Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) cantered to a six-wicket win over a Dhoni-less Chennai Super Kings at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on Wednesday.
Chasing CSK’s 132 for five, SRH reached 137 for four in 16.5 overs with opener Jonny Bairstow of England anchoring the innings.
SRH moved to the fifth spot in the points table with eight points from eight games, but a very healthy net run rate (NRR) of +0.549, while CSK continue to top the table with 14 points from nine games and an NRR of +0.101.
Bairstow, who played second fiddle to David Warner of Australia in a useful opening partnership, opened up later in the innings with a flurry of strokes that fetched him three sixes and three fours to remain unbeaten on 66 from 44 balls.
Though SRH lost a couple of quick wickets, including that of skipper Kane Williamson, Bairstow stayed till the very end to smash a winning six Karn Sharma.
David Warner once again gave SRH a robust start by knocking off 50 runs from 25 balls with 10 hits to the fence. He shared a 66-run first wicket partnership with Jonny Bairstow in 5.4 overs to give the home team another brisk start.
CSK lost the momentum in the second half of their innings from being a comfortable 80 for one to reach 132 for five in the allotted 20 overs. Spinners Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem bowled tight spells and claimed wickets to prevent CSK from accelerating the scoring rate.
CSK openers Shane Watson of Australia and Faf du Plessis of South Africa began in a very sedate manner before getting a measure of SRH bowling. du Plessis was the more aggressive of the two and hammered three sixes to significantly up the scoring rate. The pair added 79 runs in 9.5 overs before Watson fell trying to cut Shahbaz Nadeem. Watson completely missed the ball, which rattled the stumps.
The other opener du Plessis also fell soon edging medium pacer Vijay Shankar to wicketkeeper Bairstow and both the CSK opening batsmen were back in the dugout in the space of four balls.
With Rashid Khan accounting for Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav in his first over to lbw decisions – both of which were authenticated by the DRS – CSK got bogged down in their scoring rate. With Sam Billings falling for a duck from four balls, Suresh Raina and Ravindra Jadeja batted out the innings but found it tough to score big runs. CSK perhaps missed the finishing flourish of skipper M.S. Dhoni who was rested from this match because of a back spasm. Raina who deputised Dhoni opted to bat on winning the toss.