Chennai: A solid unbeaten half-century by Chennai Super Kings' skipper MS Dhoni (67 off 37 balls) helped the two-time IPL champions register a five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in another last-over finish this season at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Thursday. Chasing 160 to win, CSK reached the target with two balls to spare. With 15 required off the last over, Dhoni held his nerve and finished the game in style.
Chennai got off to a flying start as Mike Hussey and Murali Vijay guided the side past 50 in just 5.2 overs and scored 58 off the Powerplay. Legspinner Amit Mishra, however, revived Hyderabad with his double blow. Mishra first got Vijay (18)stumped to break a brisk 65-run stand and then got Hussey caught behind to reduce Chennai to 76 for 2. Hussey scored 45 off just 26 balls.
The game was hanging in balance in the 10th over but then came the game-changing moment when Mishra failed to hold onto a catch offered by Dhoni at deep fine leg. Dhoni and Suresh Raina then consolidated CSK innings before Mishra struck to send back Raina (16). The other Hyderabad spinner Karan Sharma also bowled exceptionally well, giving away just 8 runs in his four overs, which included a maiden.
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 Indian pacer out of the park but found Ashish Reddy at deep mid-wicket. Dhoni hit Steyn for a four and a six but the South African removed Ravindra Jadeja (1) to leave Chennai requiring 15 runs from the last over.
The Indian skipper hammered 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.
Earlier, returning from injury, Hyderabad opener Dhawan (63 not out off 44) scored a vital half-century while Reddy played a cameo to help visitors post 159 for 6 as they recovered from early jolts. Hyderabad scored 59 runs in the last four overs thanks to Reddy's 36 and his 43-run partnership in the death overs.
Chennai started well in the field when Vijay took a smart catch at covers off Mohit Sharma to send youngster Quinton de Kock back to the pavilion. Raina then effected a run out that brought an early end to Hanuma Vihari's innings with Hyderabad struggling at 12 for 2. But there were no end to Hyderabad's batting woes as they lost Cameron White (2) in the fifth over, who gave a straight forward catch to Dhoni off Mohit.
In a surprising move, Mishra was sent up as a pinch-hitter but he scored just 15 off 21 deliveries. Dhawan was batting well at the other end, holding fort, but Hyderabad kept losing wickets at the other end. Thalaivan Sargunam and Darren Sammy were picked up by Bravo after scoring 10 and 19 respectively. Then there was a slight setback for Hyderabad as Dhawan, who was looking set to change gears, picked up an unfortunate injury while facing Bravo and retired hurt.
But after losing a couple of wickets, Dhawan came back and along with Reddy hit some big shots in the death overs to post 159. For Chennai, Bravo and Mohit picked up two wickets each, while R Ashwin picked just one.