Cooper’s Royals in CLT20 final
Pravin Tambe scripted the most remarkable chapter in his brief Twenty20 career, grabbing three for ten to lead Rajasthan Royals to the final of the Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) with a 14-run win over Chennai Super Kings in their semifinal clash at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, in Jaipur, yesterday.
He helped restrict the Chennai Super Kings to just 145 for eight in their 20 overs, in reply to Rajasthan Royals’ 159 for eight.
Super Kings began poorly in pursuit of 160 as both openers were run out, and Tambe ensured the dangerous men below would not prosper, as he and the seamers gleaned a wicket per over between the 9th and 13th overs of the innings.
Tambe extracted no alarming turn from the hard surface, but succeeded instead by pushing his legbreaks through quickly at the batsmen’s legs.
The Super Kings batsmen were tentative in his first over, and when Subramaniam Badrinath ran past one that kept low and was stumped in Tambe’s next over, the visitors were even more reluctant to take him on.
He trapped Dwayne Bravo in front with a slider in the following over, after Rahul Shukla had done MS Dhoni in with a beauty at the other end, then effectively delivered the coup de grace by removing Suresh Raina, who had been the only top-order batsman to produce a start.
When Tambe began his spell, Super Kings were 41 for two after six overs, and when he finished, they were 73 for seven after 13.
Ravichandran Ashwin swung bravely at the seam bowlers, whose standards dipped after the middle overs, but his team had already surrendered too much ground.
Ashwin and Chris Morris got Super Kings to within 23 runs of victory before the 20th over, and although Ashwin struck the first ball for six, he fell on the fourth delivery, having struck three fours and three sixes in his 28-ball 46.
Earlier, a fluid Ajinkya Rahane scored 70 from 56 balls, which helped set up the win as the Royals finished the year unbeaten in Jaipur.
Rahane arrived with consecutive fifties behind him, and his abiding fine touch was plain to see in the first over, when he strode down the pitch to send Ravindra Jadeja into the sightscreen. He lay low for several overs after that, as he collected runs into the outfield, but unfurled his attacking strokes again in the company of Shane Watson, with whom he put on 59 for the fourth wicket.
Rahane found gaps in the covers often, and when the ball suited him, he hit inside-out above the infield as well. An advancing drive over extra cover in the ninth over was followed three overs later by a graceful blow that carried the ball well over the cover rope and a fluent drive in the same direction. In between, the wayward yorkers were glanced to the fine leg fence and the short balls dispatched square on the leg side.
The Super Kings attack was disciplined at the finish, however, with Bravo taking three wickets in the final over including the rampaging Rahane.
Royals were well-placed at 141 for four at the end of the 17th over, looking set for a score in excess of 170, but could only muster 18 more runs.
At the innings break, Royals would have felt their total was at least ten runs light at a traditionally high-scoring venue, but despite a desperate Ashwin salvo towards the finish, the hosts extended their winning streak at home to 13 victories.
Rajasthan Royals vs Chennai Super Kings
Rajasthan Royals Innings
R Dravid b Morris 5
AM Rahane c Sharma b Bravo 70
K Cooper c Badrinath b Sharma 14
S Samson c Ashwin b Holder 11
S Watson c Holder b Morris 32
B Hodge b Holder 11
S Binny c Jadeja b Bravo 5
D Yagnik c Holder b Bravo 0
J Faulkner not out 1
R Shukla not out 1
Extras (lb 1, w 7, nb 1) 9
TOTAL (8 wickets; 20 overs) 159
Did not bat: Tambe
Wickets at: 14 (Dravid), 29 (Cooper), 62 (Samson),
121 (Watson), 149 (Hodge), 155 (Rahane), 157 (Yagnik), 157 (Binny)
BOWLING: Jadeja 3-0-19-0; M Sharma 4-0-37-0; Morris 4-0-25-2 (1nb, 2w); Holder 4-0-35-2 (1w); Bravo 4-0-26-3 (1w); Ashwin 1-0-16-0 (3w)
Chennai Super Kings Innings (target: 160 runs from 20 overs)
M Hussey run out 9
M Vijay run out (Samson) 14
S Raina c sub (AL Menaria) b Tambe 29
S Badrinath st wk Yagnik b Tambe 8
MS Dhoni lbw b Shukla 3
DJ Bravo lbw b Tambe 3
R Jadeja c wk Yagnik b Watson 2
C Morris not out 26
R Ashwin c Binny b Faulkner 46
J Holder not out 0
Extras (lb 1, w 3, nb 1) 5
TOTAL (8 wickets; 20 overs) 145
(7.25 runs per over)
Did not bat: M Sharma
Wickets at: 13 (Hussey), 33 (Vijay), 51 (Badrinath), 54 (Dhoni), 61 (Bravo), 70 (Jadeja), 72 (Raina), 145 (Ashwin)
BOWLING: Binny 1-0-2-0; Faulkner 4-0-36-1 (1nb); Watson 4-0-34-1 (2w); Shukla 3-0-21-1; Cooper 4-0-41-0 (1w); Tambe 4-0-10-3
Toss: Won by Chennai Super Kings, who chose to bowl first
Result: Rajasthan Royals won by 14 runs
Player of the match: Pravin Tambe (Rajasthan Royals)
Umpires: B Bowden and B Oxenford
TV umpire: S Ravi
Match referee: R Mahanama
Reserve umpire: C Nandan