Bangalore through to IPL final
Royal Challengers will play Deccan Chargers after six-wicket win over Chennai.
Last Modified: 23 May 2009 19:03 GMT

Virat Kohli starts the party in Johannesburg [AFP]

Indian veterans Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid shared the glory with two rising stars as the Bangalore Royal Challengers completed an astonishing comeback to reach the final of the Indian Premier League.

Kumble gained his seventh win in nine matches since taking over  the captaincy while Dravid and two members of last year's winning Indian Under-19 World Cup team, Manish Pandey and Virat Kohli, enabled Bangalore to beat the favoured Chennai Super Kings by six wickets with seven balls to spare.

Bangalore will meet the Deccan Chargers in the final at the Wanderers on Sunday in a contest between the teams that filled the bottom two places in the first IPL in 2008.

Bangalore restricted Chennai to 146 for five with what Kumble described as an outstanding bowling performance.

Then Dravid with 44 and man-of-the-match Pandey with 48 put on 72 for the third wicket to set up the win.

Kohli and New Zealander Ross Taylor both hit two sixes as they completed the victory.

'Brilliant show'

"It was a brilliant show, everyone rallied round," said Kumble, who took over the captaincy from England's Kevin Pietersen when Bangalore were languishing in seventh place - the same
position they finished last year.

Bangalore needed to win their last round robin match, against Sunday's opponents Deccan, in Centurion Thursday to make sure of qualifying for the semi-final against Chennai, who finished second on the log.

Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said his team were disappointed but paid tribute to Bangalore.

"They bowled better than us," he said.

"The wicket was a bit slow but we were looking for 160. We lost wickets at the wrong times."

Chennai made a good start after being sent in, with Matthew  Hayden, the tournament's leading scorer, and Parthiv Patel putting on 61 for the first wicket.

But the innings lost momentum when Hayden lofted Vinay Kumar to deep mid-wicket off the last ball of the seventh over after making 26.

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