Superb Sehwag sees KXIP into final

India

The Kings XI Punjab advanced to Sunday's IPL final by beating the Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs, with the yellow juggernaut unable to chase down the 226 Punjab scored, much of which was down to Virender Sehwag.

The Kings XI Punjab advanced to Sunday's IPL final by beating the Chennai Super Kings by 24 runs, with the yellow juggernaut unable to chase down the 226 Punjab scored, much of which was down to Virender Sehwag.

The veteran opener scored the biggest knock of the tournament, and only the second century, as he smashed 122 runs in the 18 overs he batted, leaving little to do for the rest of the order, though they did lose six wickets.

Chennai then made 202 runs, with Suresh Raina's 25-ball 87 superb but in vain, while skipper MS Dhoni contributed his usual death cameo, but his 42 not out came too little too later after the openers failed.

Punjab were the best side in the group stage, but lost their first qualifier to Kolkata and thus had to play this match, and now they will again face the Knight Riders, in Bangalore on Sunday, in their first IPL final.

Sehwag's knock was on point from the get-go, as he and Manan Vohra put on 70 runs in the power play, and never allowing the Chennai bowlers to settle. Vohra was out for 34, with the score on 110 in the 11th over.

The only other meaningful contribution came from David Miller, who made 38 when Glenn Maxwell failed again and made just 13, a stark contrast to his early tournament form. Miller's runs included five fours and a six before he was run out by Dhoni.

Sehwag was eventually out with the score on 211 in the 19th over, having smashed eight sixes and 12 fours in his knock, overtaking Lendl Simmons as the tournament's best knock this season. Viru was caught by Faf du Plessis off Ashish Nehra.

Chennai's chase was hampered from the beginning by the loss of both Du Plessis and Dwayne Smith for single figures. Then Raina went on the rampage, hitting his 87 inside the first seven over and taking the score to 100 in the seventh over.

But once he was gone, the middle order failed to impress, and when Dhoni arrived to play his customary rescue knock, there was too much for the skipper to do and the clock ran out on their third title attempt.

<b>Chennai Super Kings:</b> Dwayne Smith, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Brendon McCullum, David Hussey, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Ishwar Pandey, Ashish Nehra.

<b>Kings XI Punjab:</b> Virender Sehwag, Manan Vohra, Wriddhiman Saha, Glenn Maxwell, David Miller, George Bailey, Akshar Patel, Mitchell Johnson, Karanveer Singh, Sandeep Sharma, Parvinder Awana.

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