CSK will play in Qualifier 1 of IPL 2015, after their bowlers set up the easiest of wins over Kings XI Punjab, who, yet again, failed to make an impression with the bat.
After stopping RCB in a rain-hit game, there were hopes that KXIP would put up a fight, at least, against CSK, but their batsmen for the umpteenth time this season flattered to deceive, and as a result only a score of 130/7 in 20 overs was possible.
CSK lost their openers – Michael Hussey, playing his first game in IPL 2015, and Brendon McCullum – early, but Faf Du Plessis and Suresh Raina ensured there would be no more hiccups to guide their team to a seven-wicket win, with 3.1 overs to spare.
After surprisingly losing to Delhi Daredevils in their last game, CSK needed a win to ensure top spot in the IPL 2015 standings, and they went about doing just that in their always-clinical manner.
Wriddhiman Saha, hoping to make an impression again opening, was sent packing in the third over by Pawan Negi, before medium-pacers Ashish Nehra and Ishwar Pandey also got in on the act, dismissing George Bailey and Manan Vohra respectively.
Glenn Maxwell, seeing the wickets tumbling, looked to take his time before going slam-bang, but that plan did not quite work as Ravindra Jadeja got a ripper od a delivery going to castle the slugger, and with David Miller and Gurkeerat Singh also unable to make an impression, the writing was very much on the wall.
Axar Patel (32, 29b, 2x4, 1x6) and Rishi Dhawan (25 n.o., 20b, 1x4, 2x6), at least, did well to ensure KXIP would go past 130, but that was never going to trouble the CSK batsmen, was it.
Hussey, keen to find some form ahead of the playoffs, with McCullum playing his last game of the season, edged one to the wicketkeeper off Sandeep Sharma, before the New Zealander also perished, playing one on to his stumps off Beuran Hendricks.
However, any thoughts of turning this into a contest was quickly banished as Du Plessis (55, 41b, 5x4, 1x6) and Raina (41 n.o., 34b, 4x4) picked off the runs comfortably, with the former very much the aggressor in the partnership, which was worth 92 runs in just a little under 12 overs.
With such a big alliance while chasing such a small total, there was only ever going to be one result, even if Du Plessis fell late in the chase, with Dhoni (25 n.o., 16b, 2x4, 2x6) then joining in the fun as well.