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Match Review of Qualifier 1: Royal Challengers vs Chennai Super Kings

Indian Premier League - Match review
Date : 24th May 2011 Match No. : 71
Teams : Royal Challengers Bangalore vs. Chennai Super Kings
Play-Off : Qualifier - 1 Venue : Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai.
Umpires : Simon Toffel and Asad Rauf Third Umpire: P. Reifel
Toss : Chennai Super kings won the toss and elected to field

Playing XI

Royal Challengers Bangalore
  • Chris Gayle
  • Mayank Aggarwal
  • Virat Kohli
  • D.Vettori ©
  • AB de Villiars
  • Saurabh Tiwary
  • L.A. Pomersbach
  • Mohd. Kaif
  • S. Arvind
  • A. Mithun
  • Zaheer Khan
Chennai Super Kings
  • M. Hussy
  • Murali Vijay
  • Suresh Raina
  • M.S. Dhoni ©
  • S. Badrinath
  • Albie Morkel
  • R. Ashwin
  • Doug Bollinger
  • W. Saha
  • Shadab Jakati
  • D. Bravo
The IPL 2011 league phase is finally over. Though there were lot of speculations about the top 4 teams that would make it to the play-offs, but broadly the teams that looked strong all through have emerged out and reached the play-off stage. 70 matches and 1 1/2 month of some great cricketing action is what has taken these teams to emerge as the top 4 on the standings and progress towards the play-offs. The best part of being in top 2 is that whichever team loses in qualifier 1 gets another chance to play against the winner of the Eliminator 1.

In the first qualifier of this season the table toppers Royal Challengers Bangalore would take on the defending champions Chennai Super Kings at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Both the teams recently played against each other in the penultimate league match of the season, where the MS Dhoni yellow brigade was completely ruffled by the Red Challengers.

Important to note here is that Chennai is the only team who has succeeded to qualify for the top 4 in every IPL season. The batting order for the Chennai goes down till the 8th batsman and the bowling gang comprises of two specialist spinners Ashwin and Jakathi and both are expert in breaking partnerships.

The Challengers on the other hand have been in top form making any opposition look pretty ordinary. The astonishing form of Gyale well supported by Virat Kohli and backed by some superb bowling by Zaheer Khan has done wonders for their teams registering 7 back to back victories.

The Wankhede pitch has always been a good batting track. Team winning the toss should bat first and put up a decent total on the scoreboard.

Chennai skipper Dhoni won the toss and decided to put opposition to bat. The Challengers innings was opened by Mayank Aggarwal and Chris Gyale. The latter played a big role in the Chennai's last loss against the Challengers. So Dhoni was expected to have something under his sleeves to get rid of the dangerous Gyale. There was a change in the strategy as Ashwin did not open the bowling with Bollinger. Instead Dhoni applied his seamers from both the ends.

Though Morkel did bowl some loose deliveries and was hit by Aggarwal for couple of boundaries but Bollinger kept it very tight and just did not give any room to the dangerous Gyale. Ashwin was brought into the attack in the 4th over and was welcomed by a massive six by Gyale. The bowler came back strong and caught him leg before wicket on the next delivery itself. Gyale gone, a big sigh of relief in the Chennai camp as he has been instrumental in giving his side the momentum in the Power play overs.

Virat Kohli came in to bat at No. 3. With Gyale back in the stands there was definitely pressure on the batsmen to score quickly. They both took the score to past 50 runs mark in the 8th over and put up a partnership of 35 runs. As the run rate was dipping, Aggarwal charged Bravo and was caught by Bollinger after scoring 34 of 33 deliveries. Kohli was little tentative to begin with but gained confidence from the partnership stand put with Aggarwal. He was now joined by AB de Villiers who once again crashed early without contributing much to the scoreboard.

The Challengers at this stage had all the reasons to worry as they were 3 wickets down for 85 runs in the 12th over. Kohli was joined by Pommersbach and they both looked determined to stick to the crease and score quickly. While Kohli was selective in his shots, Pommersbach took the aggressive route and started attacking the bowlers. They took the total past the 100 runs mark and put up a partnership of 48 runs. Pommersbach got out to Bollinger after scoring a quick 29 of just 18 deliveries hitting two 4s and two 6s.

After Pommersbach's departure, Kohli was joined by the hitter Tiwari. Kohli then decided to take charge and went on the rampage scoring 19 runs of the Morkel's penultimate over. He completed 50 runs of 36 deliveries in Morkel's over itself. The last over of the innings was bowled by Bollinger who did not give any room to the batsmen and conceded only 8 runs of that over. Kohli's unbeaten knock of 70 runs of 44 deliveries helped push the Challengers score to a good defending total of 175 runs.

176 to win was definitely a challenging total to chase. The Super Kings would have hoped to have a good start and must have discussed the strategy to keep the wickets intact at least in the 1st half of the innings. The Chennai innings was opened by Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay. Zaheer Khan and Aravind opened the bowling and bowled a great line and length. Right from the beginning, the Challengers put the Super Kings on the back foot by sending both the openers back to pavilion for just seven runs in the 2nd over itself. Once again a poor start leading to a pressure situation for the rest of the batting line up.

Raina and Badrinath came to the crease much before they would have expected to. They both started building the recovery path for the side. Both the batsmen were under tremendous pressure to keep up to the run rate and ensure not to lose any wicket. Chennai were lagging behind the run rate in the 1st half of the innings. While trying to improvise the scoring rate Badrinath fell victim to Aravind Mithun after putting up a 63 runs partnership with Raina. He got out after scoring 34 runs of 32 balls hitting five 4s.

Raina was now joined by Skipper Dhoni in the battle to chase the total. At this stage Gyale was brought into the attack, he bowled a superb length and frustrated the batsmen not giving them any room to hit. The pressure started building up and then Dhoni did exactly what he is good doing at. He attacked Abhimanyu Mithun, the bowler at the other end, in the 13th over and scored 23 runs. At this stage the equation was a tough proposition as Chennai required 82 runs of 42 deliveries. Gyale continued bowling well and his economical spell made things further tough for Chennai taking the equation to 58 runs required of 28 balls.

Sensing trouble, Zaheer Khan was brought back for his second spell. Raina took charge and hit Zaheer for two sixes followed by a boundary. Though Zaheer's 17th over conceded 20 runs but got the team the crucial wicket of Dhoni. The two put together very crucial 61 runs partnership keeping the team in the hunt. Dhoni got out after scoring a quick 29 of 19 deliveries hitting 3 fours and 1 sixes.

Plenty of runs scored in the 17th over definitely gave Chennai the required momentum. When Morkel joined the crease, Chennai needed 45 runs of 20 deliveries. Arvind bowled the 19th over that added to the Challengers agony as he was crashed by Morkel and conceded 21 runs. Chennai need just 12 of the final over. The Challengers skipper Vettori decided to bowl the last over. Morkel finished the innings in style hitting Vettori for a six with 2 balls to spare.

Morkel went on to scored a quick 28 of just 10 deliveries with one 4 and three 6s. Raina who was limping and struggling with muscle cramp was involved in 3 crucial partnerships. He made an unbeaten 73 of 50 balls hitting four 4s and six 6s to guide his team to the finals.

This win takes the Chennai through to the IPL 2011 finals. The Challengers path to the final has become a bit tough as they need to beat the winner of the Eliminator 1.

Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 6 wickets.

The Awards

Man of the match
Suresh Raina for his outstanding knock of 73 in 50 balls.

Maximum Sixes
Suresh Raina for hitting 6 huge sixes.

Kingfisher Fair Play Award
Chennai Super Kings tops the chart.

Orange Cap (The leading run scorer)
Chris Gayle- Royal Challengers Bangalore

Purple Cap (The leading wicket taker)
Lasith Mallinga- Mumbai Indians

Question of the day
Who is the better performer Virat Kohli or Suresh Raina?

Last Updated on 26 May 2011

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