Chennai join Kolkata in CLT20 final

The Chennai Super Kings made light work of the Kings XI Punjab on Thursday, and thus joined the Kolkata Knight Riders in an all-IPL final for the Champions League T20, winning by a whopping 65 runs.

The Super Kings batted first and recorded 182 for seven, but the KXIP’s formidable batting line up was woeful on the night, as they were all out for 118 in the 19th over, with a top score of 31.

The men in red won the toss and opted to bowl first, which initially seemed like a good idea. They removed Dwayne Smith, Brendon McCullum and Suresh Raina cheaply, leaving CSK on 41 for three in the sixth over.

Then international stars Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo joined forces to rescue the knock, with the South African making 46 off 33 balls, while the West Indies all-rounder recorded 67 off 39, including three sixes.

They put on 65 runs in just under eight overs, going at nearly nine to the over, before Akshar Patel ended the stand, bowling Du Plessis. Then Parvinder Awana recored a hat-trick that no-one really noticed.

Having earlier removed Raina, and then taking a long break, he came back into the attack in the 17th over. He removed Pawan Negi and MS Dhoni with consecutive balls, and given Raina had fallen with the final delivery of that over, Awana had a hat-trick.

But it was in vain in the end, as Ravi Jadeja added a cameo 27 not out off 13 balls, to push the score from average to tricky, which it turned out was well above par.

The Punjab chase saw four ducks recorded, including opening batsman Virender Sehwag, who fell in the second over. From there, it was a procession of wickets, with the Chennai bowlers sharing the spoils.

None of them took more than two wickets, though Ashish Nehra, Negi, and Raina all took their two wickets in the same over. Nehra struck twice in the fifth over, Negi in the eighth, and Raina in the 15th.

Only David Miller and Akshar Patel made more than 20 runs, with Miller out for 22, while Akshar recorded 31. Considering the money spent on their top order, and how well they did in the IPL, the KXIP would have been gutted by their capitulation.

Chennai and Kolkata, who beat the Hurricanes to reach the final, will face off for the trophy on Saturday.