Ranchi: MS Dhoni's 19-ball 63 and Suresh Raina's fine knock of 84 helped Chennai Super Kings to a 12-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Group B clash of Champions League Twenty20 (CLT20) at Ranchi on Thursday.
Chasing 203 runs to win, Hyderabad got off to a flying start as skipper Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel added 88-run for the first wicket before a goof-up saw Patel getting run out for 38. However, it was a day when Dhoni could do no wrong as the match turned in Chennai's favour when Raina got rid off JP Duminy quickly as well.
Dhawan soon joined his partners in the dressing room by getting caught behind of R Ashwin. He fell two short of his half-century. Just after the visitors crossed the 100-run mark, West Indies allrounder Dwayne Bravo delivered the fourth blow in the form of Thisara Perera.
Sammy battled through a hamstring problem to hit fifty in just 24 balls before getting dismissed. The knock included two boundaries and five huge sixes to keep Sunrisers in the chase.
Earlier, putting Chennai in to bat South African pacer Dale Steyn drew first blood for Hyderabad when he removed opener Murali Vijay for a golden duck. Steyn and Ishant Sharma bowled a tight line and the pressure got to Suresh Raina and Mike Hussey as they struggled to score freely. CSK's last-match hero Hussey couldn't capitalise on the reprieve he got in the fourth over when he was dropped by Karn Sharma at point off Ishant and was dismissed for 21-ball 23 by Duminy in the seventh over.
Raina continued where he left off in the game against Titan and punished Hyderabad bowlers after getting his eye in. Raina unleashed an assault on the Hyderabad pacers in the middle part of the innings, launching them over mid-wicket and long-off boundaries with consummate ease. Raina looked in prime form and reached his fifty in just 38 balls with the help of six fours.
Raina walked back to the pavilion in the penultimate over of the innings when he was superbly caught by Perera at long-on off Steyn. He scored a 57-ball 84. But the star of the day with the bat was Dhoni for his 19-ball 63 that helped Chennai post 202 on the board.
Such was Dhoni's brutality that neither speed nor spin could challenge him as he decorated his 19-ball knock with eight sixes. He smashed Sri Lankan allrounder Thisara Perera for five huge sixes in a row in the 18th over to collect 34 runs off his over en route a fifty in 16 balls, the quickest in CLT20 history. He broke the record of West Indian allrounder Kieron Pollard, who scored fifty in 18 balls playing for Trinidad & Tobago in the 2009 edition.
Dhoni played a leader's innings of the finest order and, together with Raina, put on a 60-run partnership in just 23 balls for the fourth wicket.
(With agency inputs)