'It is a big moment. We are playing for the last time as a unit'
Murali Vijay and Mike Hussey cracked a sparkling half century each as Chennai Super Kings were crowned the Champions League Twenty20 winners with their eight-wicket victory over Warriors in the grand finale in Johannesburg.
Vijay (58 off 53 balls), who was let off when on 34, cracked his third half century of the tournament while the other opener Hussey played sheet anchor and remained not out on 51 as Chennai chased down the small target of 129 with one over to spare.
Earlier, spinners Muttiah Muralitharan (3/16) and Ravichandran Ashwin (2/16) shared five wickets as Chennai restricted Warriors to 128 for seven after the South African champion side elected to bat at the New Wanderers Stadium.
"It is a big moment. We are playing for the last time as a unit. We know some players will no longer be with us after the IPL auction. It is an emotional moment," said Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni after the match.
Image: Chennai Super Kings players celebrate their win over the Warriors during their final Twenty20 cricket match in Johannesburg
Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker
Ashwin ended as tournament highest wicket-taker with 13 from six matches, one more from Muralitharan.
He also was named as man of the tournament.
However, the Sri Lankan snapped three wickets for 16 runs in the final as Chennai restricted Warriors to 128 for seven.
Ashwin had figures of two for 16 in the final. He said CSK's loss to Victoria in the Super Over he bowled spurred him to play better instead of getting bogged down.
"Nothing more special than finishing the tournament with a victory. The match I played (against Warriors in last group match) after that Super Over defeat (against Victoria) was the best of my life this far. I had three days after the Super Over loss and I bounced back," he said.
"Always bowling with Muttiah Muralitharan gives you an edge because the batsmen go after you and that gives you a chance to pick wickets."
Image: R Ashwin
'Hussey and I just tried to play naturally'
Man of the Match, Murali Vijay said he was satisfied with his batting in the tournament as he became the tournament highest run getter with 294 from six matches.
"I've been working hard, and it's a great tournament to be part of. It's an amazing crowd here today and I'd like to thank them for their support," he said.
"After we limited them (Warriors) to 120-odd, we just wanted to go out there and play our natural game. The pitch was a bit on the slower side. Hussey and I just tried to play naturally and did it."
Vijay underlined his emergence as a fine Twenty20 batsman by becoming the highest run getter of the tournament with 294 runs from six matches, eight more than Warriors captain Davy Jacobs.
Vijay's 53-ball innings was studded with six fours and two sixes while Hussey hit only three fours from 46 balls in his unbeaten knock.
Vijay and Hussey did not need to take too much risk as they ran mostly in singles in their 103-run opening wicket stand in front of a capacity crowd.
Vijay lived dangerously on a couple of occasions with an edge from his bat flying past wicketkepeer Mark Boucher and Justin Kreusch for a four.
He was also lucky to survive in the ninth over with wicketkeeper Mark Boucher missing a simple stumping chance off the bowling of Nicky Boje when on 34.
But he made amends of these lapses later as he struck some fine shots, including two sixes off Nicky Boje. Vijay fell to Boje in the 15th over after taking his side to the threshold of victory.
Image: Murali Vijay
CSK were richer by USD 2.5 millions
CSK were richer by USD 2.5 millions for winning the second edition of the tournament, their second crown in five months after their IPL triumph in April.
Warriors received USD 1.3 million for finishing runners-up.
The grand finale of the multi-dollar tournament, however, turned out to be a lopsided match with the Warriors bowlers failing to make any impact on the batsmen of the opposition who have beaten them in their last Group A league fixture four days ago.
The total of 128 was too small to defend and Chennai was always in control of the run chase though it got a bit tight with Suresh Raina, who was mainly responsible for CSK's semifinal win against Royal Challengers Bangalore with an aggressive 94, out cheaply for just two.
Hussey and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (17 not out), however, held on their nerves to pull off the win with a 25-run partnership for the unbroken third wicket. Dhoni hit the winning runs -- a four off Juan Theron -- as Chennai scored 132 for two in 19 overs to lift the title.
Image: Chennai Super Kings players celebrate with the trophy after winning their final Twenty20 cricket match against the Warriors in Johannesburg