Chennai - Brendon McCullum smashed a superb, unbeaten century to set up a comfortable 45-run win for the Chennai Super Kings over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Indian Premier League match at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Saturday.
According to the supersport.com website, opening batsman McCullum was in irrepressible form as he reached three figures, his second IPL ton, off the last ball of the innings to end unbeaten on 100 off a mere 56 balls with seven fours and nine sixes as Chennai posted a formidable 209-4.
Hyderabad could only respond with 164-6 despite 53 off 42 balls with a four and three sixes from David Warner.
McCullum brought up his fifty off 38 balls with four fours and five sixes and he reached the landmark with a massive six over deep square leg off the bowling of paceman Ishant Sharma.
The right-handed McCullum was particularly strong on the leg-side with his seven of his first eight sixes being hammered to the leg side.
McCullum and Mahendra Singh Dhoni shared in a third-wicket stand of 63 off 5.5 overs.
Dhoni was even more destructive than McCullum and he reached his fifty off just 28 balls, the fastest of this year’s IPL, while he went on the charge during the 18th over when he struck three sixes off the bowling of legspinner Karn Sharma.
Dhoni scored 40 of the runs as he and McCullum brought up their 50-run stand off 4.4 overs before Dhoni departed, for 53 off 29 deliveries with four fours and four sixes, in the final over when he was caught at mid-off off a delivery from left-arm swing bowler Trent Boult (1-34).
McCullum and Dwayne Smith plundered 75 runs for the first wicket off 8.1 overs. Smith struck a measured 27 off 26 balls with four fours and a six but the burgeoning opening stand was broken when Smith was run out at the keeper’s end after a direct hit from Boult fielding at short third man.
Suresh Raina and McCullum than added a quick-fire 60 for the second wicket off 5.2 overs with Raina contributing just 14 of the runs before also being run out at the keeper’s end thanks to a direct hit after some athletic fielding from Lokesh Rahul at point.
Dhoni’s dismissal left Chennai on 198-3 with Ravi Jadeja (0) run out of the next ball of the innings before McCullum scored 11 runs off the last three balls of his innings to reach his century.
Hyderabad’s innings did not get off to the best of starts as they stuttered to 46-2 after six overs after the dismissals of Shikar Dhawan (26) and Lokesh Rahul (5).
Naman Ojha (15) and Warner added 45 runs for the third wicket before Ojha was caught at long-off off the bowling of offspinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
Warner brought up his fifty, off 41 balls, but was out next ball after being caught at deep midwicket off the bowling of seamer Ishwar Pandey to leave the visitors on 114-4 in the 15th over as Hyderabad’s challenge petered out despite 22 from Ravi Bopara and 26 not out from Kane Williamson.