Chennai have a ball at Hyderabad’s expense



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Dale Steyn started the match with a maiden, after hearing that his captain had asked Chennai to bat first. While the South African suffocated Hussey for room, his new ball partner Ishant Sharma offered it and was hit for two fours by the Australian. First change Thisara Perera, too allowed the two batsmen to get comfortable, giving away three fours. Sharma ran in for his second over, and was smashed for three consecutive sixes by Vijay. The first shot was a hook that sailed over Shikhar Dhawan at fine leg, while the other two came courtesy the trademark Vijay ‘golf swing to cow corner’ stroke.

It would be his last scoring shot.

Perera sent one in short, forcing Vijay to get on his toes, and the edge was comfortably taken picked up by Sunrisers keeper Parthiv Patel. Chennai would keep the hosts waiting for their second breakthrough, as the left-handed duo of Hussey and Raina proceeded on the right note against the right-handed bowling attack. Hussey drove and pulled the faster bowlers, and when he found that the spinners were sending it full, he didn’t spare them either. Off the ball went, over long on for six.

The 37-year old was keen to trade the strike with Raina, and the left-hander got going after taking a few deliveries to settle down. He was helped in his cause by the Hyderabadi bowlers, who were erratic with their line and length. There was one chance. Amit Mishra forced Raina to cut a ball to point, only to find Karan Sharma grassing the opportunity.

Raina made them pay for the error.

At Ishant Sharma’s expense. Raina smashed the tall right-armer for 25 runs in over No.16, using the full length and the full tosses being doled out, to his advantage. Sharma finished with figures of 4/66. Perera did well to remove Hussey (67) and Dhoni (4) in the following over, before Raina smashed a six off the sixth ball. Ravindra Jadeja came in and got under Dale Steyn’s skin right away, smashing two fours. Darren Sammy came in to bowl the final over, and was taken for 20 runs. Raina would be stranded on 99.

Chennai finished with 223/3.

It would be the second-highest total in IPL 6; and that ensured Sunrisers Hyderabad’s second-best status in the match. There was no way the sun was going to rise at night for Hyderabad.

Parthiv Patel began the chase in earnest, starting with a four, using the timing he is known for to good effect. As fellow left-handers Dhawan and skipper Sangakkara fell, Patel (44) knew that he would have to generate the momentum. But as wickets continue to fall around him, the southpaw fell to Mohit Sharma while going for a big shot.

64/5. Thisara Perera used the long handle to clear, but the pressure got to him, and he was soon dismissed by Bravo. Karan Sharma (39* and Dale Steyn (14) played like they had nothing to lose, but in the end, Chennai completed the formalities by registering a 77-run win.

It can be said that Hyderabad’s bowling was to blame for this loss, their first at home.

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