Sunrisers Hyderabad 137 for 4 (Bairstow 61*, Warner 50, Tahir 2-20) beat Chennai Super Kings 132 for 5 (du Plessis 45, Rashid 2-17) by six wickets
Sunrisers Hyderabad broke Chennai Super Kings' winning streak, and secured a vital victory after three losses on the trot, with a six-wicket win at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium. Super Kings were without their talismanic captain MS Dhoni, who was rested after pulling up with back spasms in their last game. And aside from a 79-run opening stand between Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis, their innings lacked oomph. Despite the slowness of the track, their 132 for 5 was sub-par and after David Warner's rapid fifty had set the innings up, Jonny Bairstow closed the match with an unbeaten 61.
With stand-in captain Suresh Raina having opted to bat, halfway through their innings Chennai would have been pleased with their progress at 80 for 1. But just 52 runs came from the next ten as the innings fizzled out. The much-hyped showdown between Vijay Shankar and Ambati Rayudu came to nought, but in truth Super Kings could have done with a little more fire in the belly at the death.
Indeed, Warner's response at the top of Sunrisers' chase showed that there were quick runs to be made despite the slowness of the pitch. Warner dominated the Powerplay and left Sunrisers' brittle middle order with a very easy job to complete. Bairstow ensured there were no slip-ups, and a struggling Sunrisers unit took down the table-toppers with 19 balls and six wickets to spare.
Watson, du Plessis lay platform
With three single figure scores and a duck in his last five innings before Wednesday, Watson came into this match without much form to speak of. Neither Watson nor du Plessis looked in particularly world-beating touch when the openers crawled to just 15 from the first four overs. The pressure was on, and a wicket at that stage could have been disastrous, but the experienced pair shrugged it off with five fours and three sixes in the next five-and-a-half overs to set the innings up.
Rashid finds his length (eventually)
Rashid Khan's mid-match comeback mirrored his team's. One sensed a big moment when he was introduced in the eighth over with both openers set, but his first ball was a half tracker that was spanked to the square-leg boundary and Rashid leaked 14 from his first two overs as he struggled to find his length and repeatedly dropped short. His third changed the complexion of the match. With du Plessis and Watson having fallen in quick succession of each other either side of the halfway mark, Rashid finally got things right in his third over, nipping out Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav in the space of four deliveries - both batsmen unsuccessfully reviewing their dismissals - as Super Kings slipped to 99 for 4.
Bhuvneshwar keeps it tight
Super Kings might still have made a fist of things at the death from that position, and they may well have been looking to target Bhuvneshwar Kumar in that regard. He had an economy rate of 12.6 between overs 16 to 20 heading into this game, and was seen practicing various versions of the cutter with head coach Tom Moody on the eve of this match. The extra work clearly paid off, and Kumar gave away just 15 runs in his last two overs - and just five off the final over of the innings - to stall Super Kings' charge. Rayudu managed to get a couple away, but Ravindra Jadeja's innings completely failed to launch as he finished with 10 not out from 20 balls.
Warner moves back into the fast lane
Since his 55-ball hundred against Royal Challengers Bangalore almost three weeks ago, Warner had scored 146 runs off 140 balls at a strike rate of 104.28 coming in to this match. Despite his two fifties in the interim, Warner hadn't been able to set the pace as he usually does, part of the reason Sunrisers had lost their last three matches. But tonight Warner once again rocketed through a Powerplay that brought 68 runs, racking up a fourth consecutive fifty-plus score against Super Kings at a strike rate of 200. At the other end, Bairstow faced just nine balls in the first six overs, but thanks to Warner the asking rate had been brought down to just 4.64 when he fell, toe-ending an attempted loft to mid off.
Bairstow takes it home
Despite Warner's quick runs, Sunrisers still had Imran Tahir to deal with. Warner had plundered three boundaries in a row in Tahir's first over, but the legspinner recovered to have Kane Williamson caught and bowled in his second. However, Bairstow saw Tahir off and punished the other bowlers. Karn Sharma was swatted for two clean sixes in his first over, and Bairstow added a third off him to end the game in the 17th over. Though a couple of wickets fell at the other end, Warner's knock had broken the back of the chase and Bairstow's sealed the result.