All-round Henriques sinks Chennai
Sydney Sixers 185 for 5 (Henriques 49*, Watson 46) beat Chennai Super Kings 171 for 9 (Du Plessis 43, Raina 57, Henriques 3-23) by 14 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
A blistering stand of 75 between Moises Henriques and Steve Smith towards the end of the innings was the difference, as Sydney Sixers' 185 was enough to keep out Chennai Super Kings in a high-scoring contest at the Wanderers. Henriques made telling blows on the field as well, as his three middle-order wickets derailed Super Kings' chase just as the asking rate started reducing. Suresh Raina threatened with an attacking half-century, but the lack of support at the other end hurt Super Kings' chances.
Shane Watson gave the Sixers a rousing start after they were put in to bat, and Chennai's spinners hit back with wickets, but none of the bowlers were spared once the Smith-Henriques pair came together.
Watson was harsh on anything short, and he made R Ashwin and Jadeja pay by cracking sixes over the on side. Only a run-out could have ended Watson's stay and he fell in that manner four short of a fifty. He attempted a risky second run but wasn't quick enough for Ben Hilfenhaus' fiery throw from deep cover, which hit the stumps on the half volley.
The spinners pulled things back for Chennai after Watson's departure. R Ashwin struck twice in an over, removing Brad Haddin and Nic Maddinson as they tried to push the scoring. It wasn't the worst thing to happen to the Sixers, though, as it brought Smith and Henriques together. The pair began by bashing two boundaries down the ground off the part-time leg spin of Faf du Plessis and from that point on, an above-par score looked possible. The bowlers hemorrhaged 61 off the last four overs, which included eight fours and three sixes. Bollinger and Hilfenhaus, who were held back for the final overs, came in for some stick as the pair of Smith and Hilfenhaus muscled boundaries and played some cheeky ramp shots to exploit the infield.
Super Kings got off to a circumspect start, limping to 7 for 1 after three overs. Du Plessis gave the chase a push with a flurry of boundaries through the off side, charging the fast bowlers to unsettle their rhythm, in particular Pat Cummins. Cummins had the last laugh, though, when du Plessis advanced down the track to launch a straight six but couldn't clear long-on.
Sixers captain Brad Haddin risked introducing his spinners when Suresh Raina walked in. Raina targeted his favourite cow-corner region against the left-arm spin of Steve O'Keefe and was also alert to put away the length offerings from the seamers. The bowlers didn't exploit Raina's weakness against the short ball and with every Raina boundary, the game was Sixers' to lose.
Like they had done with the bat, the Henriques-Smith pairing proved decisive, this time in the field. Raina aimed for the long-on boundary off Henriques' medium pace, but Smith took a well-judged catch at the edge of the rope. Henriques struck two balls later with MS Dhoni's wicket and that had all but sealed the game for Sixers, with 44 needed off the last three overs.
Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo