Suresh Raina and Michael Hussey put on a batting clinic of T20 brilliance, with the unfortunate Sunrisers Hyderabad bearing the brunt, as the Chennai Super Kings cruised to a 77-run victory in their IPL 2013 match at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium.
Sunrisers, the best bowling side in IPL 2013 so far, were blitzed by the CSK batsmen with MS Dhoni's men smashing their way to a massive 223 for three, thanks to stunning knocks from Raina (99 n.o.) and Hussey (67).
The Sunrisers, facing the task of overhauling the mountain of runs, barely made a game of it, finishing their innings on 146 for eight to crash to their first home loss in IPL 2013.
CSK strengthened their hold at the top of the points table with their 10th win in 13 games, while the Sunrisers remain stuck on seven wins, with the home side probably needing another two victories at least in their remaining three games, to finish in the top-four and make the playoffs.
The Sunrisers' batting has been about two people in IPL 2013 - Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy. Both needed to fire for the home side to have any chance of even getting anywhere near the target, let alone topping it.
However, once Dhawan was run out in the second over for just five runs, the Sunrisers' chances of pulling off an improbable win vanished with him.
Wickets kept falling at regular intervals for the Hyderabad side, as CSK tightened the noose on the batsmen. Kumar Sangakkara's (3) woeful IPL 2013 continued, when the Sunrisers skipper's miserable stay in the crease ended in the sixth over - top-edging one to Chris Morris at fine-leg off R Ashwin.
Hanuma Vihari (3) was back in the dugout with his captain two overs later, after holing out to Murali Vijay at long-on off Raina.
Sunrisers' other hope also went without troubling the scorers too much, as Sammy (7 in 3) found Morris at long-on with Mohit Sharma picking up his first wicket. Mohit then dismissed Parthiv Patel (44, 30b, 6x4, 1x6), the only batsman to make any real contribution at the top of the order, in the same over to finish with impressive figures of 4-0-28-2, and leaving the Sunrisers reeling on 64 for five.
The rest of the overs were just academic really, as CSK eased to another win in IPL 2013.
Earlier, CSK made up for their abject batting performance in the previous game against the Mumbai Indians, by thumping the much-vaunted Sunrisers bowlers left, right and centre.
The 223 for three was basically scored in 19 overs, with Dale Steyn starting proceeding for the Sunrisers well with a maiden over. There was no looking back for CSK from there though, as Michael Hussey and Murali Vijay started the carnage, with Raina joining in once the latter was dismissed.
Vijay (29, 20b, 2x4, 3x6) set the tone in the fifth over, smashing Ishant Sharma for three consecutive sixes, before losing his wicket to Thisara Perera, after edging one to wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel.
That brought in Suresh Raina, and along with Hussey, the two put together a brilliant partnership of 133 runs from 12 overs.
Hussey has just been unbelievable in the entire season, while Raina was a little bit of a slow burner, before catching fire towards the second half of IPL 2013. And when the two came together in peak form and clicked, it spelt trouble for the bowlers -- even the Sunrisers, who have been the best bowling side this year.
There was one blemish in the alliance, though, with Raina lucky to survive after being dropped by Karan Sharma off Amit Mishra while on 26 in the 12th over.
It was just a footnote however, as CSK went at over 12 runs an over in the final ten, with the Sunrisers having no answer to the elegant and clean hitting from the two impressive southpaws.
Ishant will want to forget this game in a hurry, as a nightmare first three overs was compounded by the fast bowler conceding 25 runs in his fourth and final over, which led to him finishing with figures of 4-0-66-0.
Hussey (67, 42b, 5x4, 4x6) was dismissed in the 18th over by Perera (three for 45), soon after regaining the Orange Cap from Chris Gayle, before MS Dhoni followed suit in the same over.
Raina (99, 52b, 11x4, 3x6), though, continued the assault in the final couple of overs, agonizingly falling short of a second hundred in IPL 2013, after only managing to hit a four off the final delivery of the innings, when he needed at least five.