Ranchi: Chennai Super Kings became the first team to make into the semi-finals after their thumping eight-wicket win over Brisbane Heat on Saturday.
It was a clinical performance by CSK right from the outset. First their bowlers restricted Heat to just 137 for 7 in 20 overs, and then the trio of Murali Vijay (42), Mike Hussey (57*) and Suresh Raina (23) continued their marauding form, completing the routing with 25 balls remaining.
Brisbane were struggling at 66 for 6 in 12.3 overs but the late fireworks by Ben Cutting helped them post a face-saving score. Cutting smashed five sixes in his 25-ball 42. Wicketkeeper batsman Chris Hartley supported Cutting well, scoring 35 off 31 balls and adding 61 runs for the seventh wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja picked up 2 for 18, while Mike Hussey made 57* as CSK chased down Heat's 137 with 25 balls remaining.
Chasing a modest 138 to win, Chennai sauntered to finish line with 25 balls to spare as they scored their third successive win to consolidate their top position in Group B.
Vijay, who played more aggressively in the opening stand, faced 27 balls and hit five fours and two sixes while Hussey took 48-balls for his measured innings which had seven boundaries.
Raina came up with a 23-run cameo before being trapped by Daniel Christian while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (13) finished the match in style with a six off Cutting.
Earlier, the spin trio of R Ashwin (1 for 10), Jadeja (2 for 18) and Suresh Raina (1 for 9) did a brilliant job for CSK as they gave away just 37 runs in their combined 11 overs and shared four wickets among them.
Cutting and Hartley's batting overshadowed the splendid work done by CSK spinners as they snatched the momentum from CSK after being reduced to 87 for 6 in 17 overs.
It all started in the Dwayne Bravo over when Cutting smashed him for two sixes to bring up the hundred. A similar treatment was meted out to paceman Mohit Sharma in the last over.
Hartley also played his part as he hit consecutive fours off Sharma before holing it out in the last ball.
Brisbane Heat have suffered their third defeat in a row and are languishing at the bottom of the table.
(Inputs from PTI)