Veteran West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) defied a destructive spell from another Windies all-rounder Jason Holder to clinch a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday and become first team to qualify for the playoffs of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Holder gave further evidence of what the Windies selectors overlooked when they relegated him to the reserves list for the ICC Twenty20 World Cup from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
He took 3-27 from his four overs, but CSK chased down a modest target of 135 in 19.4 overs at the Sharjah International Cricket Stadium for their ninth win of the season.
The defeat meant Sunrisers are now out of contention after slumping to their ninth loss in 11 matches.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and former South Africa captain Faf du Plessis set the platform for CSK with another half-century opening stand.
They carried CSK to 75 without loss after 10 overs before Holder gave Sunrisers a much-needed breakthrough in the 11th over, when he got Gaikwad caught at mid-on for 45.
England spin bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali joined du Plessis and took CSK past 100, but Holder and Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan shared three wickets to rock their opponents’ chase.
After Khan bowled Moeen for 17, Holder added the scalps of Suresh Raina lbw for two and du Plessis caught at mid-wicket for 41 and CSK were 108 for four.
With 27 needed from 25 balls, it would have taken a miracle for Sunrisers to pull off a victory, but Ambati Rayudu and captain MS Dhoni made sure CSK did not lose any more wickets.
Dhoni, the retired India national captain, sealed the match with a six over mid-wicket with two balls left.
Earlier, Bravo returned to the CSK line-up after overcoming injury and Dhoni brought him on after only seven overs to exploit helpful conditions.
Bravo returned the favour with a spell of 2-17 from his four overs to ease worries about his form and fitness ahead of the T20 World Cup.
Wriddhiman Saha gave Sunrisers early momentum after they were put into bat with 44 from 46 balls, but no other batsman matched his intensity.
Sunrisers finished the powerplay on 41 for one, and the CSK pacers, led by Bravo and Australian Josh Hazlewood with 3-24, strangled their batting and they finished on 134 for seven.
India left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja dismissed Saha caught behind to give Dhoni his 100th IPL catch as the CSK wicketkeeper.
Holder made only five before he fell to pacer Shardul Thakur in the penultimate over.