Bangalore

In what was effectively a contest between two left-handers, Chennai Super Kings trumped Kolkata Knight Riders in the Champions League T20 final at Bangalore's M Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday to take their trophy count to two.

KKR looked set to take their maiden trophy after Gautam Gambhir's flawless 80 powered the IPL champions to 180 for 6 but Raina (109* off 62 balls, 6x4s, 8x6s) went one better to break KKR's heart as CSK got over the line in 18.3 overs with eight wickets hand.

KKR greatly missed the services of Sunil Narine who didn't feature in the all-important match after being reported for a suspect bowling action twice in the tournament. Piyush Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav, who made India's ODI team for the first three matches against the West Indies earlier in the day, faced Raina's wrath as the left-hander came out of the crease on several occasions to dispatch them into the stands. Losing Dwayne Smith early to Pat Cummins, Narine's replacement, for 2 had made the CSK dugout anxious but a 118-run stand off 74 balls between Raina and Brendon McCullum took the game away from Gambhir's men. Robin Uthappa's missed stumping off Yadav in the 13th over and Yusuf Pathan's drop catch off his own bowling in the 16th over when Raina was on 78 and 88 respectively dashed whatever little hopes KKR might have had. MS Dhoni, promoting himself up the order, joined Raina at the crease after Pathan had McCullum caught for 39 at deep midwicket and both finished the job with Dhoni (23 off 14 balls) unleashing his fury on Cummins picking up two sixes in the space of three balls in the 19th over to close out the game in style.

Gambhir ended on the losing side but once again proved that he is a big-match player. The left-hander, whose batting was instrumental in India's World Cup triumphs in 2007 (20-overs) and 2011 (50-overs), batted like a dream as his runs that came off 52 balls with the help of seven fours and three sixes helped KKR post an imposing total. Even left-arm spinner Pawan Negi's brilliant figures of 5 for 22 - his career best - couldn't stop KKR from reaching that total on a pitch supporting spinners a great deal.

After being put into bat, Gambhir and Uthappa (39) added 91 in 10.5 overs. Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, R Ashwin all were rendered ineffective by the brilliant batsmanship from the opening duo. Negi's strikes in the following overs, however, broke KKR's momentum. A well-flighted delivery from him in his second over lured Uthappa out of the crease and Dhoni did the rest behind the wickets. The next ball that was a bit short induced an edge off Jacques Kallis but Raina spilled it at first slip diving to his left.

With the ball gripping on the surface and turning viciously, Negi came into his own and his next over sent back the former South Africa allrounder who attempted a big shot over long-off but a poor execution found Nehra. The KKR fans had their hearts in their mouths previously in the over when Faf du Plessis completed a brilliant acrobatic catch from Gambhir on the long-on boundary only for replays to show that on his way down one foot had landed on the rope.

After a quiet period of five overs that saw the IPL champions score 29 in five overs for the loss of two wickets, things began improving with the 16th over bowled by Dwayne Bravo as 18 runs came off it with Gambhir getting a four and a six.

Gambhir's heroics came to an end in the next over when Ravindra Jadeja induced a miscued shot off the left-hander and McCullum ran in from long-off to complete a brilliant sliding catch.

Manish Pandey took charge of the innings and hit Nehra for two sixes and a four in the next over to keep the ball rolling. However, the penultimate over of the innings, bowled by Negi put the wind up KKR again as he took three wickets for just two runs - Pandey (32), Ryan ten Doeschate (0), Surya Kumar Yadav (0). In a such a desperate situation for KKR, Pathan rose to the occasion, hitting Nehra for two fours and a six with 19 runs in all coming off the last over. Nehra, who returned 2 for 9 in the semifinal against KXIP, had a horrible day at the office giving away 54 runs in four overs without any success.