Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again reinforced his status as the best captain in the world by leading Chennai Super Kings to the finals of Champions League Tweny20. In the first semi finals which was curtailed by rain M S Dhoni's men crushed Anil Kumble's Royal Challengers of Bangalore by 52 runs. Mahendra Singh Dhoni's record as captain in all formats of the game has been exceptional. While Indian team lead by M S Dhoni is the number one team in the world, he had also taken Indians team to the number one ranking in one dayers as well which included leading India to a famous tri series win in Australia. Mahendra Singhs Dhoni's captaincy record in T20 format of the game is exceptional as apart from leading India to win in the inaugural edition of the T20 World Cup, he led Chennai Super Kings to the finals of the 2008 IPL, semi finals of 2009 IPL and eventually to winning IPL 2010. Now by taking Chennai Super Kings to the finals of Champions League T20 he has achieved a historic triple of leading his teams to finals of T20 World Cups, Indian Premier League and Champions League T20.
It is not the easiest of things for the batting team to restart their innings after a rain delay because the batsmen have to get everything right for a second time in the match and that includes regrouping their concentration and getting the circulationin their legs. In the process of resettling down batsmen would have to let go by some deliveries much in the same manner they do early in the innings in the process of settling down and that goes against the batting team for valuable deliveres are lost. Another thing which goes against the batting team is the fact that they would have paced the innings under the assumption that would be playing a 20 over game and would have made a steady start rather than a quick one and that is what exactly Chennai Super Kings did strolling to 15 for no loss in 2.5 overs. Once the innings resumed for Chennai they found out the innings had been curtailed by 3 overs and therefore had to pace their innings in the last 14 overs keeping in view of the fact that they did not make much in the first 3 overs and under this circumstances one must say that Dhonis men did a fantastic job.
To begin with Murali Vijay gave Chennai Super Kings a more than decent foundation and once Suresh Raina came after the fall of first wicket it spelt disaster for Royal Challengers of Bangalore as Raina got into grove right from the first ball. One must give credit to Murali Vijay because once he saw Suresh Raina in top gear, he chose to curb his attacking instincts and wisely played second fiddle to Suresh Raina who was literally on a rampage carting the bowlers out of the attack. The normally reliable Anil Kumble bore the brunt of Suresh Ranian brutal 48 ball 94 going for 38 runs in 4 overs.
It was pathetic to see Anil Kumble's men going through the motions very early in Chennai's innings when Suresh Raina was on a rampage and all those who were watching the match knew that RCB were just waiting for the innings to get over and go through the formalities. One must say that in the first place RCB did not deserve to be in the semi finals as their performances were pathetic in the league and had just a win to their credit before playing their least league match which was a shoot out for the second semi final spot which they won. While credit must be given to the way Raina's batting for he hit sixes and fours at will, one must say that the bowling was mediocre and fielding even pathetic. Rahul Dravid whose very place in this format and in the batting order is questionable was accountable for two costly errors which costed them the match. Rahul Dravid did not even make an attempt to reach for a catch of a mishit from Suresh Raina and once Raina got away with it thanks to Dravid poor commitment levels, the game was out of reach of Chennai. Rahul Dravid got a chance to make ammends had he anchored the innings and going for the occasional big ones but he got out first ball and the slimmest of chances RCB entertained of winning the semi final was dead and buried.
The second semi finals to be played on 25th September 2010 at Centurion between Warriors and South Australia is going to be a interesting one. South Australia have won four consecutive matches and would be under pressure to maintain their winning streak because one loss and they are out of the tournament and their winning streak does not count for anything while Warriors would have at the back of their win that they could not chase a very modest total against Chennai Super Kings in their last league match. Chennai Super Kings would rather prefer to have South Australia in finals so that they get lucky with law of averages and a perfect opportunity for their skipper Dhoni to bank on the famous luck which has always gone his way.