Dhoni’s men sour Deccan dream to reach IPL final | india | Hindustan Times
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Dhoni’s men sour Deccan dream to reach IPL final

india Updated: Apr 23, 2010 00:15 IST
Amol Karhadkar

To win a match in cricket's shortest format, all a team needs is a decent partnership. It applies for both types of men involved in the game - those who run in to bowl and those who hit those balls.

On Thursday a rare display of a splendid bowling partnership saw the Chennai Super Kings become the first team to make it to the IPL final for the second time.

Riding on an exceptional opening burst from off-spinner R Ashwin and left-arm speedster Doug Bollinger, CSK took the fizz out of Deccan Chargers' run chase to register a convincing 38-run victory at the Dr DY Patil Sports Stadium.

On a wicket that certainly appeared slower than most of the tracks in the tournament, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Co did well to get 142 for seven, courtesy a 52-run stand between S Badrinath and Dhoni in the middle of the innings and a 15-ball 24 by S Anirudha at the end.

Had CSK allowed Adam Gilchrist and Herschelle Gibbs to get to a quick start, even the conditions wouldn't have helped their cause. But both Ashwin and Bollinger ensured that the pressure built from the start.

In the first five overs, despite conceding a six and a boundary, the duo had conceded just 19 runs. Their impeccable line and length did not allow the batsmen to rotate the strike, which forced Gilchrist to take his chances in the last Powerplay over.

And Bollinger was rewarded with the wicket of Gilchrist, who looked as unconvincing at the crease as Matthew Hayden had at the top of CSK's batting order. Four balls later, Suresh Raina held on to a sharp chance offered by T Suman to put the Chargers on the backfoot.

Both Ashwin and Bollinger conceded just 11 runs each off their first three overs to put their team in an advantageous position.

And once Chargers lost Rohit Sharma cheaply in the eighth over, their dream of defending their title was as good as over.

With wickets falling at the other end, Andrew Symonds could do little before spooning one to Murali Vijay at midwicket in the 16th over when Ashwin came back to bowl his last over. It was a pity that Chennai's charge was achieved in front of stands which were more empty than full. Even the Champions League final in Hyderabad last October, featuring two non-Indian teams, drew a better crowd response. But rest assured, when CSK face the Mumbai Indians in the final, it will surely be a packed house.