Arun Gopalakrishnan in Mumbai
Match Report: M 10 - Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Raina, Dhoni the difference in CSK’s 12-run triumph
After being put in to bat, CSK lost Murali Vijay to the second ball of the innings. But Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey wrested the initiative back in style, adding 45 runs over the next six overs. Raina opened his account with two crisp boundaries off Steyn, while Hussey got stuck into Ishant Sharma hitting him for two boundaries and a six. The partnership was separated when Hussey edged one from JP Duminy to the wicketkeeper; he made 23 from 21 balls.
Raina and S Badrinath consolidated the innings further with a 70-run partnership. While Raina went hammer and tongs, Badri played complemented him by rotating the strike. The pair was separated when Badrinath too fell to Duminy.
At 115/3 in the 15th over, CSK looked set for a total around 180. But Dhoni had other plans. The CSK skipper, who said at the toss that he felt a little pressure while playing in front of his home crowd, deposited the second delivery he faced into the stands, signaling the start of what would be a massacre.
There were chants of “Dhoni, Dhoni” from the stands. And the skipper obliged. Balls disappeared thick and fast into the stands thereafter; Thisara Perera, in particular, came in for some special treatment. The 18th over of the innings turned out to be an eventful over; Dhoni tore into the Sri Lankan and hit him for five sixes – each one bigger than the earlier one – as CSK plundered 34 runs from the over.
Raina, who played what would be termed a sensational innings in its own right, was dismissed for 84 when he holed out to long-on. Dhoni brought up his half-century off 16 balls. The CSK skipper continued to make merry as he collected two more sixes in the final over to finish unbeaten on 63; the sensational bit was that those runs were scored off a mere 19 deliveries.
For SRH, Dale Steyn finished with two for 23 from his four overs, while JP Duminy’s four overs – during which he picked up two wickets – cost him 27.
Unfazed by the steep target, the Sunrisers openers, Parthiv Patel (37) and Shikhar Dhawan (48), came out positively and took the fight to the opposition. SRH raced to 50 in just 5.2 overs. The pair added 88 runs before they were separated. Just when the tension started to build in the CSK ranks, Raina produced a moment of brilliance; he ran from his follow through and scored a direct hit at the non-striker’s end – despite having just one stump to aim at – to catch Patel short of his ground.
That was the opening that CSK were looking for. Duminy fell for a third-ball duck, while Dhawan was dismissed in the 11th over for a briskly-compiled 48. And when Dwayne Bravo dismissed the dangerous Thisara Perera in the 14th over, the rest of the run-chase was going to be a formality.
Despite a late surge from Darren Sammy, who scored 50 from 25 balls, the Sunrisers Hyderabad finished their 20 overs at 190/7.
For the Chennai Super Kings, Dwayne Bravo (2/29) was yet again the pick of the bowlers, while Jason Holder finished with figures of two for 40. Ashwin (1/32) accounted for the dangerous Dhawan. Raina was the other wicket-taker for CSK.
Trivia: The break-up of MS Dhoni’s 19-ball knock: 1 dot ball, 7 singles, 2 twos, 1 four and 8 sixes.
CSK raced from 150 to 200 in a matter of 15 deliveries.
The partnership between Raina and Dhoni – worth 60 runs – came off 25 balls. Dhoni dominated the association, contributing 43 off 13 balls, while Raina chipped in with 13 from 12 balls.
The Sunrisers were ahead of the Chennai Super Kings after 17 overs of the run-chase. CSK were 141/3 at that stage, while SRH were 156/5.
Man of the Match: Suresh Raina for his all-round performance.