Chennai beat Deccan to enter final

MUMBAI: Doug Bollinger led Deccan Chargers’ rout as a ruthless Chennai Super Kings crushed the defending champions by 38 runs in the second semifinal of the Indian Premier League tonight to set up a summit clash with Mumbai Indians on Sunday.

Opting to bat first, the Super Kings looked in trouble before a 52-run partnership between skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (30) and S Badrinath (37) guided them to a competitive 142 for seven.

For the Chargers, Ryan Harris bowled a fine initial spell to get rid off openers Murali Vijay and Mathew Hayden cheaply and finished with excellent figures of three for 29.

The Super Kings, however, returned to defend the total with all their might and resource, skittling out their opponents for 104 in 19.2 overs and dashing Deccan Chargers’ hopes of a successful title defence.

For Chennai, Bollinger (4/13) stood out, having rocked the Deccan top order and then dropping curtains on the opponent’s innings with his tidy four overs.

Left-arm spinner Shadab Jakati also chipped in with two crucial wickets to hasten Deccan’s fall.

Chasing a modest target, the Chargers were never in the game as they lost wickets at regular intervals and their listless batting could be gauged from the fact that Andrew Symonds top scored them with a 22-ball 23.

The Chargers will now return to the same DY Patil Stadium on Saturday where they take on Royal Challengers Bangalore for the third place playoff, which will decide which one of them would join Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings in the Champions League Twenty20 later this year.

The Chargers’ chase got off to a poor start and skipper Adam Gilchrist’s (15) dismissal in the sixth over was not only the continuation of his personal bad patch but also a bad omen as the Chargers never got any partnership going.

Herschelle Gibbs (18), Symonds and B Sumanth (16) got the starts but could not capitalise on it.

Earlier, the Chargers bowlers stuck to their task brilliantly and even though there were spilled chances early on, managed to apply the brakes effectively to give their batsmen a golden chance to overhaul the modest Super Kings total.

Super Kings made a shock start by losing their top three batsmen, including in-form Suresh Raina, inside five overs with only 29 runs on board and never recovered.

The 52-run partnership between Mahendra Singh Dhoni (30), who struck three fours, and Badrinath, who was dismissed for 37 made in 41 balls, was the lone bright spot in an otherwise listless batting display.

For Chargers, Ryan Harris bowled a fine initial spell to get rid off openers Murali Vijay and Mathew Hayden cheaply and finished with excellent figures of three for 29.

The Super Kings’ of a flying start after opting to bat first on a wicket offering lot of carry to the pace bowlers seemed to be on thin ice with Hayden living a charmed life.

The left-handed Australian opener was dropped twice but he failed to utilise his good fortune and was dismissed in the last ball of the second over.

Murali Vijay (15) followed suit after looking good for a big score when he took 13 runs in the third over from RP Singh, which included a superbly struck six over mid-wicket, before being trapped leg before by Harris with an in-dipper.

The loss of the two openers after the first ball of the fourth over looked bad and worse followed when Super Kings’ batting lynchpin Raina departed for two, edging a drive off Symonds to rival skipper Adam Gilchrist to leave Chennai gasping at 29 for three.

It called for some cautious play mixed with aggression and Dhoni was the right man to do it with the steady, if unspectacular Badrinath, for company.

Dhoni and Badrinath put on 52 runs for the fourth wicket to give semblance of respectability to the Chennai innings with the team captain being the expected aggressor.

But the India captain fell just when he looked to be stepping up the pace, edging a leg break bowled wide by Harmeet Singh to fly-slip Rohit Sharma. Albie Morkel (4) flopped too and Badrinath slammed Symonds to the mid-wicket fence for a four to raise team 100 in the 16th over.

Badrinath was sixth out, stumped when he charged out to R P Singh and failed to connect properly with Gilchrist standing up to the stumps.

Anirudha used the long handle to make a 15-ball 24, that included two sixes, which enabled Super Kings add 46 runs in the last five overs. (PTI)

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