Chennai Super Kings successfully defended a target of 168 to record its third win of the season, beating Sunrisers Hyderabad by 20 runs at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.
In a throwback to its tried and tested formula when playing in Chepauk, CSK used a decent total and the skills of its spinners to apply pressure in the middle overs and script a crucial win that gives its campaign a new lease of life.
For SRH, Kane Williamson waged a lonely battle with 57 off 39 balls (7x4).
CSK struck in the fourth over when Sam Curran removed David Warner cheaply, caught and bowled, before Dwayne Bravo’s direct hit found Manish Pandey short of his crease three balls later.
From 40 for two at the end of the powerplay, Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma kept things tight without conceding a boundary till the last two deliveries of the 12th over. The left-arm spinner also removed Jonny Bairstow in this phase.
Dhoni took a gamble in bowling Karn in the 18th over, when he went for 19 but removed Williamson which proved vital in the end.
Earlier, electing to bat for the first time this year, CSK made 167 for six thanks to an 81-run stand between Shane Watson (42) and Ambati Rayudu (41) for the third wicket.
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CSK had Curran open the innings and the move paid dividends as the England all-rounder sparkled with a 21-ball 31 (2x4, 3x6).
After the departure of the openers, Watson and Rayudu rebuilt the innings, being circumspect against Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem initially. The two batsmen were lucky too as they were dropped when on nine and 20 respectively.
Watson and Rayudu looked like they would make SRH pay for the lapses as they waded into Rashid in his final two overs striking three sixes against the leggie.
However, both Rayudu and Watson mistimed full tosses and exited. But Dhoni’s 13-ball 21 (2x4, 1x6) and Jadeja’s unbeaten 25 (10b, 3x4, 1x6) helped CSK regain the momentum, as the last five overs produced 51.