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Indian Premier League 2014: Chennai Super Kings sign off league phase in style


Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni exhibited great aggression to steer his team to an easy win. – BCCI

Bangalore: Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways with a convincing seven-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore in their Indian Premier League (IPL) match at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Saturday.

Coming into the match, Super Kings were on a three-match losing streak and in danger of relinquishing their second spot to Kolkata Knight Riders.

However, an unbeaten 75-run partnership between captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (49 not out) and Faf du Plessis (54 not out) helped Super Kings overhaul Royal Challengers score of 154 for six with more than two overs to spare.

Chennai scored 160 for two in 17.4 overs and the win took them to 18 points, two behind league leaders Kings XI Punjab.

West Indies` Dwayne Smith started the carnage smashing 34 runs off just 17 balls. Smith and du Plessis shared a 57-run opening partnership off 26 balls to set Chennai on their way.

Suresh Raina (18) played well but was coaxed into playing an ambitious shot off the bowling of India teammate Yuvraj Singh.

Dhoni and du Plessis took over, and from then on it was a one-way traffic as Bangalore seemed short of ideas.

Dhoni smashed four boundaries and three sixes in his 28-ball stay while his South African partner was just as clinical plundering three fours and as many sixes.

Earlier, a captain`s knock by Virat Kohli (73) helped Royal Challengers Bangalore reach a fighting score.

Put into bat, the Bangalore top order once again failed to fire putting the onus on the middle-order.
A 55-run partnership between Yuvraj Singh (25) and Kohli was one of the bright spots for the hosts.

Former India pacer Ashish Nehra picked up three wickets while Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja chipped in with a wicket apiece.

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 one and all with figures of three for 33 including two beautiful deliveries to dismiss Rilee Russouw (1) and AB de Villiers (10).

He got the South Africa's limited overs captain with a perfect yorker that pegged the middle-stump back. In his final over, Nehra removed rival skipper Kohli to show that Dhoni's decision to field him
after a gap of 12 matches (he played the first match) was correct.

Save Kohli, none of other batsmen could find their feet and he fought a lone battle against CSK. Out of his five sixes, four were hit over the deep mid-wicket region while the other was hit in the long-off region. Kohli was finally out when Nehra bowled a well-disguised slower delivery that rolled into the stumps.

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