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CSK’s nervous chase ends in 5-wicket win

Sharjah: The Chennai Super Kings overcame some anxious moments before huffing and puffing to a five-wicket win over a fighting Sunrisers Hyderabad, in a thrilling IPL VII match, on Sunday.

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.

Smith and McCullum made batting look easy as they struck the ball effortlessly even as all other batsmen struggled on a difficult wicket.

The Super Kings were cruising at one stage, needing just 22 runs from the last five overs with eight wickets in hand, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar changed the complexion of the game by dismissing Smith and Faf du Plessis (0) off consecutive deliveries in the 16th over.

Ishant Sharma got rid of Ravindra Jadeja in the 19th over to cause ripples in the Super Kings’ camp. They needed six runs off the last over, bowled by Amit Mishra. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni finished it off in style, dismissing a full toss to the square leg boundary.

Smith anchored the Super Kings’ chase with his 46-ball knock that was embellished with five sixes and four shots to the fence.

The Super Kings had control over the contest for the most part but for the last two overs of the Sunrisers innings when their bowlers took a beating to concede 32 runs and later in the final overs of their own innings.

It was Australian batsman Aaron Finch’s fighting 44-run knock and a splendid rearguard action that propelled the Sunrisers to a competitive 145 for five.

Finch added 52 runs for the third wicket with Lokesh Rahul (25) and had it not been for some lusty hits by Darren Sammy (23 not out) and Karan Sharma (17 not out) towards the end, the Sunrisers would not have posted a decent total.

Karan 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.

During the Super Kings’ chase, McCullum, who had hit a fiery half-century in the last match, yet again provided a fantastic start, hitting some exquisite boundaries before being castled by Karan.

McCullum entertained the crowd with three shots to the fence and two over the boundary ropes in his 33-ball knock.

Despite losing his partner, Smith went about his business calmly and completed his third half-century of the season with a single off Ishant.

Suresh Raina hit a sweetly-timed six off Ishant, but the pacer got his revenge by having the left-hander caught off the last ball of that over.

Earlier, it was not the best of starts for the Sunrisers as Hilfenhaus dismissed skipper Shikhar Dhawan (7) and David Warner (0) in a space of three balls in the fifth over.