Chennai Super Kings came up with a resounding performance against Delhi Daredevils at the Chepauk on Friday to set-up a mouthwatering title clash against Kolkata Knight Riders. A look at what worked for MS Dhoni and his side. A reflection as well on what did not for the visitors in Chennai.
* Murali Vijay: The most obvious factor that worked in Chennai's favour was the rise of this opener. He blasted 113 off 58 in an innings which is not seen too frequently, even by T20 standards. He now has 294 runs in the tournament, coming into Friday's match with a rather ordinary performance.
* MS Dhoni: Chennai Super Kings have been propelled more by this batsman rather than this skipper. While his skills as a leader has never been doubted, it was his performance against Mumbai on Wednesday that gave him the confidence of whacking 23 off 10 against Delhi as well. In the context of the game, it was a crucial add-on to how Vijay was already batting.
* Dwayne Bravo: The West Indian is another player inÂ the side who has peaked at the right time. His performance against Mumbai was exceptional. His innings against Delhi worth 33 off 12 was equally solid in carrying his side to a mammoth total.
* Fielding: There was the occasional mis-field but Chennai largely did their ground-work right. Catches were taken and the stoppable boundaries were deflected before they could reach the fence.
* Bowling maintained a largely straight line: The likes of Ben Hilfenhaus and Albie Morkel justified being given the new ball. They brought their experience to the fore and managed to remove David Warner and Virender Sehwag before they could stage a repeat of Vijay's innings. The blows at the top were crucial to their eventual win even if Delhi had a starting required rate of over 11.
* Dropping Morne Morkel: Though the reason is not known at the time of this report, dropping Morkel meant Delhi's bowling lacked the one venom that had stung opposition the hardest. With 25 wickets in the tournament, Morkel was far ahead of any other bowler from his side. Varun Aaron and Umesh Yadav looked like they had been caught unawares. (Related: We missed Morkel, says Sehwag and Simmons defends decision to replace Morkel)
* Sehwag at Number 3: Delhi's batting has been prolific for most parts of the tournament. Virender Sehwag has maintained his position at the top but with 223 needed on Friday, he chose to drop himself in the batting-order. Hankering with a batting-order was not on in a do-or-die situation.
* Nadeem's spin woefully missing: In hindsight, the losing side may seem to have done all wrong. Not playing Shahbaz Nadeem though would definitely be deemed incorrect by most. With 8 wickets and best of 3/16 in the tournament, Nadeem could have given support to Pawan Negi. Instead, it was Virender Sehwag who had to roll his arms and it cost his side 21 runs off 6 balls.