MS Dhoni plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday. Courtesy / Chennai Supper Kings Twitter
Faf De Plessis and Ruturaj Gaekwad put up a clinical performance after Josh Hazelwood and Dwayne Bravo shared five wickets between them to help Chennai Super Kings set up a six-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday.
A stupendous bowling performance by Hazelwood and Bravo tied down Hyderabad to set Chennai a modest target of 135, as Chennai went over the line for the loss of four wickets with two balls remaining.
Du Plessis and Gaikwad played blistering knocks as Chennai were off to a thunderous start in their chase of a modest 134. The openers added 75 runs for the first wickets in just 10 overs to set the tone for a successful a chase. Both the batsmen plundered the runs on their will heap more misery on the toothless Hyderabad attack.
They brough up the fifty-run partnership in just seventh over when Du Plessis hit Kaul for a six. Du Plessis was the more brutal of the two as he flexed his muscles to take 15 runs of the fourth over bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He hit Kumar over the boundary line for two towering sixes to turn the heat on Hyderabad after a slow start.
Hyderabad bowlers were clueless how to stop the flow of runs. It was difficult to believe that they were batting on the same turf which looked unplayable during the Hyderabad innings.
Holder gave Hyderabad a breakthrough, when Gaikwad failed to clear Williamson at mid-off. There was a little wobble before MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu took the charge in their hands to take Chennai past the target.
Du Plessis and Moeen Ali added 28 runs for the second wicket to take the score to 103 before Rashid Khan knocked down the bails of the latter to break the partnership.
Holder struck in quick succession to get rid of Suresh Raina and Du Plessis in the same over as Chennai were pushed on the back foot briefly.
Suresh Raina’s poor form with the bat continued as he was caught plumbed in front of wickets for two. Raina’s scores in the last four innings has been 4, 17*, 11 and 2. It will be interesting to see if features in the playing XI in the next match or not. Du Plessis also holed out to Kaul off Holder before Dhoni and Rayudu combined to put all the doubts to rest.
Hazelwood and Bravo bowled splendidly and shared five wickets between them, conceding a combined total of 41 runs from their eight overs together.
Earlier, Hyderabad got off to a stuttering start as the last match hero Jason Roy (2) was dismissed cheaply.
Roy wanted to drag a delivery of Hazelwood from out side the off stumps but managed to get a thin edge and the ball landed in the safe hands of Dhoni behind the stumps as Hyderabad lost their wicket with 23 runs on the board.
In the previous over, Saha had taken 14 runs off Deepak Chahar’s over, with the help of two sixes after Hyderabad started the inning on a cautious note, scoring just five runs off the first two overs.
After the dismissal of Roy, Hyderabad kept on losing the wickets at regular interval and failed to get the partnership going.
Chennai bowlers once again exposed the chink in the Hyderabad fragile batting line-up. They ran through the middle-order as Hyderabad lost four wickets in a space for 31 runs.
A returning Dwayne Bravo again underlined his importance as he got rid of dangerman Kane Williamson and Priyam Garg in quick successions to push Hyderabad on the back foot.
Bravo trapped the Hyderabad skipper in front of the wickets and had Garg caught by Dhoni to make it 66-3 before Jadeja sent back Saha to leave Hyderabad in tatters.
Bravo returned to the fold in place of Australian all-rounder Sam Curran, who had a miserable outing in the last match against Kolkata as he scored 4 runs after conceding 56 for none in his four overs.
Hyderabad needed someone to play a sheet anchor-role Abhishek Sharma and Abdula Samad shared a 35-run partnership for the sixth wicket to take the score past 100-run mark.
Hazelwood struck again in second spell and dismissed both the set batsmen in the same over. He had Sharma caught by du Plessis before Samad holed out to Ali two balls later as Hyderabad were reduced to 110-6.
Holder also failed to recreate the magic of the last match as he was caught by Chahar at the boundary while trying to hit Shardul Thakur for six after scoring five runs.
Rashid Khan played a cameo of 17 runs and added an unbeaten 17 runs for the eighth wicket as Hyderabad finished on 134/7.
Garg was playing in his second match of the tournament and has scored 7 runs in two innings. He was dismissed for a naught against Rajasthan Royals.
It was the turn of Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) bowlers to get into the act after batsman Priyam Garg’s (51) stupendous fifty gave them a decent total to defend, and in the end, win a thriller of an Indian Premier League (IPL) match in Dubai by seven runs on Friday.
Table-toppers Chennai Super Kings (CSK) will look to consolidate their position on the table with a victory over rock-bottom Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Sharjah on Thursday.
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