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IPL: Chennai thrash SRH, secure playoff spot

Chennai Super Kings defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets on Thursday night to secure a playoff berth in the Indian Premier League 2021.

CSK chased down the 135-target with two balls to spare.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished off the proceedings with a six to seal the win, reminding everyone of his six to win the ICC World Cup in 2015 where he smacked Nuwan Kulasekara to win the game.

This is the 11th time CSK have reached the playoffs in IPL.

Hazlewood delivers clinical performance

Josh Hazlewood removed in-form Jason Roy early in the innings.

He later removed Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad in the same over to dismantle Hyderabad’s batting line-up.

His 3/24 earned him the Man of the Match award.

After the game, the Australia pacer admitted that sending Roy back to the hut was crucial since the Englishman had won SRH the last game single with his half-century.

“Very satisfying… Feel like I have been learning every game. [Roy] is obviously a guy who sets the game for them and comes hard… We have been working really hard as a group,” the right-arm quick said.

Gaikwad, du Plessis spank SRH bowlers

Ruturaj Gaikwad (45) and Faf du Plessis (41) brought up another 75-run opening partnership to set the tone for the chase.

The young Indian opener and former South African skipper are now the fifth and third-highest run-getter in this season.

They have been subliminal in powerplays so far, regardless of the venues.

If they continue to soar, Chennai will not have any trouble lifting the coveted IPL trophy for the fourth time.

Chennai Super Kings 139 for 4 (Gaikwad 45, du Plessis 41, Holder 3-27) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 134 for 7 (Saha 44, Hazlewood 3-24, Bravo 2-17) by six wickets.

Match preview – KKR vs PBKS

Kolkata Knight Riders will be looking to carry on their winning momentum on Friday when they take on KL Rahul-led Punjab Kings at the Dubai International Stadium.

Probable key performers

KL Rahul

The PBKS captain averages 52.75 in this edition.

His red-hot form speaks volumes of his batting skills in crunch moments.

He departed for only 21 against MI, but will be eyeing a big individual score in the Friday game.

Sunil Narine

Replacing injured Andre Russell in the KKR huddle, Narine was superb in the last contest against Delhi Capitals.

He carried on his good form from the CPL to make it big in the IPL, winning his team the last contest with an all-round display.

Match prediction

Kolkata Knight Riders are coming off a win against tournament favourites – Delhi Capitals.

They are brimming with confidence and eager to go up the table.

On the other hand, Punjab Kings lost their last game to reigning IPL champions Mumbai Indians.

They have heavily depended on skipper KL Rahul and now they’ve lost Chris Gayle as well.

The Caribbean star has decided to leave the bio-secure bubble to focus on the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.

They lack in firepower in late overs, that neither Gayle nor Nicholas Pooran has provided in this season.

Hence, Eoin Morgan’s men should clinch this contest to maintain their fourth spot in the points table.

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