Warner Scores 90 Off 45 Balls
David Warner (90 off 45 balls) may have missed out on a well-deserved century, but he certainly helped his team’s cause as they try to grab the last available Playoffs spot in Pepsi IPL 2014. Thanks to the left-handed opener’s heroics, Sunrisers Hyderabad made easy work of Chennai Super Kings’ 185-run total. Also aided by Shikhar Dhawan’s unbeaten half-century, the visitors romped home by six wickets with two balls to spare.
Earlier, Darren Sammy won the toss and asked CSK to take first strike. The Men in Yellow then got a great start, thanks to Dwayne Smith and his new opening partner, Faf du Plessis. The pair added 33 runs in quick time. However, their partnership ended due to a freak run-out, which saw the ball deflecting
off Karn Sharma’s hand and hitting the stumps at the non-striker’s end, finding du Plessis (19) short of his ground. However, Smith (47) continued to go after the opposition bowlers with full force. Thanks to his big hitting, CSK scored 60 runs in the powerplay. But Karn Sharma soon got the better of the West Indian opener, leaving CSK on 68 for two.
Suresh Raina (4) also fell to the SRH leg-spinner; the southpaw holed out to Aaron Finch in the ninth over. Upon his dismissal, MS Dhoni joined David Hussey in the middle and the pair brought up the CSK 100 in the 14th over. And then, after getting their eye in, both batters unleashed a flurry of strokes, picking a combined 40 runs off the next three overs. With the scorecard reading 140 for three after 17 overs, the duo had built a platform for a late-innings onslaught; and that is exactly what the Ranchi crowd witnessed.
Both batters took the attack to the opposition to plunder 21 runs off the next two overs. And then, in the final over, Dhoni waged an all-out attack on Dale Steyn – the CSK skipper struck two fours and two maximums to reap 24 runs from the final six balls of the innings. Thanks to Hussey (50*) and Dhoni’s (57*) unbroken 108-run stand, CSK posted 185 or three in 20 overs.
In response, SRH got a dream start, thanks to David Warner. From the very first over, the Australian opener stepped on the accelerator and took the CSK bowlers to the cleaners. He even dominated the strike as Shikhar Dhawan played the supporting role at the other end. Thanks to the early onslaught, SRH posted 64 for no loss in the powerplay – including 21 runs in the sixth over, in which Warner brought up his half-century. By the halfway stage, the visitors had clocked in 100 runs – out of which Dhawan accounted for 16 and Warner a staggering 80.
However, a century eluded the left-hander as he was dismissed by John Hastings just 10 runs short of it, in the 12th over. But by then, Dhawan had settled in and began to guide the run-chase. In the company of Naman Ojha (17) – who returned to the dugout in the 18th over – the SRH opener added 52 runs. Dhawan (64*) even lost Sammy’s company in the final over with SRH just two runs adrift of the target. However, Venugopal Rao (4*) struck the winning blow with two balls to spare. As a result, SRH registered a big six-wicket away win and bagged two points at a stage where a total of three teams are vying for the one remaining Playoffs spot.