CLT20 final: Chennai obliterate Kolkata to be crowned CLT20 champions

The Chennai Super Kings celebrate after winning the CLT20

The Chennai Super Kings celebrate after winning the CLT20

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

The Chennai Super Kings obliterated the Kolkata Knight Riders by eight wickets in Bangalore to be crowned Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) champions.

Batsman Suresh Raina starred with the bat as he smashed an unbeaten 109, while Pawan Negi excelled with the ball as he picked up his maiden five-wicket haul.

However, Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir deserves a lot of credit for his valiant knock of 80.

Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have been brooding over his decision to bowl first after Gambhir and Robin Uthappa amassed a 91-run partnership before Uthappa was stumped by Dhoni off the bowling of Negi for 39.

Former South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis only made one run before he was caught by Ashish Nehra off the bowling of Negi.

Gambhir ended up making a brilliant 80, which came off 52 balls and included seven boundaries and three sixes, before he was the victim of a spectacular catch by Brendon McCullum at long-off off the bowling of Ravindra Jadeja.

Gambhir made a gutsy 80

Gambhir’s gutsy innings of 80 went in vain

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Manish Pandey made a quickfire 32 before he was caught by McCullum at long-on off the bowling of Negi.

Negi struck again just three balls later when he was stumped by Dhoni for a duck.

Negi completed his maiden Twenty20 five-wicket haul when Suryakumar Yadav was caught by Nehra at short third man for a duck.

Thanks to Yusuf Pathan’s rapid knock of 20, Kolkata finished on 180/6 off their 20 overs.

Negi was easily the pick of the bowlers with his five wickets, while Jadeja chipped in with one.

Negi picked up a career-best 5-22 off his four overs

Negi picked up a career-best 5-22 off his four overs

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Chasing 181 to win the CLT20, Chennai got off to a terrible start as opening batsman Dwayne Smith was clean bowled by Pat Cummins for eight runs.

McCullum and Raina made up for the early loss of Smith with a 118-run partnership, during which Raina brought up his half-century, before McCullum was caught by Ryan ten Doeschate at deep midwicket off the bowling of Pathan for 39.

Raina and Dhoni finished things off with an unbeaten 58-run partnership, during which Raina registered his third Twenty20 century.

Raind ended up scoring a career-best 109, which came off 62 balls and included six boundaries and an incredible eight sixes, while Dhoni remained undefeated on 23 off 14 deliveries, which included one boundary and two sixes.

Raina smashed six boundaries and eight sixes during his game-winning knock of 109

Raina walloped six boundaries and eight sixes during his game-winning knock of 109

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Cummins and Pathan claimed one wicket each.

Gambhir was gutted to have lost in the final, and said: “All of us should be proud of each other, the way we showed character. The journey is not yet complete, it has just started. We thought 170-180 was a very good total, but in the second innings there was dew as well, it was difficult to grip the ball. We have great characters, tough characters. The guys should be proud of what they have achieved. They will be better next year.”

Dhoni was over the moon at having won the CLT20, and said: “Overall it was a fantastic game for us. To start off it was a good toss to win. It was slightly difficult for the opposition bowlers. Our fielding was not up to the mark. In the final, you have to take the game to the next level. We didn’t start well. Negi is not afraid to toss the ball up. It was important to do that to get something out of the wicket. What’s important is to get to the knockouts. After that you may win games, you may lose games. We have made eight finals and won four. I won’t say it is too bad. We made quite a few errors in the last two finals, so what we took out of those finals was really important. Raina was aggressive throughout and he ensured he stayed till the end.”

Negi edged out Raina for the Man of the Match award, and said: “There was turn in the wicket, so I tried to bowl slow. It was a big match and a final, I only tried to give my best.”

However, Raina won the golden bat award and was named Man of the Series.

“I have seen Virat Kohli bat and hit big hundreds and I have learnt from him that you can’t throw it away,” he said. “I have also learnt a lot from Yuvraj on how to finish innings. In the last seven years, I have played with Fleming, Hayden and Hussey, and I have learnt from them on how to build an innings.”

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