Bravo seals stunning win for Chennai

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Dwayne Bravo hit the final ball of the match for six to take Chennai to a thrilling five-wicket victory over Kolkata and keep their hopes of an IPL playoff berth alive.

Dwayne Bravo hit the final ball of the match for six to take Chennai to a thrilling five-wicket victory over Kolkata and keep their hopes of an IPL playoff berth alive.

Needing five runs to win off the last ball of the game, Bravo thundered Rajat Bhatia's low full toss over long-on to silence the Eden Gardens crowd and kick off wild celebrations back in Chennai.

It was the latest installment in a season that has produced more than its fair share of close encounters, but match 63 achieved a particular peak as it swung wildly right up to the final over, which began with Chennai needing nine runs to overcome Kolkata's total of 158 for six.

MS Dhoni's three boundaries off Marchant de Lange in the previous had made the visitors favourites, but when Bhatia bowled Dhoni with his second delivery and allowed just four runs from the first five balls it appeared as though the Super Kings had missed their chance.

Yet Bhatia followed up a series of clever leg-cutters with a poor full toss, which Bravo powered into the stands to take Chennai back into fourth place in a tightly-contested league.

Michael Hussey was named man of the match for his 56 from 39 balls, which gave Chennai an explosive start and set them on the road to a seemingly straightforward victory.

The twist came when Sunil Narine got the better of both Hussey and his opening partner Murali Vijay (36) in the space of three balls, but Dhoni wrestled the match back into Chennai's favour with his 28 before Bravo's late heroics.

The Knight Riders were left to lament the disappointing manner in which they had finished their innings after a 99-run opening stand had given them control.

Chennai skipper Dhoni won the toss and elected to bowl firsts, but could only watch on as Gautam Gambhir gave Kolkata the early advantage with a series of boundaries.

The Kolkata captain popped three sixes into the crowd on his way to 62, while the recalled Brendon McCullum provided support from the other end.

Having reached 99 without loss in the 12th over Kolkata were cruising, but the run-out of McCullum for 37 from 29 balls sparked a turnaround.

Gambhir was bowled by Shadab Jakati in the next over, and Jacques Kallis' tough run of form continued as he fell to Jakati for a measly four runs.

Manoj Tiwary and Yusuf Pathan were both caught by Bravo on the long-on boundary to prevent their innings getting off the ground, and only Debabrata Das, with 19 not out from 10 deliveries, provided a decent contribution in the final overs.

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