x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

IPL: Chennai captain MS Dhoni is master finisher again as Hyderabad fade out

Another last-over crunch finish as Chennai Super Kings got past Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday in a cat-and-mouse game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

File picture of Chennai captain MS Dhoni, who steered the run chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Daniel Berehulak / via Getty ImagesImages) *** Local Caption *** MS Dhoni
File picture of Chennai captain MS Dhoni, who steered the run chase against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Daniel Berehulak / via Getty ImagesImages) *** Local Caption *** MS Dhoni

Toss Hyderabad, chose to bat
Hyderabad Dhawan 63; Reddy 36; M Sharma 2-33, Bravo 2-37
Chennai Dhoni 67 n.o, Hussey 45, Player ; Mishra 3-26
Man of the match MS Dhoni (Chennai)

CHENNAI // MS Dhoni produced another typical innings, and able contributions from Michael Hussey and the bowlers ensured that Chennai Super Kings got past Sunrisers Hyderabad yesterday in a cat-and-mouse game at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Chasing 160 for a win, Chennai required 28 runs from the last two overs. Dhoni, who remained unbeaten on 67 off 37 balls, hit Dale Steyn for 13 runs in the penultimate over. After Steyn removed Ravindra Jadeja, Dhoni hit Ashish Reddy for 15 runs in four balls to seal the match for Chennai with two balls to spare.

It meant that Shikhar Dhawan's unbeaten 45-ball 63 on his comeback to cricket after recovering from a broken finger, was in vain.

Chennai had a flying start as the opening pair of Hussey and Murali Vijay put on 65 in 45 balls. Hussey cut Steyn with panache, and stepped out to hit Darren Sammy for six over extra-cover.

Such was their domination that Cameron White, the Hyderabad captain, introduced five bowlers within the powerplay.

Amit Mishra then struck twice in two overs to bring back Hyderabad into the game. He had Vijay stumped by Quinton de Kock, while Hussey miscued a sweep behind the stumps. His 45, laced with five fours and two sixes, came off 26 balls.

With the game in the balance, White brought back Steyn in the 11th over, but Mishra's failure to reach a top edge from Dhoni at fine-leg was to prove costly.

Mishra had Suresh Raina caught at long-on shortly after, but Dhoni capitalised despite a 16th over maiden from Karan Sharma. Consecutive sixes off Steyn in the next over swung the momentum in Chennai's favour.

Earlier in the evening, Chennai's bowlers largely bowled back-of-length deliveries and were successful as they produced 14 single-digit overs. A strong fielding unit ably backed them and it resulted in Hyderabad losing de Kock, Hanuma Vihari and White by the fifth over.

Hyderabad promoted Mishra up the order, but the move did not click as Dwayne Bravo caught him off R Ashwin at long-on for 15. In the 12th over, Dhawan reverse-swept and then lofted Ashwin for two boundaries, but he was forced to retire after a Bravo delivery hit him on the box.

Sammy hit his first delivery for an outside-edged boundary. He followed it up with a six off Ravindra Jadeja before Chris Morris caught him at backward point off Bravo in the 18th over.

Dhawan resumed his innings after a 23-ball interruption, and hit back-to-back boundaries off Bravo to bring up his half-century. Dhawan and Ashish Reddy, whose 16-ball cameo fetched him 36 runs, picked the variations well enough to amass 43 runs in just 16 balls.

Sidhant Patnaik is a subeditor at Wisden India.

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