For any opposition, the sight of an M.S. Dhoni watching from the pavilion is one big motivating factor.

Sunrisers Hyderabad seized on the huge opportunity to rediscover its winning ways with an emphatic, six-wicket victory over table-topper Chennai Super Kings at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday night.

The in-form David Warner and Jonny Bairstow served another reminder of why they are the most feared opening pair in this IPL by putting on 50 runs in just 4.3 overs, with the former being more dominant during the modest run chase.

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The host pulled off a much-needed win despite losing Warner after a rollicking half-century in the sixth over (his fifth this season besides one century), captain Kane Williamson and all-rounder Vijay Shankar to leggie Imran Tahir, the only bowler to make some impact.

Bairstow, with his second half-century of the season to go along with a ton, helped the team stay in the race for a slot in the qualifiers.

Earlier, Super Kings, electing to bat, frittered away a confident start from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson and in the second-half clearly felt the absence of Dhoni — out of the game with a back spasm.

The decision to bat was not surprising but, by all means, it was a dismal performance from the champion side in the face of accurate, if not hostile, bowling from Sunrisers.

Just when it looked Watson was going to take charge, he was done in by left-arm spinner Shahbaz Nadeem, missing the cut stroke to be bowled in the 10th over.

In the next over and in his first, medium-pacer Vijay Shankar struck another big blow forcing du Plessis to cut a ball which had extra bounce to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

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Double blow

Then, leggie Rashid Khan, who had a quiet season so far, struck a double blow in the 14th over as he earned lbw decisions against an out-of-sorts captain Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav which effectively pushed Super Kings on to the backfoot.

It was a sorry batting display from Chennai with only 52 runs coming in the last 10 overs, losing four wickets, and both Rayudu and Jadeja never really got going.