The Chennai Super Kings won their third consecutive match to become the first team to qualify for the Champions League Twenty20 semifinals by beating Brisbane Heat by eight wickets at the JSCA International Stadium here on Saturday.
Chasing Heat’s target of 138 in 20 overs, the Super Kings achieved it with 4.1 overs to spare and bag four points for the win to go top of the Group B standings with a total of 12. Brisbane Heat, on the other hand, have lost all their three matches in the tournament and cannot progress to the last four stage.
Put in to bat, Brisbane Heat never really got their act together and kept losing wickets right from the start.
The Australian side were reeling at 66/6 in the 13th over when wicketkeeper batsman Chris Hartley (35) and Ben Cutting (42 not out) provided a much needed breakthrough partnership of 71 runs to push them well past the 100-mark.
Right hand bat Cutting thwacked five sixes in his 25-ball knock to take his side to a respectable total of 137/7 from their quota of 20 overs.
Pacer Mohit Sharma and spinner Ravindra Jadeja clinched two wickets each while offie Ravichandran Ashwin (1/10) and part time bowler Suresh Raina (1/9) kept the run rate down for the Chennai side.
In response, the Indian side took off brilliantly with openers Michael Hussey (57 not out) and Murali Vijay (42) putting together 75 runs for the first wicket, literally taking the match away from Brisbane Heat.
Suresh Raina made a short cameo appearance with 23 as CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13 not out) hit the winning runs with a six to the delight of his home crowd with the team finishing at 140/2 in 15.5 overs.
Daniel Christian and Cutting were the only two bowlers to take a wicket each.
Brief scores: Chennai Super Kings 140/2 in 15.5 overs (Michael Hussey 57 not out, Murali Vijay 42) beat Brisbane Heat 137/7 in 20 overs (Ben Cutting 42 not out, Hartley 35) by eight wickets.