Jaipur, Oct 4: Ajinkya Rahane hit a resolute fifty and spinner Pravin Tambe scalped three crucial wickets as Rajasthan Royals notched up a 14-run victory over Chennai Super Kings to advance to the finals of the Champions League Twenty20 here today.
Rajasthan posted a competitive 159 for eight, courtesy a 56-ball 70-run innings by opener Rahane, after they were sent into bat by Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
The hosts then rode on a sensational spell of spin bowling by Tambe (3/10) to restrict the Super Kings to 145 for eight and register their 13 victory on a row at the Sawai Mansingh stadium here.
Lower-order batsman Ravichandran Ashwin blasted a quickfire 28-ball 46, studded with three fours and as many sixes, to give some hope to the Chennai side in the last stages of the match but it was not enough in the end.
Defending 159, Rajasthan were athletic on the field while Chennai looked sloppy in their running between the wickets and it cost them their first two wickets.
A terrible mix-up between Michael Hussey (9) and Murali Vijay (14) ended with the opener losing his wicket in the 3rd over, while two overs later, Vijay too run himself out with Kevon Cooper hitting the stumps directly.
However, Suresh Raina, who came as first down, clobbered the last two deliveries off Cooper for boundaries to ease the pressure as Chennai reached 41 for two in 6 overs.
Spinner Pravin Tambe and pacer Rahul Shukla then wrecked havoc on the Chennai batsmen with the former scalping the wickets of S Badrinath (8) and Dwayne Bravo (3) and the latter removing the dangerous Mahendra Singh Dhoni (3) cheaply.
Wickets kept falling like nine pins as Watson then induced an edged off Ravindra Jadeja which landed on the safe hands of wicketkeeper Dishant Yagnik.
Tambe then got rid off Raina, who was holed out by substitute Ashok Menaria at mid-off as Chennai was looking down the barrel at 72 for seven in 12.3 overs.
However, a 43-ball 73-run partnership between Ashwin and Chris Morris (26) for the eight wicket kept Chennai in the hunt till the last over.
Needing 23 runs in the last over, Ashwin blasted the first ball for a six but bowler James Faulkner made a quick recovery to restrict them comfortably in the end.