Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings rode on the performance of its old warhorses Mike Hussey and Ashish Nehra to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by 3 wickets in Qualifier 2 of the Indian Premier League (IPL) being played at the JSCA International Cricket Stadium here on Friday.
This will be Chennai Super Kings' record sixth appearance in an IPL final in eight editions of the event.
CSK rode on veteran Mike Hussey's 56 off 46 balls to chase down the modest 140-run target with just one ball to
Opening the batting, Hussey, the Mr. Cricket who will be 40 in another five days, anchored the CSK innings with his
vast experience and decorated his knock with three boundaries and two sixes.
CSK will now face Mumbai Indians in the summit clash of the tournament in Kolkata on Sunday.
Chennai Super Kings celebrate the fall of a RCB wicket at the JSCA International Cricket Stadium in Ranchi on Friday. Pic/PTI
Earlier, led by an all-round brilliant bowling performance, CSK restricted RCB to a modest total of 139/8.
Veteran pacer Ashish Nehra once again came good for the two-time IPL champions as he clinched 3/28 in his four overs, including the vital wickets of RCB skipper Virat Kohli (12) and explosive batsman AB de Villiers (1).
The left-armer was well assisted by off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who ended with brilliant bowling figures of 4-0-13-1, scalping Mandeep Singh (4).
The duo did not allow the RCB batsmen to accelerate at all.
Though left-handed opener Chris Gayle top-scored with 41, it wasn't his usual innings as he played 43 balls for that knock which included two boundaries and three sixes.
Two important cameos from wicketkeeper-batsman Dinesh Karthik (28) and Sarfaraz Khan (31) helped augment RCB's total at the end, but the top order failed to make an impact when it mattered the most.
Good bowling changes and field placements by CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni also proved significant as Mohit Sharma, Suresh Raina and Dwayne Bravo also clinched a wicket each to slow down the run rate.
Chasing the modest score, CSK started on a bright note with Dwayne Smith racing off to 17 off just 11 balls with the help of three boundaries.
But just when he was looking dangerous Smith departed in the first ball of the fourth over, caught by Mitchell Starc off Sreenath Aravind as the batsman went for a short-arm pull.
It could have been double blow for CSK in the next delivery had Gayle not dropped new man Faf du Plessis at the first slip.
After Du Plessis, it was time for Hussey to get a life as wicket-keeper Dinesh Karthik fumbled a sharp outside edge off David Wiese's bowling in the seventh over.
Even though ground fielding disappointed the side, RCB bowlers did their best to keep CSK in check by mantaining some tight line and length. But despite their best efforts, the night belonged to Chennai 's SUper Kings.