Jaipur - The Rajasthan Royals secured a place in the Champions League Twenty20 final thanks to a 14-run win over the Chennai Super Kings in their match at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur on Friday.
Rajasthan, after being asked to bat, scored 159/8 thanks mainly to 70 off 56 balls from Ajinkya Rahane.
Chennai could only manage 148/8 in reply with leg-spinner Pravin Tambe returning the superb figures of 4-0-10-3.
Rajasthan will play either the Mumbai Indians or Trinidad & Tobago in Sunday’s final in Delhi.
Opening batsman Rahane struck six fours and two sixes during his third consecutive half-century of the competition and he held the innings together in the early stages with Rahul Dravid (five), Kevon Cooper (14) and Sanju Samson (11) all departing relatively cheaply.
But Rahane found a willing partner in the form of Shane Watson and the pair bludgeoned 59 runs off 6.3 overs for the fourth wicket.
Watson was in an aggressive frame of mind and he smashed four fours in constructing his 23-ball 32 before he was caught at cover off the bowling of South African paceman Chris Morris.
The Royals’ innings then fell away a touch and they lost three wickets in the last over of the innings with seamer Dwayne Bravo responsible for all the wickets to fall, including that of Rahane, caught at midwicket.
Bravo ended with 3-26 while Morris, playing his first game of the tournament, captured 2-26.
Chennai’s innings never really got started and they crashed to 72 for seven in the 13th over with Tambe picking up the crucial wickets of Suresh Raina (29), Subramaniam Badrinath (eight) and Bravo (three).
The match looked all but over before Morris and Ravichandran Ashwin combined for a superb eighth-wicket stand of 73 off 7.1 overs.
Ashwin blasted his way to 46 off a mere 28 balls with three fours and three sixes while Morris ended not out on 26.
But it proved to be a bridge too far for Chennai with Ashwin being caught at long-on in the last over of the match.