Bangalore: Chennai Super Kings cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over Royal Challengers Bangalore to strengthen their hopes of finishing second in the table.
Chasing 154, largely due to Virat Kohli's 49-ball 73, the CSK batsmen made minimum fuss as a collective effort saw them cross the line with as many as 14 balls to spare.
CSK thus finished their league engagements with 18 points from 14 games by virtue of nine victories. Their net run-rate is +0.385.
Faf du Plessis revelled in the role of an opener scoring an unbeaten 54 and also enjoying couple of fruitful partnerships of 57 for the opening stand with Dwayne Smith (34) and an unbroken 75 with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the third wicket.
Dhoni smacked his way to 49 off only 28 balls to ensure that the run-rate is suitably beefed up. Dhoni’s innings had four boundaries and three sixes while Du Plessis hit three fours and three sixes.
The winning hit came off Du Plessis’ bat as he lofted Shadab Jakati for a big six to end it in style. Smith again gave CSK a good start as he smashed his way to 34 off 17 balls with four boundaries and a six. CSK had pocketed the match by the end of the Powerplay as 64 runs came off six overs.
Earlier, Kohli stood tall among his struggling teammates with a stroke-filled half-century. He struck 73 off 49 balls with two fours and five sixes as some of the other batsmen failed to get going against a disciplined CSK attack.
Veteran left-arm seamer Ashish Nehra impressed with figures of three for 33 including two beautiful deliveries to dismiss Rilee Russouw (1) and AB de Villiers (10).