Chennai Super Kings are now one match from reaching their third consecutive IPL final after they defeated Mumbai Indians in most clinical fashion by 38 runs.
Only in the first five overs when the openers – Tendulkar and Smith – were at the crease did it look like Mumbai Indians might chase the formidable Chennai target of 187. But then wickets fell at regular intervals as Mumbai continued to fall behind the asking rate. Brilliant spell of bowling by Bravo who took 2 wickets for only 10 runs of 3 overs was the best of the bowlers as all the others contributed in the demise of Mumbai. The catching was superlative too as Raina took two brilliant catches.
Chennai had at one point in time in the season looked to be headed out without making it to the knockouts but they had come up with good performances when it mattered. It was exactly this never-say-die spirit of the team in the semi-final that helped them win. After losing wickets of Vijay and Raina for virtually nothing Badrinath and Hussey build the innings putting together a partnership of 95 runs. Both of them fell not very far apart creating a situation of panic. But Dhoni and Bravo then not just resurrected the innings but gave it the much need fillip. The two put together a partnership of 73 runs of only 29 balls. Dhoni was especially brutal as he scored 51 of 20 balls while Bravo made 33 of 14. Dhoni’s helicopter shot was on display as was Bravo’s off-balance shot which fetched him sixes off Malinga.
Chennai who have won the IPL in 2010 and 2011 will look to make it three in a row. They will play Delhi Daredevils now for a place in the final.