Virender Sehwag smashed 122 off 58 balls to help put Kings XI Punjab into their first IPL final after a 24-run win over Chennai Super Kings.
Sehwag’s thunderous knock, which included 12 fours and eight sixes, helped Kings XI post 226-6 off their 20 overs.
But in a real run-fest in Mumbai, Super Kings looked on course to chase their target down with Suresh Raina helping them to 100-2 off the first six overs – the highest Powerplay score in Twenty20 cricket.
He’d motored onto 87 from 25 balls after belting 12 fours and six maximums before being run out by a direct hit from George Bailey.
His dismissal inevitably caused the innings to slow and Super Kings could only manage 102 off the last 14 overs to come up well short.
Sehwag’s innings, which eventually proved the difference, started fast and never let up as he enjoyed a 110 partnership with Manan Vohra for the opening wicket.
David Miller chipped in with a brisk 38 from 19 balls as he and Sehwag put on 63 for the third wicket before the former’s knock was finally ended in the 19th over as he was caught at extra cover by Faf du Plessis off Ashish Nehra.
Super Kings’ reply began with a wobble as du Plessis was removed first ball after mistiming a pull off Aussie paceman Mitchell Johnson and being caught by Bailey.
That brought Raina to the crease and he set the tone for his innings with a four off his first ball.
Stopped the onslaught
He added three more and a six off Sandeep Sharma’s opening over and continued to blast away until Bailey’s run-out stopped the onslaught.
That sparked a Super Kings collapse from 67-1 to 167-7, the tumble of wickets slowing their run-rate significantly.
MS Dhoni hit 42 off 31 balls but by then it was too late.
Kings XI will now take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Sunday’s Indian Premier League final.