A disciplined Chennai Super Kings Saturday produced an all-round effort to defeat Perth Scorchers by 13 runs and brighten their hopes of earning a semifinal berth in the Champions League Twenty20, here.Â (Blog | Scorecard)
Invited to bat, the Super Kings rode on Ravindra Jadeja's 28-ball unbeaten 44 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 16-ball 35 to post a challenging 155 for six.
Ravichandran Ashwin then shone with the ball, returning impressive figures of 3/20 to restrict the Scorchers to 142 for seven in 20 overs.
That the CSK got enough to defend was mainly due to the brisk 64-run sixth-wicket partnership, which came off just 30 balls, between Jadeja and Dhoni.
This happened after the Scorchers spinners, led by Brad Hogg, had stifled the two-time IPL winners at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
But the complexion changed once Dhoni smashed Yasir Arafat for 27 runs with the help of three sixes in the penultimate over of Super Kings' innings. While the CSK skipper got out while going for another maximum in the final over, which also ended his crucial association with Jadeja, the left-handed all-rounder hit a six and a four to finish things off in style for the Super Kings.
Dhoni hit four sixes while Jadeja found the fence four times and cleared it twice. When their turn to bat came, the Scorchers lost Craig Simmons and Ashton Agar with 26 runs on the board.
While Simmons was foxed by Ashish Nehra's slower ball, Agar had no answer to a quicker one from Ashwin. Captain Adam Voges and Mitchell Marsh put up a brief resistance before the latter was castled by off-spinner Ashwin.
Sam Whiteman did not last long while Voges too fell after making 27 off 24 balls. At the start of 17th over, the Scorchers needed 58 off 24, but Nathan Coulter-Nile and Ashton Turner reduced the margin to 44 in the last three.
Just after completing a 33-ball sixth-wicket 50-run partnership with Coulter-Nile, Turner was run out due to Dhoni's smart work, putting to rest whatever little hopes Scorchers had of pulling off a shock win.
The Australian outfit is more or less out of contention.
Earlier, the Super Kings were off to a bad start losing Brendon McCullum with just 15 runs on the board, the batsman playing a Joel Paris delivery onto his stumps in the third over of the innings.
Next to get out was the dangerous Suresh Raina, with batting partner Dwayne Smith playing a role in the left-hander's run out.
Standing at the non striker's end, Raina made the call after Smith inside-edged one to third man, but the batsman did not respond.
Raina could not beat Nathan Coulter-Nile's throw from the deep.
CSK were in for more trouble when Smith's painful stay at the crease came to an end after he was cleaned up by Yasir Arafat's slower ball.
At 33 for three in the sixth over, CSK were in deep trouble and the experienced Brad Hogg only added to their woes when Mithun Manhas, who had come in for Ishwar Pandey, top edged for the deep midwicket fielder to complete a comfortable catch.
Not a regular in the starting XI, it was a good opportunity for the Delhi-based Manhas to impress, but he could only make 18 off 27 balls, getting out while trying to improve CSK's run rate.
Meanwhile, Michael Beer was in the middle of a very economical spell and by the time he was done with his quota, the left-arm spinner had figures of four for 16 at the Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Dwayne Bravo tried to step up the momentum with a six and four off Ashton Turner but just when he was starting to look threatening, the West Indian's off stump was disturbed with a delivery that did not turn. Bravo scored 27 off 26 balls.
It was left to Dhoni and Jadeja to prop up the scoring and get their team to a fighting total. Dhoni made his intentions clear as he lofted Arafat's full toss over deep midwicket for a six.
The 100 came up in the 17th over, off which CSK scored 12 runs with five wickets remaining.
Jadeja got into the act, hitting Hogg over long-off for a maximum and accumulating 13 runs off the 18th over.
In the end, the final two overs proved to be the most productive for CSK.