Jaipur: A splendid 70 off 56 deliveries from Ajinkya Rahane coupled with some excellent bowling from Pravin Tambe helped Rajasthan beat Chennai by 14 runs and enter the final in Champions League Twenty20 at Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur
Chasing 160, Super Kings had a dismal start as they lost half of their side at the score of 61 against Royals. Chennai could all manage 145/8 in their 20 overs.
Ravichandran Ashwin and Chris Morris fought back hard towards the end for Chennai but they could not take Chennai past the target.
Ashwin, who made a fighting and cracking 46, added 73 runs for the eighth wicket with Chris Morris.
Veteran spinner Pravin Tambe was on a roll as he picked up three crucial wickets giving away just 10 runs in his quota of four overs.
The third wicket to go in Tambe's kitty was of Suresh Raina who showed some resistance amidst ruins. Raina scored 23-ball 29 but fell short of partners from the other end.
Tambe dismissed West Indian Dwayne Bravo, who was caught plumb after he misjudged the nippy delivery, to claim his second wicket.
Chennai were 59/4 after the end of 10 overs. The big blow came in the form of skipper MS Dhoni who was trapped in front of the wicket by Rajasthan spinner Rahul Shukla.
Chennai lost both the openers Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay very cheaply inside six overs. Subramaniam Badrinath also could not do much as he was foxed by Pravin Tambe.
Earlier, opener Ajinkya Rahane cracked a resolute half-century to anchor Rajasthan Royals to a competitive 159 for eight against Chennai Super Kings.
Rahane blasted six fours and two sixes in his 56-ball 70-run innings and shared a 59-run partnership in 39 balls with Shane Watson (32) for the fourth wicket to lay the foundation for Rajasthan's innings.
The Mumbaikar anchored the Royals innings but the hosts could not get their partnership going and lost three wickets in the last over to settle within 160-mark.
Put into bat, Rajasthan lost their captain Rahul Dravid early once again when he was dismissed by Chris Morris in the third over.
In the next over, Kevon Cooper too was sent back to the hut when Mohit Sharma had the batsman caught by S Badrinath at extra cover to reduce the Royals to 29 for 2.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane took the onus on himself and along with Sanju Samson (11) kept the scoreboard ticking. The duo took the hosts across the 50-mark.
However, Rahane lost this third partner in the ninth over when Jason Holder induced a top edge from Samson, which went high into the air before handing safely in the hands of R Ashwin at midwicket.
Australian all-rounder Shane Watson (32) then joined Rahane and the duo recovered the Rajasthan innings with the former taking the hosts across the 100-mark with a four across the midwicket fence off Bravo.
In the 14th over, Rahane brought up his third fifty in the tournament with a boundary across the short-fine leg area.
After two boundaries in the 15th over, Watson was back into the pavillion when Holder held on to a high catch which flew off a thick edge from the Australian.
Brad Hodge (11) gave company to Rahane for sometime before being dismissed by Holder, who cleaned him up with a yorker in the 19th over.
Rahane too was dismissed in the next over when he tried to a play a Bravo delivery across the leg side. Dishant Yagnik (0) and Stuart Binny (5) too were dismissed in the same over.
Earlier, Chennai Super Kings skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and decided to bowl first
One change in CSK as Chris Morris comes in for Morkel, and Royals also one change -- Yagnik replaces Menaria
Chennai: Michael Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (Capt. & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, S Badrinath, Ravichandran Ashwin, Chris Morris, Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma
Rajasthan: Rahul Dravid (Capt.), Ajinkya Rahane, Sanju Samson (wk), Shane Watson, Stuart Binny, Brad Hodge, Dishant Yagnik, James Faulkner, Kevon Cooper, Rahul Shukla, Pravin Tambe
Rajasthan Royals 159 for 8 (Rahane 70, Watson 32, Bravo 3-26)
Chennai Super Kings 145 for 8 (Ashwin 46, Tambe 3-10)
Result Rajasthan Royals won by 14 runs