At the end of it all, Amit Mishra (4-0-26-3) went joint-top on the wicket-takers’ list with 14 wickets. But it was his batting and, more importantly, his fielding that cost his team as the Sunrisers Hyderabad succumbed to a five-wicket loss on Thursday.
Mishra dropped M.S. Dhoni when the latter was still on nought and was left reliving his misery on the giant screen as the Chennai Super Kings skipper steered his team home with an unbeaten 37-ball 67.
In the process he also completed 2000 IPL runs.
Riding on Michael Hussey’s fourth consecutive score of 40 and above, CSK was off to an impressive start. The team scored 58 in the first six overs. But the slowdown kicked in immediately after — the next six produced just 28 for the loss of two wickets.
Some impressive bowling in the middle overs, especially by Karan Sharma (4-1-8-0) who bowled the most economical spell of this year’s IPL, staunched the flow of runs.
Forty-six was needed off the last four, and 15 off the final over. Ashish Reddy’s was an intriguing choice for the 20th over — more so when Darren Sammy still had an over — and it took Dhoni all of four deliveries to bring up CSK’s victory.
For SRH, Shikhar Dhawan (63 n.o., 45b) at the start and Ashish Reddy (36 n.o., 16b) at the fag end were the only bright spots. Quinton de Kock fell for his third consecutive single digit score, thanks to a brilliant catch by Vijay at mid-on. Hanuma Vihari was run-out off an excellent throw from an off-balance Suresh Raina.
Dhoni packed the offside with a 6-3 field leaving Dhawan enough room on the onside as two well judged pulls early on showed.
After Cameron White’s dismissal in the fifth over, in a surprising move, Amit Mishra walked in at number five. It was intended to tactically out-manoeuvre the Kings, but the idea fell flat on its face.
Mishra’s stay at the wicket was nothing shot of miserable. He consumed 21 balls for 15 runs and deprived Dhawan of the strike. And then when the latter went off the field in the 14th over to be treated for a hit in the groin, SRH was staring at yet another low total.
Until the 16th over it seemed as if SRH had to re-enact one of its many escape acts again. But 59 runs from the last four overs gave the Hyderabad franchise enough to bowl at.
Dhawan was back wielding his willow in the 18th over and raced to his fifty with two delightful boundaries on the offside. But everything came to nought as CSK, in spite of its death bowling woes, won yet again.