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Chennai Super Kings crowned again

Special Correspondent
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Vijay-Hussey's record partnership crushes Royal Challengers

THAT WINNING FEELING:Members of Chennai Super Kings celebrate the team's second IPL triumph, which was achievedat the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.— PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI
THAT WINNING FEELING:Members of Chennai Super Kings celebrate the team's second IPL triumph, which was achievedat the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.— PHOTO: K. PICHUMANI

Chennai Super Kings defended its IPL title, overpowering Royal Challengers Bangalore in Saturday's final in front of an adoring home crowd at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here.

After scoring 205 for five in 20 overs thanks to a marvellous partnership of 159 between M. Vijay (95, 52b, 4x4, 6x6) and Michael Hussey (63) – an IPL record for the first wicket – Chennai restricted Bangalore to 147 for eight.

Bangalore's chase was impaired by off-spinner R. Ashwin. Much depended on Chris Gayle, who had had an incredible IPL-4, but the left-hander from West Indies couldn't fire in the final. Ashwin, who took the new ball, had Gayle caught behind for a ‘duck' in the first over.

Bangalore never recovered from that early strike and lost wickets at regular intervals. Ashwin, who was again Chennai's best bowler, ended with figures of three for 16, ensuring that his side finished the edition unbeaten at home.

Earlier, Hussey and Vijay punished Bangalore after M.S. Dhoni had elected to bat.

Both batsmen put on a phenomenal display of ball-striking hitting seven fours and nine sixes between them during their record opening partnership. They also ran well between wickets, exerting pressure on Bangalore's fielders, who were playing their second match in as many days.

Vijay saved his best for the tournament's biggest occasion. He made light of the anxiety associated with grand finals and batted brilliantly. He cleared the ground with ease, depositing the ball in the stands with effortless, attractive strokes off both the seamers and the spinners.

The experienced Hussey complemented his younger partner, picking up the pace to give Vijay the time he needed to recover in humid conditions. The left-handed Hussey eventually fell, caught at long-on off left-arm spinner Syed Mohammed's bowling.

Vijay fell five short of a well-deserved century, dismissed by left-arm seamer S. Aravind, and left the ground to a standing ovation. Aravind struck with his next ball to remove Dhoni for a quick-fire 22.

Gayle bowled five extraordinary deliveries in the 20{+t}{+h}over, getting rid of both Albie Morkel and Suresh Raina and conceding just one run before Dwayne Bravo smashed the last ball for six to take Chennai past 200.

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