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CSK afloat in the race to finals

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Chennai Super Kings inched towards their ticket to the finals, beating Mumbai Indians in their own den by 7 wickets on Wednesday. They will lock horns with Kings XI Punjab, who lost the first qualifier earlier on Wednesday.

Chasing 173 to go one step ahead in the race to the finals, CSK opened with Faf du Plessis and Dwayne Smith, who got one lifeline from the umpire and one from the MI fielders. The duo took the team swiftly to 43/0 and it was only a smooth cruise for CSK from there on. 3 fours in the 6th over by Smith and 1 by du Plessis, only time-out would help MI re-strategise. And re-strategise it did, scalping its first wicket in the form of Smith, who was taken by Harbhajan Singh in the 7th over for 24. It was a twin strike for MI, as the other opener, du Plessis was also removed in the same over for 35.

Two new men at the crease, Raina and McCullum had the onus of the chase on their shoulders, but McCullum fell in the 10th over to Ojha for 14. David Hussey walked into the middle and gave the team some much-needed stability, taking the score to 132/3 in 15 overs, scoring at 9.5, the required run rate well in control at 5.50. Raina (54) and David Hussey (40) and took the team to the qualifiers in 18.4 overs, scoring 176/0.

Earlier, CSK won the toss and invited MI to bat first. Simmons and Mike Hussey opened the innings for MI, reaching 34/0 in 5 overs. Once there, Simmons had one big over and took the score to 72/0 in 9 overs. The 10th over saw Mike Hussey depart for 39 taken by Jadeja and that brought in last match’s hero, Corey Anderson to the middle. He didn’t last too long, as he departed in the 13th over for 20, taken by Ashwin. Rohit Sharma walked into the middle and took the score to 127/2 in 15 overs, scoring at 8.46 an over.

The time-out worked in CSK’s favour as Simmons was removed by Jadeja for 67 in the 17th over. He hit 5 fours and 4 sixes. Pollard was the next man in, but in the next over, Rohit Sharma had to walk back, as he perished to a Mohit Sharma delivery for 20. the score was 153/4, at 8.5 runs an over. The next over saw Pollard walk back for 14, taken by Nehra. But the lanky bowler didn’t stop there. He also got rid of Tare for 0. Rayudu and Praveen Kumar were the last two MI casualties, who fell in the last over, bowled by Mohit Sharma, who finished with 3 wickets, wrapping up MI for 173/8.

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