Chennai Super Kings became the first team to qualify for the semifinals of the Champions League Twenty20 after registering a comprehensive eight-wicket victory over Brisbane Heat in a Group B match,here on Saturday.
Chasing a modest 138 to win,Chennai crossed the finish line with 25 balls to spare as they scored their third successive win to consolidate their top position in Group B.
Opener Michael Hussey top scored for them with an unbeaten 55-run knock and shared a solid 75-run stand for the opening wicket with Murali Vijay (42).
Vijay,who played more aggressively in the opening stand,faced 27 balls and hit five fours and two sixes,while Hussey took 48-balls for his measured innings which had seven boundaries.
After electing to bowl,Chennai had the Australian team on the mat as they had reduced Heat to 66 for six but some scintillating batting by Ben Cutting made it a contest as he led the side to respectable 137 for seven.
Cutting hit five sixes in his blistering 25-ball 42-run knock and added 71 runs with Chris Hartley (31) for the seventh wicket. The spin trio of R Ashwin (1/10),Ravindra Jadeja (2/18) and Suresh Raina (19) did a brilliant job for CSK as they gave away just 37 runs in their combined 11 overs and shared four wickets between them.
Cutting and Hartleys batting overshadowed the splendid work done by CSK spinners as they snatched the momentum from CSK after being reduced to 87 for six in 17 overs.
Hartley also played his part as he hit consecutive fours off Sharma before holing it out in the last ball. Brisbane Heat have suffered their third defeat in a row and are languishing at the bottom of the table. CSKs medium-pacer Mohit 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 another blow by sending back skipper James Hopes (20). Dhoni introduced Jadeja immediately after the powerplay 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 Hussey,and in the fifth he had Joe Burns caught by Raina in the slips.
Heats slumped to 55 for four and that could have been worse had Dhoni not dropped Chris Lynn off Ashwin in the next over.
Brief scores: Brisbane Heats: 137 for 7 in 20 ovs (B Cutting 42; R Jadeja 2/18) lost to Chennai Super Kings: 140 for 2 in 15.5 overs. (M Hussey 55 n.o. M Vijay 42; D Christian 1/16,B Cutting 1/24).
Titans beat Sunrisers
Titans skipper Henry Davids (64) and Jacques Rudolph (49 not out) put on a century stand to lead their side to a crushing eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Champions League Twenty20 Group B match on Saturday.
The South African side,Titans romped over Sunrisers total of 145 in just 16.3 overs with two wickets down to give a major boost to their run rate. The pair took the Sunrisers bowlers to task with a scintillating batting display and transformed the run chase into a cakewalk adding 112 in 12.1 overs at the JSCA International Stadium.
Davids continued his good form and reached his second half century of the tournament as he smashed seven boundaries and clobbered four sixes in his 42-ball 64 knock.
Rudolph missed a deserved half century as he remained unbeaten on 49 with three fours and two sixes,while Heino Kuhn (15 off 8) too was unconquered,steering the side home.
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad: 145 for seven in 20 overs (S Dhawan 37; D Wiese 3/17) lost to Lions 147 for 2 in 16.3 ovs (J Rudolph 49 n.o,H Davids 64; D Steyn 1/23)