Chennai Super Kings continue their winning streak
Chennai Super Kings continued their winning start in the Champions League Twenty20 with an eight wicket win against Brisbane Heat in a Group B match on Saturday. It was their third straight win and ensured their passage to the semi-finals.
Chasing a modest 138 to win, the hosts romped home with 4.1 overs to spare.
The foundation for the win was laid by a solid opening stand of 75 by the ever-dependable Michael Hussey (57 not out) and Murali Vijay (42).
Despite losing Vijay and Suresh Raina (23), Chennai won fairly comfortably, with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13 not out) ending the match with a boundary and a six (both off Ben Cutting).
Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and elected to field. His team vindicated his decision.
Chennai Super Kings: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Mike Hussey, Murali Vijay, Suresh Raina, Subramaniam Badrinath, Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Jason Holder, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma.
Brisbane Heat: James Hopes (capt), Joe Burns, Daniel Christian, Chris Lynn, Chris Hartley, Ben Cutting, Cameron Gannon, Chris Sabburg, Dom Michael, Nathan Hauritz, Matthew Gale.
Image: Opening batsmen of Chennai Super Kings Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay
Mohit Sharma drew the first blood in the fifth ball of the match
Chennai bowlers bowled a tight line to restrict the Australian side to just 137 for seven.
The spin trio of R Aswhin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina did a brilliant job as they shared four wickets among them and gave away just 37 runs in their combined 11 overs.
CSK were in complete control of the match as paceman Sharma drew the first blood in the fifth ball of the match by having Dom Michael caught by S Badrinath in the cover region. Albie Morkel dealt the Australians second blow by sending back skipper James Hopes (20).
Image: Chennai Super King players celebrate after the wicket of Brisbane Heat player Dominic Michael
Lynn played an entertaining cameo
Chris Lynn did well early on in the Brisbane innings.
His 25-ball 29 was inclusive of four boundaries and a six.
He added 24 runs for the second wicket with captain James Hopes (20) and another 25 for the third with Daniel Christian (3).
Heats slumped to 55 for four and that could have been worse had Dhoni not dropped Chris Lynn off Ashwin in the next over. Lynn swung hard and top edged but Dhoni could not get his hands on to that as Suresh Raina watched.
However, Ashwin scalped him in his next over, again foxing him with his carrom ball as the edge flew to Jadeja.
Image: Chris Lynn of Brisbane Heat
Jadeja was the pick of the Chennai bowlers
Dhoni introduced Jadeja immediately after the power-play overs and the left-arm spinner responded with two wickets.
In the first ball he removed key batsman Daniel Christian, who lofted the ball straight into the hands of long on Michael Hussey, and in the fifth he had Joe Burns caught by Suresh Raina in the first slip.
Jadeja finished with figures of two for 18.
Image: Ravindra Jadeja of Chennai Super Kings celebrates the wicket of Joe Burns of Brisbane Heat
Cutting hit five sixes in his blistering 25-ball knock
Heat's innings was in doldrums having lost six wickets for a mere 66 runs but Ben Cutting brought his side back in the game with his fiery unbeaten knock of 42.
Cutting hit five sixes in his blistering 25-ball knock and added 71 runs with Chris Hartley (31) for the seventh wicket to lend some respectability to their total.
Heats were 87 for six in 17 overs and reaching hundred was looking difficult but Cutting and Hartley snatched the momentum from CSK in the last three overs.
It all started in the Dwayne Bravo when Cutting smashed him for two sixes to bring up the hundred. A similar treatment was meted out to Mohit Sharma in the last over.
With so less runs on board it was always going to be difficult for Brisbane to defend. Their third straight defeat means they are out of the competition.
Image: Brisbane Heat player Ben Cutting plays a shot