Chennai Super Kings 140-2 (Hussey 57no) beat
Brisbane Heat 137-7 (Cutting 42no) by 8 wickets
Champions League T20, Group B Match, Ranchi
Chennai Super Kings eased to a straightforward victory over Brisbane Heat in Group B of the Champions League T20. The win is their third in the tournament and puts through to the semi-finals with a game still to play. Brisbane Heat, meanwhile, are out of the reckoning for the last four.
Mike Hussey led the Chennai run chase as they chased down the Heat’s inadequate 137 for seven. It might have been worse for the Queensland franchise had Ben Cutting not smashed a career-best 42 not out and added 71 with Chris Hartley (35 off 32 balls).
Their partnership was a record for the seventh-wicket in the short history of the Champions League T20 and helped the Heat recover from a pitiful 66 for six after their middle-order had imploded against the Super Kings spinners.
From 29 for one in the fourth over, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Suresh Raina caused a collapse of five for 37 on a pitch that did admittedly provide a little encouragement for the spinners. Ashwin was the pick and got through his four overs at a cost of 10 runs, as well as picking up the wicket of Chris Lynn for 29. Jadeja recovered from the mauling that he had received in the first two matches to take two for 18, while Raina ended with one for nine from three overs.
Hartley and Cutting then led the Heat fightback, with the latter by far the aggressor. He smashed five cleanly-hit sixes, all in the arc between deep mid-wicket and long-off, to finish on 42 off just 25 balls.
The difference between the Chennai bowlers was startling. Eleven overs of spin returned figures of four for 37, while the other nine overs of seam yielded three wickets at a cost of 96 runs.
The way in which Cutting and Hartley rescued the Heat innings didn’t bode well for their hopes of defending their total. Sunrisers Hyderabad had failed to defend 145 earlier in the evening so 137 against a powerful Chennai batting line-up was never going to be enough.
Murali Vijay played the role that Henry Davids had for Titans earlier and played some sumptuous strokes during his 27-ball 42. Hussey, meanwhile, anchored the run chase à la Rudolph and ended undefeated with 57 from 48 deliveries.
Super Kings won with more than four overs to spare and are through to the last four, where they will be joined from Group B probably by either Trinidad & Tobago or Titans.
Group B standings: Chennai Super Kings (3 matches) 12 points, Titans 8 points (3), Trinidad & Tobago (2), Sunrisers Hyderabad (3) 4 points, Brisbane Heat (3) 0 points.
© Cricket World 2013