Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Chennai Super Kings all-rounder Dwayne Bravo smashed an entertaining 67 to not only crush the Kings XI Punjab by 65 runs, but also help his side march into the final, where they will face the Kolkata Knight Riders.
However Punjab pace bowler Parvinder Awana deserves a lot of credit as he took four wickets, which included a hat-trick.
Punjab captain George Bailey would have been thrilled with his decision to bowl first after Chennai opener Dwayne Smith was clean bowled by Parvinder Awana for 14 runs.
Brendon McCullum only made six runs before he was caught by Awana at deep midwicket off the bowling of Thisara Perera.
Suresh Raina fared no better as he was caught by Bailey at short midwicket off the bowling of Awana for six runs.
Faf du Plessis and Bravo stabilised the innings with a 63-run partnership before du Plessis was clean bowled by Akshar Patel for 46 off 33 balls, which included five boundaries and a six.
Pawan Negi failed to have an impact with the bat as he was cleaned up by Awana for eight runs.
Awana completed his hat-trick the very next ball when Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was caught by Karanveer Singh at short midwicket for a golden duck.
Awana dismissed Raina on the last ball of the sixth over before taking out Negi and Dhoni
Bravo ended up making 67 off 39 balls, which included seven boundaries and three sixes, before he was caught by Glenn Maxwell at long-off off the bowling of Patel.
Thanks to Ravindra Jadeja’s quickfire knock of 27, which came off 13 balls and included two boundaries and two sixes, Chennai finished on 182/7 off their 20 overs.
Awana was the pick of the bowlers with four wickets, while Patel snapped up two and Perera chipped in with one.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Chasing 183 to reach the finals, Punjab got off to a terrible start as opening batsman Virender Sehwag was caught by McCullum at cover point off the bowling of Mohit Sharma for a duck.
Wriddhiman Saha made six runs before he was clean bowled by Ashish Nehra.
Nehra struck again just four balls later when Maxwell was caught behind for a duck.
Manan Vohra mustered 16 runs before he was caught by du Plessis at mid-off off the bowling of Sharma.
Bailey failed to save his team as he was caught by McCullum at short cover off the bowling of Negi for just six runs.
Negi struck again just two balls later when Perera was caught by Bravo at deep midwicket for a duck.
David Miller hammered a quickfire 22 before he was cleaned up by Ravichandran Ashwin.
Patel was Punjab’s top-scorer with 31 runs, which came off 18 balls and included four boundaries and a six, before he had his stumps shattered by Raina.
Raina picked up his second wicket just two balls later when Awana was caught by du Plessis at mid-off for a duck.
Punjab were put out of their misery on 117 when Anureet Singh was caught by Raina at long-on off the bowling of Jadeja for 16 runs.
Nehra, Sharma, Negi and Raina took two wickets apiece, while Ashwin and Jadeja claimed one wicket each.
Bailey was disappointed to have been knocked out in the semi-finals, and said: “It didn’t quite come on, but we saw plenty of batsmen who managed to adjust and there were definitely runs to be had. We gave Bravo three hits, and with a quality batter like that, you’ve got to take those chances. But credit to CSK.”
Dhoni was ecstatic to have made it to the final, and said: “Overall I think it was a complete game for us. I think Faf’s innings was very crucial along with Bravo. Faf was rotating very well, he eased the pressure off Bravo. Close to 160-plus would have been a good score, and if somebody had said at the start of the game we would have got 180 I would have taken it. There was a bit of uneven bounce, and if you think you can play your big shot, that ball will keep low. It was a bit difficult, but they had the firepower to score the number of runs we did. Ashish and Mohit started off really well for us.”
Bravo was named Man of the Match, and said: “It’s a very good wicket, as long as you give yourself a chance. It’s not a wicket where you can play your shots right from the start. It was a great opportunity for me to get some time in the middle. Well played to Faf du Plessis and Jadeja in the end. The gameplan between me and Faf was to bat till around the 14th over, then we lost Mahi first ball, that pulled me back a bit, so I told myself I need to bat till the 18th over.”