Dhoni shines with unbeaten fifty in Chennai’s five-wicket win
Chennai: Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni smashed a superb half-century under pressure as Chennai Super Kings recorded a close five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Pepsi IPL match, here on Thursday.
Chasing a tricky 160-run target, Chennai were in a spot of bother after a good start but Dhoni lifted the side to its sixth win out of eight matches with an unbeaten 67.
Riding on Shikhar Dhawan's scintillating knock of 63, Sunrisers Hyderabad recovered from early jolts to post a competitive 159 for six after electing to bat.
Playing his first match of the season, Dhawan propelled his side, which has been playing low-scoring games and winning them on the back of a strong bowling attack.
Ashish Reddy also played a very useful unbeaten cameo of 36 and his 43-run partnership with Dhawan was crucial in Hyderabad's revival after losing three early wickets.
Hyderabad scored 59 runs in the last four overs and that propelled them to a fighting total. However, Chennai had enough batting fire-power to overhaul the target.
Openers Michael Hussey (45) and Murali Vijay (18) laid a solid platform with a 65-run stand. Spinner Amit Mishra dismissed both the openers with googlies but he grassed a chance offered by Dhoni when he miscued a hook off Dale Steyn and that proved a costly miss. Dhoni had not even opened his account at that time.
Mishra also scalped Suresh Raina (16) soon and that did affect Chennai's run-scoring even as Dhoni was at the crease.
The other spinner Karan Sharma also bowled exceptionally well as he gave away just 8 runs in his four overs.
Chennai needed 46 runs in the last four overs and Dhoni began the 17th over with two consecutive sixes off Dale Steyn.
Ishant Sharma got rid of Dwayne Bravo in the next over when the West Indies batsman tried to hit the paceman out of the park but found Reddy at deep mid-wicket.
Dhoni hit Steyn for a four and a six but the South African removed Ravindra Jadeja to leave Chennai requiring 15 runs from the last over.
The Indian skipper hammered Ashish Reddy, who was a surprise choice for last over, for a six and two fours, steering the side to win with two balls to spare.