CSK knock MI out of IPL, reach second qualifier

Bangalore: Riding on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s blistering 20-ball 51-run innings, defending champions Chennai Super Kings romped into the second qualifiers by knocking out Mumbai Indians with a comfortable 38-run victory in the IPL eliminator here Wednesday night.

With this win, Chennai inched closer to their third successive title and will now lock horns with Delhi Daredevils on Friday at home in the qualifier-II, the winner of which will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in the summit clash on Sunday at the same venue.

The thrilling victory at the M Chinnaswamy stadium here also paved Chennai`s way to the next Champions League.

The victory was set up by two brilliant partnerships by Chennai batsmen. First it was the 94-run third-wicket stand between S Badrinath (47) and Michael Hussey (49), which helped Chennai to recover after being precariously placed at 1 for 2 in 1.2 overs.

While the second partnership was the unbeaten 73-run stand between skipper Dhoni (51 off 20) and Dwayne Bravo (33 off 14), which catapulted Chennai to a challenging 187 for five in their stipulated 20 overs.

It was a special innings by Dhoni as he butchered the Mumbai bowlers, blasting six fours and two sixes in his 20-ball whirlwind innings.

For Mumbai, Dhawal Kulkarni (3/46) was the most successful bowler, while Kieron Pollard (1/26) and James Franklin (1/12) took one wicket each.

Chasing the stiff target, Mumbai could muster only 149 for nine in their stipulated 20 overs with opener Dwayne Smith (38) being the top-scorer.

The Chennai bowlers also put up a brilliant show with Dwayne Bravo (2/10) and Albie Morkel (2/31) making the most damage, while SB Jakati

(1/25), BW Hilfenhaus (1/45), R Ashwin (1/18), RA Jadeja

(1/15) also contributing to the win.