MS Dhoni did what he does best, which is finish games off with ridiculous ease, as the Chennai Super Kings earned yet another thrilling down-to-the wire victory in IPL 2013, this time over the Sunrisers Hyderabad.
The CSK skipper, with ice in his veins, played a belligerent yet composed unbeaten knock of 67 from just 37 balls, taking his side to a five-wicket win at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.
Shikhar Dhawan had earlier announced his arrival in IPL 2013 with an outstanding half-century, which helped the Sunrisers to a total of 159 for six.
CSK, though, with all that armoury in the batting lineup, overhauled the target with two balls to spare, finishing their innings on 160 for five.
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The home side are now second in the points table, level on 12 points with leaders Royal Challengers Bangalore, having won their sixth match in eight. Sunrisers are third with five wins in eight.
CSK hit their straps right from the off, with Michael Hussey continuing his delectable form, and making the chase looked as easy as an apple pie.
The home side raced to 50 in just the sixth over, with Hussey very much the aggressor, as Murali Vijay at the other end looked to play himself into form.
However, Vijay's poor IPL 2013 continued unabated, with the opener falling prey to some excellent bowling from Amit Mishra. Vijay (18, 22b, 2x4) danced down the track, looking to take the attack to the leg-spinner, but missed the ball completely with Quinton De Kock completing a simple stumping.
Raina came and looked to build another good partnership with Hussey, similar to the platform they had laid out in the win against Rajasthan Royals last time around.
Hussey (45, 26, 5x4, 2x6), though, could not carry on and complete another half-century, with Mishra picking up his second wicket of the innings. The Australian was terribly unlucky as the ball hit his pads, after a missed sweep attempt, and ricocheted of the back of the bat right into the wicketkeeper De Kock's gloves.
The strength of CSK is that even if a big batsman falls, they have more than enough ammunition to keep the momentum going. MS Dhoni, the best finisher in the game, walked into the middle, typically taking his time before launching the final assault.
Raina was the third CSK wicket to go, though, holing out in the deep with Mishra taking an impressive third wicket, as the leggie finished with figures of 4-0-26-3.
Fellow leg-spinner Karan Sharma also kept things extremely tight, giving away a miniscule eight runs from his four overs, with Dwayne Bravo playing out a maiden over in the 16th over, as CSK put pressure on themselves. The equation was 46 from the last four, with Dhoni, who was dropped earlier on by Mishra, again under pressure to pull a rabbit out of his hat.
Dhoni, obliged, smashing a couple of ridiculous sixes off none other than Dale Steyn, as CSK took 14 runs of the over to cut the target down to 32 from three overs.
Bravo's incredible struggle in the middle - he managed just seven runs from 16 balls -- ended in the next over, holing out to Ashish Reddy at midwicket off Ishant Sharma. The Sunrisers fast bowler conceded just four runs in the 18th, leaving CSK needing 28 from the last two.
Dhoni was taking a liking to Steyn, carting a four and a six off the first couple of deliveries, before the South African fought back with the wicket of the dangerous Ravindra Jadeja.
After the eventful penultimate over, CSK needed 15 from the last six deliveries, with Ashish Reddy surprisingly given the job of restricting Dhoni.
But then, this is Dhoni we're talking about and after the CSK skipper smashed a huge six, the pressure got to Reddy, with the part-timer giving away another couple of boundaries, as Dhoni (67, 37b, 7x4, 4x6) finished things off with a bludgeon straight down the ground.
Earlier, the Sunrisers Hyderabad looked to take advantage of the return of Dhawan, hoping for a good start with De Kock.
However, it did not quite pan out, as De Kock failed yet again, falling in just the third ball of the innings. The South African wicketkeeper-batsman looked to clear mid-on off the bowling of Mohit Sharma, but Vijay pulled off a brilliant catch, plucking the ball out of the air brilliantly.
Hanuma Vihari did not last too long either as Suresh Raina affected a direct hit to dismiss the Sunrisers batsman, leaving the away side reeling on 12 for two from two overs.
Skipper Cameron White needed to produce a good innings in the company of Dhawan, but the Australian failed to stick around, falling for just two from three deliveries off the bowling of Mohit Sharma (two for 33).
Sending in Amit Mishra early did not quite work either as the leg-spinner was dismissed for a 21-ball 15 - holing out to Dwayne Bravo at long-on off R Ashwin.
The Surnisers were envisaging another low total at 62 for four from ten overs, but Dhawan, making his first appearance in IPL 2013, just refused to get tied down, playing a couple of wonderfully crafted shots, including a reverse-sweep for four.
Dhawan though retired hurt in the 14th over, when on 44, after getting hit by a Bravo delivery in the area that hurts the most.
That brought Darren Sammy to the crease and the West Indian immediately got things rolling, smashing a six and a four in little time, before Thalaivan Sargunam (10 in 17 balls) saw his struggle at the crease end, courtesy a caught and bowled dismissal from Bravo (two for 37).
Ashish Reddy, though, came in and provided the perfect impetus, before Dhawan returned following the wicket of the Sammy for a well played 19 (12b, 2x4, 1x6).
Reddy (36, 16b, 2x4, 3x6) and Dhawan (63, 45b, 10x4) put together 43 runs in just 2.4 overs, as the CSK bowlers struggled to contain the two batsmen in the final overs, allowing the Sunrisers to post a solid total of 159 for six from their 20 overs.
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