The slowness of the wicket made no difference to the table toppers with 18 points as they rode on a 75-run opening partnership between Ruturaj Gaikwad (45; 38b, 4×4, 6×2), including a successful LBW review off Rashid Khan, and Faf du Plessis (41; 36b, 4×3, 6×2) to successfully chase down a target for the third time in the UAE leg of IPL.
AS IT HAPPENED | SCORECARD | POINTS TABLE
If at all the youngsters in the Sunrisers camp need a lesson in maximising opportunities, they need look no further than Gaikwad, as the spindly opener continued his rich vein of form.
The manner in which CSK stuttered after losing Gaikwad underlined the importance of his knock but in overcoming the situation caused by Jason Holder’s 3/27, Chennai showed why they are such a potent force.
If only Jason Roy had taken a blinder off Dhoni’s hit, it could have been a different story. The seasoned pro quickly put the issue beyond doubt as he and Rayudu sealed a six-wicket win to complement the excellent bowling display by Josh Hazlewood (3/24) and Dwayne Bravo (2/17).
Dhoni turned the clock back in finishing things off with a six.
IPL 2021: Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad to reach playoffs
For long the best short form bowler in the world, the West Indian brought his full repertoire into play and but for Wriddhiman Saha’s calm presence at the top, the Sunrisers would have had much less to show.
The wicketkeeper-bat went after Deepak Chahar and hit him for two sixes in the third over that yielded 14 runs and survived a catch off a Shardul Thakur’s no-ball when on 29 before he succumbed for 44 (46b, 4×1, 6×2).
IPL 2021, Match 44: Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
<p>Rutaraj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis hit quickfire runs to see Chennai Super Kings to a six-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad and become the first side into the Indian Premier League playoffs. (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)</p>
Saha, however, put the innings on a revival mode before he fell. The Sunrisers were 41 for one in the powerplay as the hero of SRH’s previous game, Roy, tickled Hazlewood – who returned his IPL best – to succumb cheaply. The Australian bowled good areas, inducing an edge off Kane Williamson that the skipper survived before he was trapped in front by Bravo.
Abhishek Sharma and Abdul Samad added 35 for the fifth wicket. From 63/2 at the halfway stage, SRH motored to 111/6 before Hazlewood struck twice to get rid of both in the 17th over. SRH managed only 37 and lost three wickets in the last five overs.