CSK eye semifinal spot, take on hapless Brisbane in CLT20
Ranchi: Unbeaten so far, table-toppers Chennai Super Kings will eye a hat-trick of victories to seal the semifinal spot when they square off against winless laggards Brisbane Heats of Australia in their third Group B match of the Champions League Twenty20 here tomorrow.
The contrast could not have been more in the two teams' fortunes. While Chennai are on top, Brisbane are at the bottom of the points table.
Chennai, IPL runners-up this year, are among the favourites to lift the Champions League for a second time after clinching the trophy in 2010.
And the sheer depth in the line-up was displayed last night when Suresh Raina smashed a quickfire half-century while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni produced a belligerent unbeaten knock of 63 for CSK to post a stunning 202 on the board against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
In fact, their batting firepower that gives CSK a definitive edge over Brisbane. With in-form batsmen like Dhoni and Raina, CSK can take any opposition line-up to task.
But a lot more would be expected of the likes of Mike Hussey, who showed some spark in his 21-ball 23 in the previous match. Not to forget all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who hasn't quite got a chance to dazzle so far.
Last night, Raina's 57-ball 84 was perfectly matched by Dhoni's pyrotechnics as the hard-hitting local skipper broke the spirits of the Sunrisers bowlers with his ruthless batting display.
Such was the brutality that neither speed nor spin provided any challenge to Dhoni as he decorated his 19-ball knock with an astonishing eight sixes.
Dhoni, in the process, also struck the fastest fifty in the history of the Champions League, reaching the landmark in just 16 balls and surpassing West Indian Kieron Pollard's record (50 off 18 balls).