Suresh Raina set it up and Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished it off. Riding the duo’s majestic batting, former champions Chennai Super Kings scripted a convincing 12-run win over Hyderabad Sunrisers in Thursday’s high-scoring CLT20 Group B match.
Raina slammed an authoritative 84 and Dhoni came up with a hurricane unbeaten 63 as Super Kings overcame an early setback to muster a mammoth 202. Raina then bowled a golden over in which he took a wicket for three runs and effected a run out to seal the match in favour of CSK. It was no wonder that he was adjudged Man of the Match for the second successive time.
Chasing the stiff target, Sunrisers made a sound start compiling 87 for the opening wicket. But after the departure of Parthiv Patel, they just caved in.
Earlier, Super Kings made a disappointing start as Murali Vijay fell for a duck for the second successive time. Michael Hussey and Raina steadied the innings with a 45-run stand for the second wicket. Hussey, dropped on nine by Karan Sharma off JP Duminy at point, could not cash in on the opportunity as he edged one to wicketkeeper Patel.
But Raina, who started with a flourish, hitting Dale Steyn for two boundaries in the very first over, continued to stabilise the innings, adding 70 for the third-wicket partnership with S Badrinath, whose contribution to the alliance was a mere 13. Badrinath struggled before being caught at long-on by Steyn, trying to hit Duminy for six.
After the 15th over, Super Kings were 126 for three and Badrinath’s exit was followed by a huge roar as home-town hero Dhoni joined Raina for a final assault.
The skipper, who had disappointed in the previous match against Titans, started off with a six over the sightscreen. He seemed determined to give his home town a special treat. And what a treat it turned out to be! A 16-ball fifty (the fastest in CLT20), five sixes in one over off Thisara Perera, two more in the last over bowled by Darren Sammy. Ranchi could not have asked for more. Dhoni’s monstrous attack saw Super Kings gallop from 141 for three to 202 for four, adding 61 runs in the last three overs. A helpless Perera, who was blasted for 34 runs in one over, gave away 60 in three overs.
Dhoni’s batting turned Raina into a mere spectator at the other end. But the left-hander did a stupendous job, anchoring the rocking innings to a position of strength before being brilliantly caught by Perera at long-on in the penultimate over.
Sammy’s late burst could not stop Super Kings from snatching their second win in as many matches.