Chennai Super Kings bowled Mumbai Indians out for 144 to win by 48 runs and become the first team to reach the Finals of the sixth Indian Premier League tournament. This is the fourth consecutive and fifth overall finals for the Chennai team.
Mumbai will however get another chance to qualify for the final when they meet winner of the the second qualifier between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals.
The Chennai win was anchored by a magnificent unbeaten stand for the second wicket between Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina after CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first.
Chasing a stiff target, Mumbai Indians lost Aditya Tare, who continued to play in place of the injured Sachin Tendulkar, in the second over. He was held at mid-on off Albie Morkel and Dinesh Karthik had to enter in the second over.
The CSK bowling was tight at the start before Smith cut loose from the third over. Dwayne Smith showed the urgency by slamming sixes (over long off and square leg) off Mohit Sharma. In the next over, he flicked Albie Morkel to square-leg boundary. Runs flowed in Morkel's third over as Smith flicked to square leg boundary and hit two consecutive boundaries in the long-off region.
It helped Mumbai to cruise to 50 in 5.4 overs. Smith looked in ominous form. Landing big blows, he smacked two more sixes, off Chris Morris, and cantered away to his 50 off a mere 21 balls. The powerful West Indian had five fours and four sixes in his quick-fire half-century.
Even the advent of off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin did not stop the run onslaught. The West Indian banged a straight six and then paddle swept Ashwin for a four.
It was too good to last. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja gave the big breakthrough for CSK when he forced Smith to give an easy catch to Suresh Raina at mid-wicket. But Smith received a standing ovation for his bold 28-ball 68. He had given MI a great start to make a good fist of the tough chase.
However, the dismissal of Smith saw CSK gain the upperhand with Jadeja taking his second wicket by trapping Dinesh Karthik in a doubtful leg-before decision. Rohit Sharma was consumed in the deep.
Kieron Pollard made a quick 24 but Jadeja captured his third wicket to finish with fine figures of 3 for 31. MI lost their way with the departure of the two West Indians as they choked in pursuit of a big total.
Jadeja took 3 important Mumbai wickets for 31 runs. Dwayne Bravo (3 wickets for 9) and Mohit Sharma ( 2 for 32) cleaned up the lower order as Chennai ran out easy winners.
Earlier, Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina helped Chennai Super Kings make a massive score of 192 for 1.
Michael Hussey continued his rich vein with the bat. The Aussie veteran left-hander breezed away to a 58-ball 86 as Chennai Super Kings posted 192 for 1 in 20 overs .
In the process, Hussey became the second batsman to score over 700 runs in IPL6 and snatched the orange cap from Chris Gayle of Royal Challengers Bangalore (708 runs). Mr. Cricket was at his versatile best. But Suresh Raina was not far behind. The Indian left-hander destroyed the Mumbai Indians attack with 42-ball 82 (5x4, 5x6). The two piled on 140 runs in a mere 12.4 overs.
The Hussey-Raina partnership flattened the Mumbai Indians bowling with some wonderful strokes. There were straight drives, cover drives, flicks off the pads, reverse sweeps and lofted shots as they went berserk against the bowlers who had no clue.
It rained sixes and fours as Hussey began his run-spree from the first delivery as he flicked Mitchell Johnson through mid-wicket for his first boundary.
Earlier, CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and straightaway decided to bat. Batting solidly and timing the ball fluently, Hussey kept the Mumbai Indians bowlers at bay. Taking his clue from Hussey, Murali Vijay, too, struck two boundaries off Munaf Patel. The openers made 52 runs before Vijay lofted Kieron Pollard straight into Dwayne Smith’s hands at deep mid-wicket.
Raina looked a batsman in a hurry. The left-hander, who has also been in rich form for CSK, lofted left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha over mid-wicket boundary and then slammed off-spinner Harbhajan Singh over extra-cover boundary for his second six. Raina hoisted his third six, square-driving Mitchell Johnson over the point boundary.
The second wicket pair was on a rampage. Hussey brought up his 50 off 40 deliveries and then crossed the 700-run mark of the season with a superb shot over long- off off Malinga.
The run-riot continued with CSK’s 100 coming off 12.4 overs and the 50-run partnership off only 33 deliveries. Raina grew more confident with each ball, hitting two successive boundaries off the hapless Munaf Patel. His fourth sixth soared over deep mid-wicket before he got a life after he crossed his 50 (off 29 balls, 4x6, 2x4), as a diving Dwayne Smith failed to hold on the ball.
Raina had more to come with two fabulous sixes off Malinga’s fourth over. Then Hussey played a perfect T-20 six swishing an attempted yorker by Malinga over the long leg boundary. The Aussie left-hander signalled the end of MI’s misery by dismissing Malinga to long-leg boundary in the 20th over, finishing the Chennai innings at 192 for1.
Mumbai Indians' best bowlers Mitchell Johson and Lasith Malinga went for 40 and 45 runs respectively. That tells the story of MI bowling's experience at CSK's left-handed pair.