CHENNAI: It was that man MS Dhoni again for Chennai Super Kings. The CSK skipper played yet another blinder of an innings (67, 37 balls, 7×4, 4×6) to take his team home against Sunrisers Hyderabad here on Thursday night.
In what another tight finish, CSK needed 28 from the last two overs and 15 from the final one bowled by Ashish Reddy. Dhoni was equal to the task and took CSK past the post with two balls remaining as Reddy’s lack of nerve proved costly for Sunrisers.
Michael Hussey gave CSK a fine start with a brisk 45 off 26 balls as his side chased 160 for victory. But leg-spinner Karan Sharma put the breaks on CSK by giving away just eight off his four overs. But Dhoni was there to make sure the target was reached.
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan marked his return to competitive cricket with a cracking 63 not out (45b, 10×4) to help Sunrisers post a challenging 159-6. The left-handed opener played a lone hand following a top-order collapse to lift the visitors after they had opted to bat.
As luck would have it for SH, Dhawan was hit in the abdomen region by a Dwayne Bravo delivery that forced him to retire hurt on 44, just when he appeared to have set the platform (83-4 in 13.3 overs) for a solid finish.
Darren Sammy pulled his weight by using the long handle remarkably on his tournament debut to help the SH carry on the fight. Dhawan returned on the fall of the West Indian captain (116-6 in 17.2) and reached his fifty with two spanking boundaries off Bravo.
The SH innings was all about Dhawan and his calculated assault of the CSK attack and his spectacular finish with Ashish Reddy (36 not out, 16b), the pair putting on 43 runs in 16 balls for the unbroken seventh wicket.
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