2012 IPL: A LOOK BACK
Chennai Super Kings missed out on a hat-trick of Indian Premier League crowns, going down to Kolkata Knight Riders in the summit clash of season 5 that also saw the Lions pick up tempo in the second half to maintain their record of advancing to the Playoffs in every season since inception.
Qualifying as the fourth-placed side on the League table, the two-time champions thumped third-placed Mumbai Indians by 38 runs in the Eliminator at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium on the back of a sensational 20-ball 51 not out by MS Dhoni, who also unleashed the helicopter shot during the knock.
“The helicopter shot was because of tennis ball cricket, used to play from 17-18 yards and the bowlers sent down a lot of yorkers... (it is) not an easy shot to play either, could end up hitting the ankles as well,” Dhoni told the prize distribution ceremony.
Murali Vijay struck a 58-ball 113 for his second IPL century to help CSK defeat league toppers Delhi Daredevils by 86 runs in Qualifier 2 at the Chidambaram Stadium as the Lions roared into their fourth finals.
“I know the Chennai wicket and I decided to hit straighter,” Tamil Nadu’s Vijay said after receiving the Player of the match award. “After six overs I thought the wicket was playing slower, decided one of us had to bat through the end, I was lucky to come through,” added Vijay.
Asked to bat first, CSK posted a commanding 222/5. DD were shot out for 136.
“The way Vijay played, he took the game away from us... It was a good pitch, 180 was chaseable but 40 more runs was going to be difficult to chase,” DD skipper Virender Sehwag said.
CSK were favourites going into the final, and opting to bat first on their home ground ran up a competitive 190/3. Michael Hussey (54) put on 87 for the first wicket with Vijay (42) and 73 for the next with Suresh Raina, who top-scored with 73.
Manvinder Bisla turned in a match-winning 89 for KKR, resulting in a five-wicket win for the visitors with two balls to spare.
“I thought the ball started coming on slightly better in the second half,” Dhoni told the post-match ceremony. “Cricket is a game of plus 10 minus 10. It is always like that. I am happy with our performance.”
Earlier in the nine-team league phase, the Lions won only five of their first 12 games and scraped through to the Knockouts after clinching three of the last four games while also possessing a better Net Run Rate than fifth-placed Royal Challengers Bangalore, who were level on 17 points.
An all-round performance by Ravindra Jadeja (29-ball 48 & 5/16) helped CSK hammer Deccan Chargers by 74 runs while the left-hander also hit a last-ball four after Albie Morkel’s blitz to help the Lions win the home game against RCB.
With five runs required to win off the last ball, Dwayne Bravo lashed a six to help CSK clinch a cliffhanger against KKR and a spot in the Playoffs. Raina (441 runs) finished as the side’s leading run-getter while Bravo topped the bowling charts with 15 wickets.