Chennai Super Kings cruised to a comfortable eight-wicket victory over an out-of-sorts Royal Challengers Bangalore to strengthen their second-place bid in the seventh edition of the IPL, in Bangalore on Saturday.
Chasing a modest target of 154 set by RCB largely due to Virat Kohli's 49-ball 73, the CSK batsmen made minimum fuss as a collective effort saw them cross the line with as many as 16 balls to spare.
CSK thus finished their league engagements with 18 points from 14 games by virtue of nine victories. Their net run-rate is +0.385 which they would expect that KKR does not surpass during their evening match against Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Faf du Plessis revelled in the role of an opener scoring an unbeaten 54 and also enjoying couple of fruitful partnerships of 57 for the opening stand with Dwayne Smith (34) and an unbroken 75 runs with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the third wicket.
Dhoni, who is always in his element in the cash-rich league, smacked his way to 49 off only 28 balls to ensure that the run-rate is suitably beefed up. Dhoni's innings had four boundaries and three sixes while Du Plessis hit three fours and three sixes.
He was severe on the left-arm spinners as two of his three sixes came in Yuvraj Singh's one over and the other was hit off Shadab Jakati.
The winning hit came off Du Plessis' bat as he lofted Jakati for a big six to end it in style. Smith again gave CSK a good start as he smashed his way to 34 off 17 balls with four boundaries and a six. CSK had pocketed the match by the end of the Powerplay as 64 runs came off six overs.
Left-arm spinner Jakati, who had enjoyed a bit of success for the CSK, had a horrible outing giving away 41 runs in his listless 3.4 overs. Mitchell Starc was also hammered for 33 runs in three overs.