MS Dhoni
CSK's future in the IPL is in jeopardyVipin Pawar/IPL/SPORTZPICS

Some ridiculous hitting from MS Dhoni and poor batting from Pune Warriors helped the Chennai Super Kings to a comfortable 37-run victory in their IPL 2013 encounter at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.

After restricting CSK to around 100 in the first 15 overs, the Pune Warriors lost the plot in the final five, with Dhoni (45 in 16) cutting loose, like only he can, to take his side to 164 for three, aided by a patient and composed half-century from Suresh Raina (63).

In reply, Pune Warriors continued their inclination towards pressing the self-destruct button, tamely finishing their innings on 127 for nine.

CSK are now well ahead of the rest of the pack after their eighth win in ten matches, while Pune are rooted to the bottom with eight losses in ten.

Pune Warriors were never in the game really, losing wickets in regular intervals and leaving poor old Steven Smith with just too much to do.

Aaron Finch and Robin Uthappa again opened the innings, and they looked all right for the first couple of overs, before wickets off consecutive deliveries started the slide.

Finch (15, 9b, 2x4, 1x6) was the first to go in the fifth ball of the third over, with Mohit Sharma inducing an outside edge, which was gleefully grabbed by Dhoni behind the stumps.

Sharma was on a hat-trick after the next delivery, trapping Thirumalasetti Suman in front of the wicket.

Uthappa (10) ran himself out in the following over, with Raina inflicting a brilliant direct hit as Pune were staring down the barrel at 29 for three.

The home side desperately needed one of those special innings from Yuvraj, but the southpaw disappointed yet again, with Sharma (three for 21) inducing another outside edge to wicketkeeper Dhoni.

Luke Wright was run out in the ninth over, before Abhishek Nayar was walking back to the pavilion soon after.

Smith (35, 39b, 3x4) had a decent partnership of 31 with Kane Richardson, before the former was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja after the right-hander hit a drive straight back to the bowler.

It was just a matter of time from here on in, with Pune Warriors just about managing to avoid being all out.

Earlier, it was attritional T20 cricket - yes, it is possible in the format -- for the first 15 overs, before Dhoni decided to deal only in boundaries in the final five.

Pune Warriors bowled really well in the powerplay overs, with Rahul Sharma keeping things tight in the first over, before Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a maiden off the second.

The Indian swing bowler should also have had a wicket in his first over, but umpire S Das for some reason decided to turn down a nailed-on lbw appeal with Wriddhiman Saha caught in front of the stumps.

Michael Hussey (5) was the first man to go for CSK, with the consistent Australian, for once failing to post a big score. It had to be a peach to dismiss Mr Cricket in the form that he was in, and Kane Richardson did just that, producing a ball that came in with the angle before straightening just a touch to take the top of off stump.

Saha was really struggling in the crease, failing to find the boundaries or even the singles and twos, and it came as no surprise when the opener was dismissed in the sixth over by Rahul Sharma - Das this time giving an lbw decision, which looked more not out than out, probably to make up for his folly earlier.

Subramaniam Badrinath (34, 31b, 2x4) came into the middle to partner Suresh Raina, and the duo began the repair work, just working the singles and twos and making sure they had wickets in hand for the final overs, knowing the power hitters that CSK had waiting in the dugout.

The two CSK mainstays put together 75 in ten overs, before Badrinath's wicket - caught at long-off by Smith off Wright - brought Dhoni to the crease.

The CSK skipper is easily the best finisher in the game, and probably the greatest ever, so it came as no surprise really, when he dismantled the Pune Warriors attack in the final five overs.

Dhoni and Raina combined for 61 in just 4.3 overs, with the former getting 45 of those from just 16 balls, which included four fours and three maximums, including one six off the last delivery of the innings to take the score past 160, and the match well beyond Pune Warriors.

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