Johannesburg - Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni
smashed an undefeated 67 from 37 deliveries to give his team an unlikely
five-wicket victory with two balls to spare in their IPL clash against the
Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Thursday, reports the supersport.com website.
A remarkable undefeated innings of 63 from
45 deliveries by Shikhar Dhawan had earlier steered the Sunrisers to a score of
159 for six, and a maiden from Karan Sharma (4-1-8-0) in the 16th over left
Chennai needing 46 from 24 deliveries.
However, Dhoni was imperious, and a
shell-shocked Hyderabad team were forced to watch flying leather as they
suffered an unexpected reverse to leave them stuck in third place on 10 points.
VIDEO: Chennai Super Kings v Sunrisers Hyderabad, highlights
Victory for the Super Kings sees them join
the Royal Challengers Bangalore at the summit of the table on 12 points, albeit
with an inferior net run-rate.
Having earlier won the toss and elected to
bat, the Hyderabad side endured early strife as opener Quinton de Kock (4),
Hanuma Vihari (2) and captain Cameron White (2) all fell within the first five
overs to leave them 37 for three.
Amit Mishra's (15) dismissal in the 10th
over was a setback after a useful partnership with Dhawan, but things were to
get worse as the opener, on 44, was struck down in the mid-section by a vicious
Dwayne Bravo (4-0-37-2) delivery midway through the 14th over. Unable to
continue, Dhawan's decision to retire hurt appeared to effectively reduce the
visitors to 83 for five.
Next in was Darren Sammy (19), and, on his
IPL debut, the West Indian captain opened his shoulders by blasting two fours
and a six to take the score well beyond the century mark. But his dismissal in
the 18th over to fellow West Indian Bravo prompted the return of Dhawan, and
the left hander immediately struck two boundaries to bring up a remarkable half
He wasn't done yet though, and he and
partner Ashish Reddy (36 not out) added a further four fours and two sixes
between them to take their side to a competitive-looking total.
The home crowd were then treated to an
exhibition in strokeplay as Michael Hussey (45) led the charge in reply. He and
fellow opener Murali Vijay (18) took the score to 58 without loss by the end of
the powerplay, before the latter was stumped in the eighth over off Mishra
The introduction of spin began to slow the
over rate, and Hussey became Mishra's second victim in bizarre fashion two
overs later as he was caught by keeper De Kock off the back of his bat to leave
his side at 76 for two.
New-man Dhoni was then given a life as
Mishra dropped a sitter off Dale Steyn (4-0-45-1) on the fine-leg boundary in
the 11th over, and it began to look costly as the captain started to find the
middle of the bat.
Mishra redeemed himself in the 14th over,
as Dhoni's partner Suresh Raina (16) skied one to long on with the score on 99,
and when Bravo (7), who struggled through 16 deliveries, lost his wicket, the
hosts were left needing 30 from 16 deliveries.
All hopes were pinned on Dhoni, and he
carted Steyn for a four and a big six in the penultimate over to bring up his
fifty, and the crowd to the edge of their seats. But Steyn removed Ravindra
Jadeja (1) at the end of it, and with 15 needed off the final over, the odds
appeared to be stacked against him.
However, the skipper took full advantage of
a poor final over from Reddy (0.4-0-15-0), and a six and two fours were enough
to see his side home for a fourth successive victory.