New Delhi:Rajasthan Royals will face Chennai Super Kings for the inaugural DLF Indian Premier League title on Sunday.
The Super Kings routed Kings XI Punjab by 9 wickets in the second semi-final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
Kings XI batting was a complete letdown as they scored just 112 runs at the loss of eight wickets in 20 overs. And Chennai Super Kings achieved that total in 14.5 overs losing just one wicket of S Viduyt.
Parthiv Patel and Suresh Raina with a 102-run partnership steered their side to victory. Both batsmen smashed unbeaten half-centuries.
Earlier, Punjab chose to bat after winning the toss but Chennai bowlers never let them break free and restricted them for a paltry total. Makhaya Ntini, Manpreet Gony and Albie Morkel picked two wickets apiece. Ntini was adjudged as the 'Man of the Match' for picking two crucial wickets and a run out.
None of the Punjab batsmen showed any resilience and wickets fell at regular intervals. The Wankhede wicket was slow, but a little bit of application would have put them in a better position.
Ramesh Powar was the highest scorer for Kings XI with unbeaten 28 runs. Wilkin Mota chipped in with 25 runs. He lost his wicket to Albie Morkel.
Kings XI lost their first wicket in the second over, as Makhaya Ntini scalped Hopes' wicket for just 2 runs.
In the next over Dhoni introduced Manpreet Gony. The move worked and Kumar Sangakkara was caught behind. But, it was a great gesture from the Sri Lankan wicketkeeper as neither the fieldsmen appealed nor the umpire gave him out. He knew he had nicked it and decided to walk off the field.
A great sportsmanship but Kings XI Punjab had to pay a huge price for it!
Skipper Yuvraj Singh, who looked to have regained his form against Rajasthan Royals, failed to perform as Gony claimed his wicket cheaply.
Ntini then bowled Shaun Marsh for 23 runs. The most successful batsman of the tournament, Marsh was the key man and Dhoni knew this. In the next over of Gony, Ntini ran out Irfan Pathan for 3 runs.
Interestingly, Chennai have beaten Kings XI Punjab at their home ground, in Mohali and now at the neutral venue as well. However, they have lost to Rajasthan Royals in their previous two league matches. Can they turn the tables in the final?