helping KKR plunder 14 from it. ten Doeschate then took a leaf out of his partner’s book and smashed two maximums off Karanveer, before the young spinner cleaned up Yadav (20) , leaving KKR on 145 for six after 18 overs.
Johnson then got rid of ten Doeschate (17) and conceded only three runs off the 19th over. And while Sunil Narine (0) was run out, Piyush Chawla (17*) – courtesy three fours – plundered 15 runs off the final over to push the KKR total to 163 for eight.
For KXIP, Karanveer picked up three wickets for 40, whereas Akshar claimed two wickets, but conceded only 11 runs during his entire spell.
Powerplay: Openers depart in a mixed start
Even KXIP suffered an early loss as Virender Sehwag (2) was dismissed by Umesh Yadav in the second over. But Manan Vohra (26) then took the attack to the KKR bowlers. The young opener struck three maximums, until his departure – off the bowling of Morne Morkel – in the sixth over. During his brief stay in the middle, he was well-supported by Wriddhiman Saha as KXIP posted 46 runs in the first six overs, despite losing both their openers.
Middle Overs:Bowlers take over as rain eases
The middle stretch could not have started better for KKR as Umesh trapped the dangerous Glenn Maxwell (6) leg-before in the eighth over. Saha and David Miller then joined forces. Given the perpetual threat of rain, they had to keep an eye on the Duckworth-Lewis equation while steadying the run-chase. At the halfway point, they helped their side to 68 for three – 96 runs adrift of the target.
And while Saha (35) was looking solid and struck a six in the 11th over, Morkel got the better off him in the next over while attempting another big hit, leaving KXIP in dire straits at 80 for four. Then, in a surprise move, Bailey promoted Akshar ahead of him at No.6. But the KXIP skipper soon had to take strike anyway, as Chawla cleaned out Miller (8) a couple of deliveries later. And then, in the over next over, a run-out resulted in Akshar’s (2) downfall. By the end of the 15th over, KKR had KXIP pinned at 92 for six.
The crucial nine-over middle period saw the batting side put up just 24 runs for the loss of three wickets.
Final Stretch:Sporadic, late onslaught inadequate to overcome Umesh and co.
With a massive 72 runs needed in the final 30 balls, Rishi Dhawan came in to bat with Bailey, but the duo could only manage five singles off the 16th over. Although Bailey and Dhawan (14) struck a six each over the next few balls, the latter was stumped off Shakib, leaving KXIP on 117 for seven in 17.3 overs. But Bailey and Johnson continued to clobber the KXIP spinner, plundering a total of 21 runs from his over.
But then, Narine came to bowl and neutralised the damage done in the previous over, by conceding four runs off the next six tricky deliveries. The run-chase equation read 30 runs off six balls with Gambhir handing the ball to Umesh. The pacer vindicated his captain’s decision by getting the key wicket of Bailey (26) off his first ball. The new man in, Karanveer (1*), could only manage a single off the next delivery, thereby putting the game beyond KXIP’s reach. And the next four deliveries completely foxed Johnson (10*) and produced no runs, capping off a fabulous last over by Umesh – who was also the pick of the KKR bowlers as he finished with outstanding figures of 4-0-13-3.
In the end, KXIP could only manage 135 for eight in their 20-over quota.
Man of the Match: Umesh Yadav for his incredible bowling performance