Friday, September 24, 2010

C L T 20-2010. Semi Finals I - Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers

The first semifinals at Durban, between Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers, will long be remembered for the demolition act by Suresh Raina.

Batting first on winning the toss, Super Kings were given a steady start, by now the best opening pair on view, Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay. At 15 for none after 2.5, the heavens opened out. The match was under suspended animation, as a no result would have automatically qualified the Super Kings. as they had finished top in their group. However, it would have been harsh on the paying public, who had weathered the weather, and had gathered in huge numbers for a good bash.
The weather God and the excellent work by the ground staff, helped continuation of the match, however now down to 17 overs apiece.Hussey fell to an uncharacteristic heave of Vinay Kumar, to be caught in the deep by Steyn for six. Steyn seriously injured himself in the process and was ruled out of further part in the game. Royal Challengers were perhaps 25% down in morale with their main strike bowler down.

Raina joined Murali Vijay, and took the score to 100 in the eleventh over, when Vijay fell for 41 of 32, clouting four fours and a six . Dhoni joined Raina and added 33 runs in 13 balls for the third wicket before getting castled by du Preez for 11. Morkel was next in and added 37 in 16 with Raina, before holing out to Kohli of White for five.The CSK innings closed at 174 for 4 in seventeen overs, a very healthy score to defend. Raina remained unbeaten on a masterly 94 made of 48 balls, with five fours , six sixes, and a strike rate of 167. Excepting Vinay Kumar 2 for 28 in four, all the other RC bowlers were taken to the cleaners. RC dearly felt the absence of Steyn.

Royal Challengers was a beaten team even before they started the innings, which showed in their performance. With a good total to defend, Dhoni could use the luxury of adopting two slips, a gully, a short cover, a short mid wicket, point, and almost all the men in the thirty yard, reminding one of a test match field then a T.20 field.

Bollinger and Morkel bowled to the field and finished with 3 for 27 and 1 for 13 in three overs apiece. Balaji bowled his three overs intelligently to finish at 1 for 13. The spinners were given the full quota of four overs. Murali was at his usual wily best with and Ashwin Both the teams fielded well, with catches taken by Steyn and Kohli, being extraordinary. Royal Challengers folded to 123 all out with Steyn unable to bat.

With this mammoth win by over fifty runs, Chennai Kings must be the favourite with the bookies. The second semifinal is slated for 25th at Centurion, between the Warriors SA and Red Backs. The teams are evenly balanced and one could look forward to an exciting finish.

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