Vijay fires Chennai into third succesive final

Super Kings to meet Knight Riders in Sunday's title clash.

Eyes Wide Shut: Vijay punches the air after reaching his century in just 51 balls.


Scorecard | Action in images | IPL-V

CHENNAI: It was a wipeout at Chepauk. Murali Vijay's withering century set-up a massive 86-run win for Chennai Super Kings over Delhi Daredevils in the second qualifier on Friday.

Chennai’s rousing triumph, their second in succession after the shellacking of Mumbai Indians in the Eliminator, places them in their third consecutive, and fourth overall, final, which they will contest against Kolkata Knight Riders at the same venue on Sunday evening for a tilt at the most unattainable of records – a hat-trick of IPL titles.

Once Chennai had posted the season’s highest total – 222 – it would have been wishful thinking to expect Delhi to make a fist of it on what is generally considered to be a treacherous track. As it happened, Delhi, opening with Mahela Jayawardene and David Warner, were never in the chase after the early dismissals of Warner and skipper Sehwag disallowed them to gain any sort of momentum.

Daredevils kept up a run-rate in the vicinity of nine runs-per over for the most part, thanks to Jayawardene’s classy 55, but sustaining the tempo - at least through the duration of a super-200 chase - was nigh impossible. The pursuit was wrecked by tumbling wickets, as batsmen attempted in vain to meet the spiraling requirement, only to be arrested with finality in the 17th over when Dhoni ran out last man Varun Aaron.

The double defending champions appear to be on an upswing, and on Friday it wasn’t just good cricket that took them to victory. Daredevils – technically the ‘home’ side by virtue of finishing at the top in the league stage – were on the backfoot even before the game began. They chose to ‘rest’ the most successful bowler in IPL-V, Morne Morkel, and replaced him with debutant (would you believe it!) off-spinner Sunny Gupta, who was murdered for 47 runs in three overs. It did not help that the pacy, allegedly promising Varun went for 63 in his four.

When Sehwag chose to field in a crunch game at a venue where pursuers are disadvantaged by the progressive slowness of the surface, Delhi appeared to be hellbent on making things tough for themselves. If that wasn’t bad enough, Vijay initiated the mayhem by nailing boundaries off the first two balls of Chennai’s innings, and from there the run-rate only went North, and beyond.

It would be futile to delve into individual hits, which were too many to recount. Let it be put on record though that it was Dhoni’s faith in Vijay that paid off. Out of sorts with a niggle in the wrist for the most of the season, Vijay began by hammering boundaries off Sunny and in the company of Michael Hussey took Super Kings to 68 in seven overs.

Hussey was soon out, and Vijay got moving when Sehwag introduced himself in the 11th over – first a six over midwicket (caught by Ross Taylor who overstepped the boundary), then a slash over backward point for four, and then another four and six to long-on and over cow corner respectively.

Daredevils made things worse with their butter fingers. Slowcoach Sehwag at cover was late on a mishit by Raina, and even the usually reliable Warner fluffed Dhoni at long-on. It was relentless hitting all the way as Dhoni and Dwayne Bravo joined the festivities with brutal cameos of their own, as if they were just continuing the riot act from their previous game against Mumbai Indians.

Vijay reached his hundred in 51 balls and was run-out on the last ball of the first innings. It was a remorseless show through and through – a display befitting the most dominating team across the short history of the tournament – and reminiscent of the destruction Vijay had caused in the 2011 IPL final. Can he do it again on Sunday against KKR? Or will Sunil Narine derail the Chennai juggernaut and prevent a hat-trick  of titles? We shall know soon.

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Mumbai Indians vs Kolkata Knight Riders

Abu Dhabi: Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir elects to bat in the season-opener of IPL-7. More »

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

Srinivasan named in fixing report: SC

The court emphasised that the tainted administrator can no longer work for the BCCI. More »

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'If you do the wrong thing it will be found out'

'Everyone knows what is right and what is wrong and if you do the wrong thing it will be found out' More »

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Why I'm not looking forward to the IPL

Welcome to another season of a league that many watch but few trust. More »

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Mitchell Johnson may quit T20s for Test cricket

Australia's Mitchell Johnson may quit limited-overs cricket to prolong his test career with an eye on the 2015 Ashes series in England, the fast bowler… More »

There's a lot going on: Fleming

There's a lot going on: Fleming

He experienced anxious moments in the lead-up to the tournament as the courts decided on whether to suspend the franchise, he said, but stressed that the… More »

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Latif couldn’t work with tainted players

Former Pakistan cricket captain Rashid Latif said Tuesday he turned down the job of national chief selector because he could not work with ex-players tainted… More »

We are not over-confident: Bailey

We are not over-confident: Bailey

Indian Premier League — George Bailey-led Kings XI Punjab will face Chennai Super Kings on Friday. More »

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

Taxing issue — BCCI hits roadblock

MoU between BCCI & its units to avoid double taxation delayed after a few decline to share details. More »

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Big runs expected, with bat and ball

Royal Challengers Bangalore: Their main concern, once again, is the fast bowling More »

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

Black Caps pick rookie duo for West Indies

New Zealand selectors included two new caps in a 15-man Test squad named Tuesday to tour the West Indies, with injury-hit spinner Dan Vettori's future… More »

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The stage is set for IPL-7 to start

The Preview — Defending champions Mumbai Indians take on Kolkata Knight Riders More »

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

Srinivasan appeals to court to allow BCCI comeback

He was aggrieved by the allegations against him during the hearing. More »

India: cricket's Brazil

India: cricket's Brazil

They are tough to beat with a big talent base exposed to good facilities. (CYCSPL) More »

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Delhi Daredevils say no to gifts

Franchises are doing their bit to refurbish the image of the tainted league. More »

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

India-Pakistan Test series likely in 2015

The revival of Indo-Pak Test ties could take place in UAE. More »

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Klinger on his exit from South Australia

Michael Klinger has revealed he felt compelled to leave South Australia after being told he would be only a fringe part of the Redbacks' plans for next season, and disputed the suggestion that he left… More »

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

Kohli hopes to end RCB trophy drought

'This time around we will hope to go few more steps ahead and actually get that trophy' More »

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Gavaskar can help IPL regain glory

Apart from the foreign players a lot of behind-the-scene activity has taken place in selecting the Indian domestic players. More »

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Tendulkar, Ganguly to promote soccer

Leading Spanish club Atletico Madrid and former cricketers Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly are among the owners of eight franchises of a new Indian… More »

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

This isn’t my first trip to India: Neesham

Kiwi all-rounder wants to utilise the India leg to explore the country’s tourist attractions. More »

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Ishant wanted to quit ODIs

Says his mother made him change his mind. More »

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Supreme Court says no to BCCI’s request

Bench refuses to grant access to recordings of Srini and Dhoni’s depositions before Mudgal committee. More »

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

Pietersen’s ‘little’ secret is out

A fractured little finger could now throw the Delhi Daredevils captain out of action at the start of this season. More »