Chennai Super Kings safeguarded their Chepauk fortress beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 5 wickets at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Thursday night.
Chasing 160 to win, CSK achieved their target with 2 balls to spare.
The match which seesawed through was titling towards the visitors till the last over, which was inexplicably bowled by Ashish Reddy. This despite West Indian all-rounder Darren Sammy having an over left in his kitty.
Chennai at that time needed 15 off the last over and Reddy who hadn’t bowled in the entire match gave away 5 extras to ease the pressure and CSK skipper MS Dhoni did the rest, hitting him for a maximum and boundary to win it for his team in style.
Dhoni top scored for his side with a classy unbeaten 67 off 37 balls, that included 7 boundaries and 4 sixes.
Chennai were in a spot of bother after a good start but Dhoni smashed a superb half-century under pressure to lift his lifted side to its sixth win out of eight matches.
Dhoni got a life when Amit Mishra grassed a chance when the CSK skipper had miscued a hook off Dale Steyn and that proved a costly miss. Dhoni had not even opened his account at that time.
Chennai needed 46 runs in the last four overs and Dhoni began the 17th over with two consecutive sixes off Dale Steyn. Dhoni hit Steyn for a four and a six in the 19th over but the South African removed Ravindra Jadeja to leave Chennai requiring 15 runs from the last over.
Michael Hussey had earlier laid the foundation for the successful chase with a classy 45. Hussey and Murali Vijay (18) put on 65 for the first wicket. But regualr wickets in the middle overs gave the control back to Sunrisers.
Amit Mishra was again the pick of the Hyderabad bowlers taking three wickets for 26 from his four overs.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan took the field after a 37-day injury layoff that he sustained during his Test debut against Australia last month. However, the southpaw looked in same touch as he was during his record-breaking 187 in Mohali when he came out to bat for Sunrisers Hyderabad in his first Pepsi Indian Premier League match of the sixth edition.
Dhawan’s impact was immediate as his scintillating unbeaten 63 helped Hyderabad recover from early jolts to post a competitive 159 for six.
Hyderabad’s decision to elect to bat after winning the toss may have misfired as they were 37 for three in 4.5 overs, losing opener Quinton de Kock (4), Hanuma Vihari (2) and skipper Cameron White for two in quick succession.
However, Ashish Reddy’s unbeaten cameo and his 43-run partnership with Dhawan was crucial in their revival. Dhawan’s unbeaten knock came off 45 balls with 10 hits to the fence while Reddy’s 36 came off 16 balls with two fours and three sixes.
Chennai pacers Mohit Sharma and Jason Holder bore the brunt of Dhawan’s drives, pulls and cuts. It was a huge blow for Hyderabad when Dhawan was off the field for a few overs after taking a nasty hit on the groin off Dwayne Bravo. He was batting on 44 when he suffered the blow in the 14th over. Later, Dhawan was fine. “Everything is in order,” he said after the innings ended.
Reddy did a decent job in the middle, taking the responsibility to keep the scoreboard ticking in the absence of Dhawan. It was a huge relief in the Hyderabad’s camp when Dhawan came out to bat at the fall of Darren Sammy’s (19) wicket in the 18th over. The southpaw smashed a couple of boundaries off Bravo’s over to take 11 runs from it. Dhawan and Reddy belted 17 runs in the penultimate over bowled by Sharma. Reddy made the most of his strike in the final over to smash 16 runs off Bravo.