Harjit Mehat | cricket20
The Chennai Super Kings sealed their place in the IPL playoffs thanks to a comprehensive 11 run victory over the Kochi Tuskers Kerala at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai.
The defending champions successfully defended a total of 152-5 to leap frog above the Royals Challengers Bangalore at the top of the group standings to virtually assure themselves a top two finish.
Wriddhiman Saha set up the victory with a vital contribution of 46 after the Super Kings top order failed to fire after MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first against the Tuskers.
With the game evenly poised Saha blasted three sixes and a boundary during a 6th wicket stand of 36 with Albie Morkel which left the Tuskers facing a run chase of 153 on a slow turning wicket.
Despite the loss of stand in skipper Parthiv Patel (6) in the third over the Tuskers got off to a positive start thanks to Brendon McCullum and Gnaneswara Rao who shared a 2nd wicket stand of 34.
With the game delicately poised Dwayne Bravo struck to remove Gnaneswara Rao (19) in the 7th over, taking a simple catch off his own bowling to make a vital break through
Although McCullum (33) and Brad Hodge (51) played vital role’s for the Tuskers, the visitors were unable to say up with the required run rate to end their debut season on a sour note.
Murali Vijay got the Super Kings innings off to a quick fire start, dispatching RP Singh for three boundaries in the 3rd over before the bowler struck back to remove Vijay’s off stump with the last delivery of the 3rd over.
Suresh Raina quickly followed in a similar fashion when he picked out Singh on the mid on boundary after smashing Sreesanth for two sixes and a boundary in the 6th over to leave the Super Kings 40-2.
With the Super Kings struggerling to get going the Tuskers struck again in the 9th over thanks to Brad Hodge who removed Subramaniam Badrinath for just 13 as the home sides innings continued to stutter.
Hussey (32) and MS Dhoni (9) quickly followed before Saha and Albie Morkel (13) built a vital 6th wicket stand of 36 from just 3.4 overs to help give the bowlers a defendable total of a slow turning wicket.