Dhoni stars in last-over thriller

Chennai’s Dwayne Bravo (left) took two wickets today to join Sunil Narine on 14 at the top of the wicket-takers table.
Chennai’s Dwayne Bravo (left) took two wickets today to join Sunil Narine on 14 at the top of the wicket-takers table.

CHENNAI – Chennai Super Kings continued their domination at home with a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai today. MS Dhoni’s heroic unbeaten 67 saw CSK home in yet another last over thriller.

Chasing a competitive 160, Murali Vijay and Michael Hussey started positively for the hosts. Hussey hit West Indies captain Darren Sammy for a six and a boundary in the 4th over before he stepped down the track to launch Amit Mishra for a six in the 6th over. CSK made 58 runs in the power play with both openers still at the crease. Mishra provided the breakthrough when he beat Vijay (18) in the air and had him stumped. The leg-spinner then had the dangerous Hussey (45) caught behind attempting a sweep.

Dhoni was put down by Mishra when he was yet to open his account and he made the most of the opportunity smashing Sammy for two boundaries in the 13th over. Mishra picked his third wicket – to go level with Lasith Malinga as the leading wicket-taker in the IPL – as Suresh Raina (16) holed out in the deep. Dhoni went after Ishant Sharma hitting him for consecutive boundaries. However, Karan Sharma bowled a maiden in the 16th to bring the Sunrisers back into the game.

Needing 46 from 24, Dhoni deposited Dale Steyn for consecutive sixes, including pulling a short delivery bowled at 146 kmph over the midwicket fence. Though Ishant Sharma picked up Dwayne Bravo soon after, Dhoni continued his domination of Steyn as he hit him for a boundary before launching him deep into the crowd to bring up his half-century. Steyn dismissed Ravindra Jadeja (1) to leave CSK needing 15 from the final over. Dhoni blasted a six, and a boundary off Ashish Reddy to see his team home with 2 balls remaining.

Earlier SRH won the toss and chose to bat. Mohit Sharma struck early to send back Quinton de Kock (4) caught by a sharp Vijay. Raina then ran out Hanuma Vihari (2). Shikhar Dhawan counter-attacked, by stepping out to the bowlers and hit two boundaries off Jason Holder and Sharma before Mohit Sharma had Cameron White (2) caught behind. Mishra, promoted up the order hit Holder for consecutive boundaries in the 7th over. Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Mishra (15) to leave SRH 61 for 4.

The innings suffered a bit of setback when Dhawan retired hurt after being injured by Bravo in the 14th over. Sammy sent Jadeja over the fence the next over before Bravo dismissed Thalaivan Sargunam (10). Bravo struck again to dismiss Sammy (19) bringing Dhawan (63*) back to the middle. Dhawan immediately hit consecutive boundaries to bring up his fifty. Ashish Reddy (36*) smashed Sharma for a six as SRH scored 17 runs from the 19th over. Some lusty blows by Reddy saw SRH reach 159 for 6.

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