sport

Dhoni drives CSK home

Chennai Super Kings rounded off the IPL group stages with an emphatic eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore, a result which puts Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men on the brink of a second-place finish.

Dhoni cracked an unbeaten 49 from just 28 balls to see his side home and improve the team's net run-rate significantly, meaning only a handsome win for Kolkata Knight Riders over Hyderabad Sunrisers can deny them second spot.

RCB, already eliminated from the competition, posted 154-6 from their 20 overs on Saturday thanks to a typically fluent 73 from 49 balls from captain Virat Kohli.

Kohli came to RCB's rescue after the home side had slumped to 33-3 inside the opening six-over powerplay.

Expensive

The India right-hander cleared the rope on five occasions, taking a particular liking to the spin of India team-mate Ravi Ashwin, who conceded 33 runs from his four overs.

Chennai made a storming start to their run-chase as powerful West Indian opener Dwayne Smith continued his fine tournament with 34 off just 17 balls.

Faf du Plessis, opening alongside Smith in the absence of Brendon McCullum, stepped up to the task with aplomb, top-scoring with an unbeaten 54 and finishing the match in style with a six off the expensive Shadab Jakati.

Dhoni also tucked into Bangalore left-arm spinners, not least team-mate Yuvraj Singh, who was deposited over the rope twice in as many balls before being taken out of the attack.

Chennai's impressive win stops a run of three successive defeats and hands them some much-needed momentum heading into next week's semi-finals.