It was always going to require something special to chase down 206 and that is exactly what the Chennai batsmen provided as they beat Bangalore by five wickets off the last ball of the match
After Mayank Agarwal, Chris Gayle and Virat Kohli powered the visitors to a mammoth score early in the day, Faf du Plessis, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo stole the show in the second innings to blast the Super Kings to 208 for five in exactly 20 overs.
South Africa’s Du Plessis set the ball rolling for the defending champions with 71 from 46 balls, but a victory looked very unlikely for Chennai after he became one of wily old spinner Muttiah Muralitharan’s three victims.
The Super Kings though were not to be denied as some fireworks from captain Dhoni, Morkel and Bravo took them over the finish line. Dhoni smashed 41 from 24 balls while Morkel required only seven balls to make 28. Three of the balls disappeared over the ropes for sixes while two were fours.
Bravo kept his nerve to finish unbeaten on 25 from 15, but Ravindra Jadeja was the man who was as cool as a cucumber as he hit the first ball he faced, which was also the final ball of the match, for four to see his side to victory.
The result will be a bitter pill to swallow for Bangalore’s top order as the 205 for three was more than a decent score to defend.
Gayle took backseat to his fellow opener Agarwal as he contributed just six runs in the opening stand of 53. Agarwal smashed a 26-ball 45 with three sixes and five fours to put the pressure on Chennai.
Once he departed after top edging Morkel to mid-on, it turned into the Gayle and Kohli show. The duo shared a 109 partnership from just 11 overs.
Gayle in particular climbed into the bowlers as he hammered six sixes in his 69 from 35 balls while India batsman Kohli made 57 from 46 balls.
The Challengers, though, will feel they could’ve added another 20 or so runs to their total as they lost momentum late in the innings. AB de Villiers, Manoj Tiwary, Raju Bhatkal, Cheteshwar Pujara and Daniel Vettori all departed for single figures as Doug Bolliner picked up three wickets and affected a run out in the final over.