Bangalore: Chennai Super Kings remained in the hunt for the semifinals after successfully defending 155 against Perth Scorchers in their last Group A Champions League T20 match at Bangalore's Chinnaswamy Stadium on Saturday.
With two wins, one loss and a washout, CSK are second in the group on 10 points and only a really big win by Lahore Lions over Scorchers on Tuesday can stop them from reaching the knockouts.
Scorchers were never in the chase after losing Craig Simmons (13), Aston Agar (4) and the big-hitting Mitchell Marsh (19) inside 10 overs with just 53 runs on the board.
The sixth-wicket 50-run stand between Nathan Coutler-Nile (30) and Ashton Turner (22) gave some hopes to the Australian team but both batsmen got out when the team needed big shots and that ended Scorcher's challenge in the tournament, eventually falling short by 13 runs. Ashwin had a great day at the office, returning 3 for 20.
MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja were the architects of the win as their 64-run stand for the sixth wicket took CSK to 155 for 6. After being put into bat by Scorchers captain Adam Voges, CSK were reeling at 79 for 5 in 14.3 overs when Dhoni joined Jadeja.
After a cautious approach initially, both cut loose and the Scorchers bowlers ran for hideouts. The last six overs yielded 86 runs with 27 coming off Yasir Arafat in the 19th over that saw Dhoni smash three consecutive sixes.
Dhoni departed for 35 off 16 balls in the last over bowled by Joe Paris but Jadeja (44* off 28 balls) got a six and a four off the last two balls to finish the innings on a high.
Before the 64-run stand between Jadeja and Dhoni, CSK were in doldrums. On a slow and low wicket, Brendon McCullum (11) was the first to go after he extravagantly tried to pull a slightly fullish Paris delivery and chopped it onto his stumps.
CSK's best batsman Suresh Raina's wicket for one two balls later in the third over was the last thing the hosts needed as Dwayne Smith didn't respond to Raina's call and the India batsmen failed to get back to the non-striker's end thanks to an excellent direct throw from Coulter-Nile from backward point.
Smith (11), Mithun Manhas (18) and Dwayne Bravo (27) all failed to get going with spin duo Michael Beer (0 for 16) and Brad Hogg keeping things tight at both ends. Only because of Dhoni and Jadeja's could come back into the contest.
Earlier, Perth Scorchers have won the toss and have opted to field.
Two changes for CSK -- Faf du Plessis isn't fit and he has been replaced by John Hastings, Ishwar Pandey has been left out, in comes Mithun Manhas. One change for Perth -- Michael Beer is in for Behrendorff.
Chennai: Ashish Nehra, Brendon McCullum, Dwayne Bravo, Dwayne Smith, John Hastings, Mithun Manhas, Mohit Sharma, MS Dhoni (Capt. & wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Suresh Raina
Perth: Craig Simmons, Adam Voges (capt), Sam Whiteman (wk), Mitchell Marsh, Ashton Agar, Ashton Tuner, Hilton Cartwright, Yasir Arafat, Michael Beer, Joel Paris, Brad Hogg.
Chennai Super Kings - 155/6 (Jadeja 44*, Dhoni 35)
Perth Scorchers - 142/7 (Coulter-Nile 30, Ashwin 3-20)
Result - Chennai Super Kings won by 13 runs
Points - Chennai Super Kings 4, Perth Scorchers 0