Chennai, May 25: Murali Vijay’s brilliant hundred piloted Chennai Super Kings into the IPL 5 final as they hammered Delhi Daredevils by 86 runs in Qualifier 2 here on Friday night.
Chasing a mammoth 223, Delhi were never in the hunt and were bowled out for 136 in 16.5 overs. It was a lopsided contest and Chennai gifted their home fans a big victory. The 86-run margin of defeat is the worst in IPL 5.
Barring Mahela Jayawardene (55) the rest of the Delhi batsmen faltered. Virender Sehwag and David Warner were expected to fire but they fell for single digits.
Two-time champions Chennai are into their fourth final in five-year history of IPL. Now, it is a hat-trick of finals. Only time they missed out was, in 2009 where Chennai lost to Royal Challengers Bangalore in the semi-finals. The second edition of IPL was held in South Africa and was won by Deccan Chargers.
Yet another entry into the title round will give Chennai a chance to aim for a hat-trick of titles. In the final, they will be up against Kolkata Knight Riders, at the same venue, MA Chidambaram Stadium, on Sunday.
Poor selection and one outstanding innings put Delhi out of the tournament. The table toppers, first lost to Kolkata in Qualifier 1 and in their second attempt, the title holders have put paid to their dream of a maiden final.
It was baffling to see Delhi drop Morne Morkel. And captain Sehwag made the same mistake of Mumbai Indians’ skipper Harbhajan Singh, by sending Chennai to bat after winning the toss.
Chennai Super Kings Innings Report
Opener Murali Vijay's blazing century catapulted defending champions Chennai Super Kings to an imposing 222/5 in 20 overs against Delhi Daredevils in Qualifier 2 of IPL 5 here at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Friday night.
All through this season, Vijay struggled to put together decent scores and what a day to come good. In a knock out match and one step away from yet another final, Vijay struck an amazing 51-ball 100 in front of his home fans. On way to this hundred, he became only Indian to register two centuries in IPL history. His previous ton was 127 against Rajasthan Royals in 2010 at this ground.
The right-handed Vijay was dismissed off the final ball of the innings. His 113 off just 58 balls was simply brilliant. In excellent batting conditions, Vijay chose to make the most of the pitch. He smashed 15 boundaries and four sixes. In the final overs, Dwayne Bravo hit a fine cameo of 12-ball 33. Today's team score is the highest this season.
With this mammoth score, Chennai have already put in foot in the final. The two-time winners, who were on the verge of missing out the play-offs, have come back roaring into the contest. First they knocked Mumbai Indians out in the Eliminator and now, at the half-way stage of this match, are ahead.
Delhi's strange decision to leave out their leading wicket-taker Morne Morkel, hit them hard. Debutante offspinner Sunny Gupta was hammered by the hosts batsmen and did not finish his quot of four overs. He conceded 47 runs for no wicket after opening the bowling.
Fast bowler Varun Aaron was also at the receiving end, 63 runs for his two wickets in four overs. This is the highest ever number of runs given away by a bowler in IPL history.
Delhi Daredevils captain Virender Sehwag won the toss and elected to field against Chennai Super Kings.
Delhi, surprisingly, left out Purple Cap holder Morne Morkel along with Irfan Pathan. Andre Russell and Sunny Gupta are playing. Chennai are unchanged.
It is a big gamble from Delhi as they have handed offspinner Sunny Gupta, IPL debut. The 23-year-old, who plays for Tamil Nadu in the Ranji Trophy will be excited to play at his home ground.
The winner of this game goes to the final to play Kolkata Knight Riders on May 27.
Chennai Super Kings: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Albie Morkel, Ben Hilfenhaus, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shadab Jakati.
Delhi Daredevils: Virender Sehwag (captain), David Warner, Mahela Jayawardene, Ross Taylor, K. Venugopala Rao, Naman Ojha (wicketkeeper), Andre Russell, Umesh Yadav, Sunny Gupta, Varun Aaron, Pawan Negi.
Umpires: Billy Doctrove (West Indies) and Simon Taufel (Australia)
Third Umpire: Billy Bowden (New Zealand)
Match Referee: Ranjan Madugalle (Sri Lanka)