David Warner pulverized a listless Chennai Super Kings attack into submission with some breathtaking strokeplay as Sunrisers Hyderabad won by six wickets to keep slim chances of qualifying for the IPL play-offs alive.
Courtesy Warner’s 45-ball-90 and an equally effective unbeaten 64 off 49 balls from Shikhar Dhawan, Sunrisers crossed the mark with two balls to spare taking their points tally to 12 with a match still left.
However, if Rajasthan Royals win their next match and take their points tally to 16, Sunrisers’ last game will be rendered inconsequential.
CSK, although have qualified for the play-offs have now encountered hat-trick of defeats losing on a trot to RCB, KKR and Sunrisers respectively. This is only fourth time in seven editions when CSK have lost three matches in a row.
Warner started by belting Mohit Sharma for couple of boundaries — one on square of the wicket and the other was a straight hit.
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In the next over, he hit Ashwin straight into the sightscreen and also got a boundary.
The final over of the Powerplay and second bowled by John Hastings opened the floodgates as Warner smacked him for five boundaries that enabled him to complete a half-century.
When Ravindra Jadeja was brought into the attack, he strayed down the leg-side which was tucked by Warner and then hit him for good measure over the deep mid-wicket fence.
Shikhar Dhawan batted sensibly as he dealt in singles giving bulk of the strike to Warner, who was on a rampage.
The 100 came up in 10 overs in which Warner had scored 80 and Dhawan’s contribution was only 16.
Young left-arm spinner Pawan Negi was pretty nervous which was evident from the half-tracker that he bowled and was pulled by the Aussie opener over the square-leg boundary.
Dhawan also played a deft cut shot to get his first boundary. Warner was finally played on with team’s total on 116 with Hastings getting his revenge. He hit 12 fours and three sixes in his 45-ball knock.
Once Warner left, there was a few minutes of quiet period before Dhawan took over. First he dispatched Jadeja for a four and a six.
New man Naman Ojha launched into Negi to hit him into the second tier after which Dhawan pulled Suresh Raina over deep mid-wicket for a six as the required runs came below 30.
Dhawan completed his 50 with a couple off Mohit. It took him 40 balls to reach the landmark. Raina got a consolation wicket of Ojha (19) but match was all over by then.
Earlier, ‘Super-Sub’ David Hussey and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni engaged in some enthrallong strokeplay as Chennai Super Kings scored an imposing 185 for three after being put into bat by opposition skipper Darren Sammy.
Hussey, justified the faith CSK management entrusted in him by summoning him as Dwayne Bravo’s replacement, scoring a rapid 50 off 33 balls while Dhoni as usual saved his best for the last with another hurricane unbeaten 41-ball-57 that had two fours and four sixes.
Dhoni launched into Dale Steyn in the final over of the innings smashing 24 with the help of two fours and two sixes. The duo added a whopping 108 runs in 11.2 overs for the unbroken fourth wicket as CSK crossed the 180-run mark with ease.
Hussey timed his innings to perfection as the first 15 runs took him 19 deliveries but he smacked 35 off the next 14 deliveries that had five fours and two huge sixes off Irfan Pathan. Steyn was expensive going for 43 off four while Pathan was smashed for 34 in three overs. Karn Sharma’s two for 19 was the only saving grace.
Among the other batsmen, in-form Dwayne Smith again showed his big-hitting prowess with a 28-ball-47 that had four boundaries and four huge sixes.
He started with three boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first over that had a cover drive, an on-drive and a square drive. When off-spinner Parvez Rasool came into bowl, he was drilled for three huge sixes with two being hit straight into the sightscreen.
Faf du Plessis (19) was playing well but was unlucky as a straight punch by Smith off Karn Sharma saw the stumps at the non-striker’s end get uprooted catching the Proteas batsman short of crease.
Smith was done in by a Karn googly as he was trapped plumb in-front. Suresh Raina did not get the big heave right as he was caught in the deep by Aaron Finch off Karn’s bowling.
At 77 for three, Dhoni and Hussey joined forces as they first settled down before going for the final assault. The last five overs yielded 68 runs with Steyn’s final over proving to be vital.