Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies batsman Dwayne Smith smashed a dazzling half-century to lead the Chennai Super Kings to a comfortable five-wicket win over the Sunrisers Hyderabad in Sharjah.
Smith was well supported by New Zealand batsman Brendon McCullum, who scored a wonderful 40.
Hyderabad captain Shikhar Dhawan would have been regretting his decision to bat first after he himself was caught by Mithun Manhas at midwicket off the bowling of Ben Hilfenhaus for only seven runs.
Hilfenhaus struck again just two balls later when he trapped David Warner lbw for a duck.
Lokesh Rahul and Aaron Finch stabilised the innings with a 52-run partnership before Rahul was caught by Ishwar Pandey at deep midwicket off the bowling of Smith for 25.
Venugopal Rao made 13 runs before he was caught by Smith at mid-off off the bowling of Mohit Sharma.
Finch ended up making 44 off 45 balls, which included five boundaries, before he was clean bowled by Sharma.
Hyderabad eventually finished on 145/5 thanks to Darren Sammy’s last-gasp knock of 23 and Karn Sharma’s quickfire 17.
Hilfenhaus and Sharma picked up two wickets apiece, while Smith chipped in with one.
Chasing 146 to win, the Super Kings got off to a superb start as Smith and McCullum amassed an 85-run partnership before McCullum was clean bowled by Karn Sharma for 40 off 33 balls, which included three boundaries and two sixes.
Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Suresh Raina only scored 14 runs before he was caught by Rao off the bowling of Ishant Sharma.
Smith went on to score 66 off 46 deliveries, which included four boundaries and five sixes, before he was caught by Warner at long-off off the bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Kumar struck again just two balls later when South Africa batsman Faf du Plessis was caught behind for a golden duck.
Ravindra Jadeja only made six runs before he was clean bowled by Ishant Sharma.
Despite the flurry of wickets, Chennai managed to reach their target with three balls to spare.
Kumar and Ishant Sharma snapped up two wickets each, while Karn Sharma claimed one wicket.
Dhawan blamed his side’s loss on the dew, and said: “We never knew that dew was going to come tonight, the ball got wet and our spinners could not grip it. It was coming nicely on to the bat. In the first innings the wicket was dry and the ground was dry so the ball was stopping on the batsman, it was difficult to hit the ball. We planned to get 150 but we did not know dew was going to come. I am not going to take the credit away from them. They batted well.”
Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “I think the game really changed once they changed the ball. When the ball was not wet it started doing things until it got wet again. It was a decent total, the dew got worse, the opposition bowlers weren’t able to execute [their] plans. We would have batted first as well, so a good toss to lose. Overall we are playing good cricket, everyone has contributed, not everyone in our top seven has been tested, openers doing a fantastic job.”
Smith was named Man of the Match, and said: “The plan was to stay calm and be positive, [not to] worry about anything since we can catch up anytime. [I tried] to get as much runs early up and make it easier for the other guys. Very good guys in CSK, very good staff, it’s brilliant.”