Three-time champions Chennai Super Kings have been knocked out of the race to secure an IPL playoffs berth for the first time in 13 years after Rajasthan Royals defeated Mumbai Indians by eight wickets in Abu Dhabi. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led side had made it to the play-offs in each of the 10 IPL seasons that it participated since the league started in 2008.
However, CSK endured an inconsistent run in this IPL. Dhoni's men on Sunday notched up an eight-wicket win over Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday to keep their slim chances alive for a few hours but all hopes ended when RR beat MI later in the day. The win over RCB took CSK to 8 points from 12 matches but they can only achieve a maximum of 12 points if they win their last two games, which won't be enough to seal a place in the play-off.
In the points table, Mumbai Indians, Delhi Capitals and RCB are already on 14 points with Kolkata Knight Riders at 12 with three games to go, followed by Kings XI Punjab and RR -- both on 10 points each with three and two matches left.
"We don't really have a chance to make it to the play-offs, leave the mathematical part of it," Dhoni had said after CSK beat RCB on Sunday.
"You have to enjoy the game no matter where you are on the table. If you are not enjoying the cricket, it can become cruel and painful. So I am glad with how the youngsters have responded."
CSK had won back-to-back titles in 2010 and 2011, before reclaiming the crown in 2018 following a two year gap. They also ended up runners-up five times. CSK will take on KKR on Thursday in their penultimate game.