Raina scored 84 before getting out while Dhoni bludgeoned his way to a 19-ball 63 as he hammered eight sixes in his astonishing unbeaten innings to power CSK to 202 for four. (Getty Images)
Ranchi: Unbeaten so far in the tournament, in-form team Chennai Super Kings will eye a hat-trick of wins and seal the semi-final berth when they take on the struggling Brisbane Heat of Australia in Ranchi on Saturday in their Group B match. Chennai are on top of the point table while Brisbane are at the bottom.
Batting firepower will give CSK a definitive edge over Brisbane. With the in-form limited-overs specialists MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, Chennai can take any opposition line-up to task. Their match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday once again showed the T20 ability of Raina and skipper MSD. Raina smashed a quickfire half-century while skipper Dhoni produced a belligerent unbeaten knock of 63 off just 19 balls for CSK to post a stunning 202 on the board against Hyderabad.
So far Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay have failed to give the home team a good start and the Chennai franchise will be hoping that the duo get some runs under their belt ahead of the semis. Star allrounder Ravindra Jadeja too hasn't quite dazzled so far either with the bat or ball.
Chennai have some bowling issues to deal with given that they ended up conceding 190 runs to Hyderabad. The likes of Mohit Sharma and Albie Morkel would have to watch their economy rate or else they could end up helping Brisbane batsmen regain lost form.
Brisbane, on the other hand, are all but eliminated from the competition. Handed defeats in the two matches they have played so far, Brisbane need to win on Saturday to stay alive in the event. The depleted Australian outfit, which failed miserably with the bat in the games against Trinidad & Tobago and the Titans, will be expecting its batsmen to show more responsibility.
Brisbane would hope that captain James Hopes, who has plenty of international experience and has also captained the IPL side Delhi Daredevils, gives them a solid start along with Burns. Besides, allrounder Dan Christian will also have to carry the batting burden. Chris Lynn, the big-hitting middle-order batsman, is another player who can make an impact.
The bowling unit has done well so far but have found little or no support from the team's batsmen.
Chennai Super Kings: 1 Michael Hussey, 2 Murali Vijay, 3 Suresh Raina, 4 S Badrinath, 5 MS Dhoni (capt/wk), 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Albie Morkel, 9 Ravichandran Ashwin, 10 Jason Holder, 11 Mohit Sharma.
Brisbane Heat: 1 James Hopes (capt), 2 Joe Burns, 3 Peter Forrest, 4 Daniel Christian, 5 Chris Lynn, 6 Chris Hartley (wk), 7 Ben Cutting, 8 Chris Sabburg, 9 Nathan Hauritz, 10 Matthew Gale, 11 Alister McDermott