Brendon McCullum and Dwayne Smith smashed the Sunrisers bowling attack all around the park to ensure a victory for the Chennai Superkings. The victory was Chennai’s fourth on the trot while Sunrisers, with just one victory in their account in the tournament, slumped to their third defeat in the 2014 IPL. What looked like a very comfortable run chase in the first half of CSK innings, turned into a humdinger in the next few overs. But Chennai Super Kings overcame some anxious moments before huffing and puffing to a five-wicket win over a fighting Sunrisers Hyderabad in a nail biting encounter at the Sharjah.
Batting first, the Sunrisers did find it difficult to middle the balls. Skipper Dhawan fell to Hilfenhaus scoring only 9 runs. Warner was unlucky to get out as he was adjudged LBW by the umpire on a delivery that was pitched clearly outside the leg stump. It was Australian batsman Aaron Finch’s fighting 44-run knock and a splendid rearguard action that propelled Hyderabad to a competitive 145 for five. The Australian batsman held the one end when wickets fell consistently from the other before departing in the fag end.
Finch added 52 runs for the third wicket with Lokesh Rahul (25). Finch was dismissed for 44 of 45 deliveries and was castled by Mohit Sharma. Venugopal Rao departed soon after. Darren Sammy (23 not out) and Karan Sharma (17 not out) slogged and slogged well to help their side get to the score of 145. They scored 32 runs in the last two overs. Sharma hammered paceman Ben Hilfenhaus for two sixes in the penultimate over and Sammy also succeeded in hitting a maximum off Mohit Sharma in the final over. For the Superkings, Mohit Sharma and Ben Hilfenhaus picked two wickets each. Ashwin continued to bowl miserly, conceding just 17 runs in his quota of overs, albeit without a wicket.
Chasing 146 for their fourth win in a row, Chennai achieved the target with three balls to spare as openers Dwayne Smith (66) and Brendon McCullum (40) laid a solid foundation with their 85-run partnership in 10.5 overs.
CSK openers started the innings in the most flamboyant manner. Despite losing his partner, Smith went about his business calmly and completed his third half-century of this season with a single off paceman Ishant Sharma. The West Indian clobbered Amit Mishra for a six to raise 100 of the CSK innings. But then a quick flurry of wickets gave CSK a scare and a glimmer of hope for the Sunrisers dugout. Brendon McCullum was dismissed by Karn Sharma on 40. Soon to follow was Suresh Raina who added just 14 runs to the team total. Chennai were cruising at one stage, needing just 22 runs from the last five overs with eight wickets in hand but young Indian paceman Bhuvaneshwar Kumar changed the complexion of the game by dismissing Smith and Faf du Plessis in the same over. Du Plessis got a golden duck as he edged one of Kumar’s bowling. In the 19th over, Ravindra Jadeja followed him by adding just 6 runs.
CSK needed six runs off the last over, bowled by Amit Mishra, and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished it off in style, dismissing a full toss to square leg boundary. To everybody’s amazement, skipper Dhawan decide to hand the ball to the leggie. Notably, Darren Sammy didn’t get to bowl a single over in this game.
A smiling Dhoni welcomed the fourth victory for his side and was totally satisfied with his team’s effort. Smith, who anchored the CSK chase with his 46-ball knock that was embedded with five sixes and four shots to the fence and was adjudged the Man of the Match.
He is an engineering student at Christ University, Bangalore and aspires to become a sagacious writer. Apart from writing, he is obsessed withcricket and computer programming. He writes blogs and other stuff to gain cognizance and expertise at writing.
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