CSK, RCB face in a royal clash

Durban, Sept. 23: It is going to be a battle between Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s spirited leadership and the strategic acumen of experienced Anil Kumble when their teams Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore take on each other in the Champions League Twenty20 semifinal here on Friday.

Both the teams will put up no-hold-barred efforts to win Friday’s contest at the floodlit Kingsmead ground here and take another stride to become the first Indian Premier League team to win the show-piece tournament.

Riding on a disciplined performance by the bowlers, the Chennai team on Wednesday snatched a 10-run win over Warriors, and Dhoni would surely expect an encore when IPL champions take the ground.

Pacer Ravichandran Ashwin, who scalped three wickets for just 24 runs against Warriors, and his new-ball partner Doug Bollinger would look for some early breakthroughs on Friday while in the middle overs Suresh Raina’s contribution with the ball is expected to be crucial.

In Wednesday’s clash, Mike Hussey hit a half-century and held two crucial catches as the CSK made it to the last four. But the vanquished Warriors also qualified for the knock-out stage, scoring enough runs to edge out the Victorian Bushrangers on net run rate.

Brief scores: CSK 136-6 in 20 overs (Hussey 50, Vijay 35, Dhoni 31 n.o.) bt Warriors (RSA) 126-8 in 20 overs (D. Jacobs 32, J; Ashwin 3/24, M. Muralitharan 2-19)

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