Chennai Super Kings (CSK) successfully defended 167 to record its third win of the season, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 20 runs at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
In a throwback to its tried and tested formula when playing in Chepauk, CSK used a decent total and the skills of its spinners to apply the pressure in the middle overs and script a crucial win that gives its campaign a lease of life.
For Sunrisers, Kane Williamson waged a lonely battle slamming 57 off 39 balls, but he lacked support from the other end.
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CSK struck in the fourth over when Sam Curran removed David Warner cheaply caught and bowled, before Dwayne Bravo’s direct hit found Manish Pandey short of his crease two balls later.
From 40 for two at the end of the power play, Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma kept things tight without conceding a boundary till the last two deliveries of the 12th over. The left-arm spinner also removed Jonny Bairstow cheaply in this phase.
Dhoni took a gamble in bowling Karn in the 18th over, during which he went for 19 runs but removed Williamson which proved vital in the end.
Earlier, electing to bat for the first time this year, CSK made 167 for six thanks to an 81-run stand between Shane Watson (42) and Ambati Rayudu (41) for the third wicket.
– PAYING OFF –
The Super Kings had Curran open the innings and the move paid dividends as the England all-rounder sparkled with a 21-ball 31 (2×4, 3×6).
After a slow start, in the fourth over of the innings, Curran freed his arms, pulling Khaleel Ahmed for two fours and smashing him for two sixes down the ground, punishing the bowler who pitched short regularly.
After Sandeep removed openers Faf du Plessis and Curran, Watson and Rayudu rebuilt the innings, being circumspect against Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem initially. The two batsmen were lucky too as they were dropped when on nine and 20, respectively.
– ATTACKING RASHID –
Watson and Rayudu looked like they would make the Sunrisers pay for the lapses as they waded into Rashid in his final two overs picking three sixes against the leggie.
However, both Rayudu and Watson, in that order, mistimed full tosses from Khaleel and T. Natarajan, hitting the ball straight to the long-off fielder off successive overs.
Dhoni’s 13-ball 21 (2×4, 1×6) and Jadeja’s unbeaten 25 (10b, 3×4, 1×6) helped Super Kings regain the momentum in the final overs as the last five overs produced 51.