This was a tale of three innings. Michael Hussey (86 off 58 balls) and Suresh Raina (82 off 42) added 140 from just 76 balls to take Chennai Super Kings to a huge total of 192 for 1. Dwayne Smith responded with a breathtaking 68, but with no other batsman crossing 25, Chennai eased to a 48-run win and a fifth final in six seasons of the Indian Premier League.
As is their wont, Chennai's start was steady rather than spectacular. Hussey clipped Mitchell Johnson's first ball for four and M Vijay then capitalised on Munaf Patel's rustiness - he hadn't played since April 21 - in an over that went for 12. But Rohit Sharma brought Harbhajan Singh on as early as the fourth over to temporarily stem the flow. No matter. When Lasith Malinga came on, Hussey drove two fours. And a loft over cover off Harbhajan made it 47 from the Power Play.
Vijay, who made 23 off 20 balls, went soon after, lofting Kieron Pollard's second delivery to deep midwicket. At halfway, Chennai had just 69 on the board. What followed was carnage. A Hussey reverse-sweep and a Raina swipe for six meant 15 from a Pragyan Ojha over, and Raina then smashed sixes off both Harbhajan and Johnson. (And off the IPL field: Sreesanth says he is innocent, will come out clean)
Hussey greeted Pollard's return with a magnificent swivel-pull for six, while a mighty cleave over midwicket in Pollard's next over took Raina to a half-century from just 29 balls. The bowlers keep feeding Raina's arc and he obliged with five fours and five sixes.
Malinga searched for yorkers and found mainly full tosses. In the final over, Hussey played an astonishing shot, clipping a full toss for six over short fine leg. The final ball of the innings was fetched from outside off and deposited behind square leg. Chennai had taken 123 off the final ten overs.
Mumbai started as though they planned to finish the chase in 15 overs. Aditya Tare went early, chipping Albie Morkel to mid-on, but Smith, returning in place of Glenn Maxwell, was unstoppable once he found his range. Full and short balls from Mohit Sharma were taken for consecutive sixes and in Morkel's next over, he thrashed three fours.
Two sixes off Chris Morris took him to a 21-ball half-century, and Mumbai had 87 from 8.2 overs by the time he miscued Ravindra Jadeja to backward point. Smith's 28-ball inning featured six fours and five sixes.
Story first published on: Tuesday, 21 May 2013 19:06 IST