Johannesburg:Lusty hitting by Virat Kohli (24 n.o.) and Ross Taylor (17 n.o.) powered Royal Challengers Bangalore to a six-wicket victory over Chennai Super Kings and into the final of the Indian Premier League on Saturday.
The duo hit a couple of sixes each towards the end to set up title clash with Deccan Chargers after youngster Manish Pandey (48 off 35 balls) and experienced Rahul Dravid (44 off 39) set the tone with a 72-run partnership for the third wicket.
Chasing 147 for victory, Bangalore, who finished second from bottom last year, put themselves in all sorts of trouble as Jacques Kallis (9) and Roelf van der Merwe (2) were back into the pavilion with just 22 on board.
But Pandey picked up from where he left off in the last match. The 19-year-old, who scored an unbeaten 114 against Deccan Chargers -- the first century by an Indian player in the IPL -- timed his shots to perfection as Royal Challengers gradually picked up steam.
At the other end Dravid too semed to be enjoying himself as he found the boundaries on both sides of the wicket.
Together they almost took the game away from last year's runners-up before a rush of blood brought an end to the youngster's innings that included seven fours.
Dravid played some exquisite shots before Muttiah Muralitharan put an end to his innings.
With the wicket slowing down, boundaries were hard to come but Kohli and Taylor ensured there were no further hiccups as they put on 39 runs off 22 deliveries to wrap up the match with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, Bangalore bowled well to restrict Chennai Super Kings to 146 for five.
Electing to field after winning the toss, Bangalore picked up wickets at regular intervals to tie down Chennai after they had threatened to set a huge total with Parthiv Patel (36) and Matthew Hayden (26) going great guns at the top of the order.
Parthiv was the more aggressive of the two, hitting Jacques Kallis for three fours in his first over and then picking up a couple of boundaries each off Praveen Kumar and R Vinay Kumar.
In between, a rather subdued Hayden picked up a couple of boundaries and the duo brought up 50 in just 32 balls.
But just as Hayden was looking to break free, his innings was cut short by Vinay, caught by Pandey at long off.
Parthiv followed soon after, Kallis trapping him in front of stumps and ending his 27-ball innings that included seven hits to the fence.
The twin blows put the breaks as Dhoni (28 off 30 balls)and Suresh Raina (20 off 19) struggled against some disciplined bowling.
Raina fell trying to up the tempo and Dhoni followed suit as Chennai failed to cross the 150-run mark.