|Suresh Raina, in Ranchi, on Thursday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi: You can either say the Chennai Super Kings defeated the Sunrisers Hyderabad, on Thursday, or you can also say that Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s hailstorm with the bat wiped away the dew factor that Shikhar Dhawan had hoped to cash in on.
Dhoni’s fastest CLT20 fifty off just 16 balls made all the difference in the Super Kings’ 12-run victory at the JSCA Stadium, here. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 63 off 19 balls with eight sixes and one boundary to his name.
Suresh Raina, the Man of the Match, got more number of runs — 84 off 57 balls — and even took a wicket. But the real star of the match was Dhoni.
In the 18th over of the Super Kings innings, Dhoni clobbered 34 runs, 30 of them coming from sixes. The match was as good as over for the Sunrisers at that very moment. Credit to them that they at least fought till the last ball.
There cannot be any comparison between the Super Kings’ batting line-up and that of the Sunrisers. So to chase 203 in 20 overs, the Sunrisers needed something special from their best two — Shikhar and Parthiv Patel. But it was always going to be as difficult as fighting a swordsman with a needle.
However, Shikhar and Parthiv did raise hopes with an 88-run first-wicket partnership. One isn’t sure how much of a problem the dew was, but the Sunrisers openers didn’t have much trouble initially in dealing with the Mohit Sharmas and Albie Morkels.
The only blot in the partnership was when Shikhar was dropped in the 8th over by Jason Holder off Morkel.
Shikhar (48 off 34 balls) was clearly the more flamboyant of the two, but Parthiv (38 off 28) wasn’t bad either.
Parthiv was the first to go, run out to Raina’s alertness off his own bowling in the 10th over. That triggered the collapse as was expected. JP Duminy (0), Shikhar, Thisara Perera (12), Ashish Reddy (3) returned to the dugout in the following overs.
Though the Super Kings were looking to be the clear winners by then, a limping Darren Sammy kept waging a lone battle. His 50 off 24 balls kept the Sunrisers in the fight. Grimacing in pain, Sammy was yorked by countryman Jason Holder. Had he been fit, the script might have been different.
Earlier in the match, Shikhar didn’t hesitate to put the Super Kings to the ‘dew test’ after winning the toss. The onus was on Dhoni’s side to make up for the loss of toss with enough runs.
After Dale Steyn had given the Sunrisers the perfect start, getting Murali Vijay caught at first slip off an wide outswinger off the very second ball of the match, Karn Sharma dropped the advantage when he couldn’t hold on to an easy chance to get rid of Michael Hussey.
Against a team like the Super Kings who resemble a fully loaded gun as far as batting is concerned, it’s trouble with a capital T if you drop chances early in the match.
Raina looked good from the time he walked in, in the very first over. Negating, or rather negotiating, with Steyn’s pace, the left-handed batsman carved out two boundaries for himself in that very over.
The way he guided the ball to the square-leg fence, before stroking it down the ground through the long-on boundary, it showed that man had found his rhythm. In this hit-and-run format, rhythm often dominates reason.
While the first five overs fetched just 29 runs for the Super Kings, the next five saw 40 runs being scored. It only got enhanced in the 11th to the 15th over as 57 runs were added to the Super Kings’ scoreboard. Seventy-six runs were scored in the last five overs, thanks to Dhoni’s murderous batting. At the end of the day, Shikhar didn’t get much help from the dew, but crowd got their due — a scorcher from Dhoni, Super King of Ranchi.
Meanwhile, Dhoni and Dhawan were fined for slow over rate.
The captains were fined $1500, while other team members $750 each.