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Three-time champions Chennai fail to make playoffs for the first time in IPL history

Chennai Super Kings failed to make it to the playoffs for the first time in their Indian Premier League history despite the three-time champions easing to an eight-wicket victory against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday.

The victory over Bangalore had kept them afloat in the tournament but once Rajasthan Royals rode on a scintillating century from Ben Stokes to beat Mumbai Indians by eight wickets, Chennai’s playoff chances perished.

Chennai not only needed to win all their remaining matches but also had to get results from other matches in their favour. Rajasthan victory was enough to knock out Chennai who are at the bottom of the table with eight points from 12 games.

Kolkata Knight Riders are the fourth-placed team currently occupying the last playoff spot with Kings XI Punjab, Rajasthan – 10 points each – and Sunrisers Hyderabad (eight) also in the mix. Getting four points from their next two matches wont help Chennai’s cause anymore.

In their 12th match on Sunday, Chennai restricted Bangalore to 145-6 despite an 82-run partnership between Virat Kohli (50) and AB de Villiers (39) initially looked danger. All top four Chennai batsmen contributed runs as they reached 150-2 with 10 balls to spare.

Ruturaj Gaekwad had top scored for Chennai with a 51-ball 65 and the opener continued to hold the innings throughout.

The day initially looked for Chennai after Hardik Pandya’s whirlwind 21-ball 60 catapulted Mumbai Indians to an imposing 195-5 against Rajasthan. But Stokes was at his soild best as the England allrounder smashed a 60-ball 107 not out handing Rajasthan victory in 18.2 overs.

Stokes shared 152-run unbroken partnership for the third wicket with Sanju Samson who made 51 off 31. Stokes knock included 14 boundaries and three sixes.

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