Raina leads Chennai home
Chennai Super Kings edged a step closer to joining Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League final with a seven-wicket victory over Mumbai Indians in Wednesday's eliminator.
Suresh Raina and David Hussey produced a decisive 86-run stand to see the Super Kings over the line with seven balls to spare after they had restricted Mumbai to 173-8.
Chennai's hopes were hanging in the balance somewhat when Brendan McCullum's dismissal left them 89-3 at the midway point.
Raina and Hussey rose the occasion, however, with the former smashing four fours and two sixes on his way a 32-ball 54 as Chennai overcame a shaky start to knock the defending champions out of the competition.
Australian Hussey (40 not out) provided more than able support with two fours and three sixes as the Super Kings moved into Friday's final qualifier, where they will face Kings XI Punjab for a place in Sunday's final.
Dwayne Smith and Faf du Plessis had got the Chennai chase off to a brisk start with an opening stand of 60 before former India spinner Harbhajan Singh made a crucial breakthrough, sending both openers back to dugout in his first over.
Caught in the deep
West Indian Smith had hit four fours on his way to a 20-ball 24, but he was caught in the deep by compatriot Kieron Pollard as Singh came into the attack.
After bowling two wides, Singh regained his composure while Du Plessis lost his, sending a high ball to substitute fielder Ben Dunk after smashing five fours and a six en route to a solid 35.
When McCullum was stumped for just 14 the Super Kings were rocked, but Hussey came to join Raina and the international duo steadied the ship before leading the victory charge.
Earlier in the day, West Indies international Lendl Simmons and Australian Michael Hussey got Mumbai off to a flying start with an opening stand of 76, before a lower order collapse saw them slump to 173-8.
Hussey struck four fours and one six on his way to 39 before being clean bowled by slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja (2-31), who also claimed the scalp of Simmons but not before he had smashed five fours and four sixes on his way to a 44-ball 67.
All-rounders Corey Anderson and Rohit Sharma both contributed 20 before being caught and Pollard also added 14, but his dismissal led to a middle order collapse as Mumbai lost four wickets for just three runs with Ashish Nehra (2-34) and Mohit Sharma (3-42) both chipping in.