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Chennai thrashes Delhi to reach IPL final

Chennai Super Kings fielder Michael Hussey (C) celebrates with his teammates the catch dismissal of Delhi Daredevils batsman Virendra Sehwag during the IPL Twenty20 cricket 2nd Qualifier match between Chennai Super Kings and Delhi Daredevils at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. -AFP Photo

CHENNAI: Murali Vijay hit 113 from 58 balls to guide two-time defending champion Chennai Super Kings into the Indian Premier League final with a thumping 86-win over Delhi Daredevils on Friday.    

Opener Vijay smashed four sixes and 14 fours to guide Chennai to 222-5, the highest total of the fifth season, and a place in the final for the fourth straight year.

Chennai will meet Kolkata Knight Riders in the final on Sunday. Delhi was all out for only 136 in 16.5 overs. Mahela Jayawardene stroked a fluent 55 but the team could not put up a fight in the face of a daunting total at Chidambaram Stadium.

Daredevils bowlers struggled in the absence of South Africa quick Morne Morkel, as India opener Vijay tore into the attack for his first score above 50 in this IPL.

He was eventually run out off the last ball of the innings. Vijay opened his account with a boundary off offspinner Sunny Gupta, whose IPL debut turned out to be forgettable as his three overs cost 47 runs.

Vijay put on 68 for the opening wicket with Michael Hussey (20) and 69 for the next with Suresh Raina (27). He reached his 50 with a boundary off pacer Varun Aaron, who returned figures of 2-63 in four overs, the most expensive this season.

''Vijay and Hussey gave us a good start, (it was) good to see Raina hitting a few balls away and in the end it was closed off well by Bravo. Personally, I thought they (Delhi) had (the) lineup to do it, but it was not going to be easy.,'' Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.

Vijay, who plundered 21 runs off a single over from Sehwag, put on 36 with Dhoni (23) and 39 with West Indian Dwayne Bravo, who smashed Aaron for two sixes and an equal number of fours off successive deliveries in the penultimate over.

For Delhi, opener Jayawardene added 52 with New Zealander Ross Taylor (24) for the third wicket, before Bravo broke the stand when he dismissed the latter thanks to a smart catch by Raina.

Delhi's brittle middle order choked against the accuracy of the two spinners as the last six wickets fell for 19 runs.

Scores: Chennai Super Kings 222-5 in 20 overs (Murali Vijay 113, Dwayne Bravo 33; Varun Aaron 2-63) def. Delhi Daredevils 136 in 16.5 overs (Mahela Jayawardene 55; Ravichandran Ashwin 3-23).

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