Smith, McCullum give Super Kings comprehensive win
Riding on a fine show by opening batsmen Dwayne Smith and Brendon McCullum, Chennai Super Kings registered a comfortable five-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an Indian Premier League (IPL) clash at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here Sunday.
Smith struck 66 and McCullum 40 as Super Kings romped home safely with three balls to spare while chasing a target of 146 for their fourth win in five games.
The duo set the stage on fire with their 85-run stand for the first wicket. The partnership proved crucial as Super Kings drew level with league leaders Kings XI Punjab, who have four wins in four games.
Sunrisers are second from bottom now, with only one win in four games.
Smith went after the Sunrisers attack right from the first, hitting four fours and five sixes in his 46-ball knock. He was also adjudged Man of the Match.
On the other end, he found an able ally in McCullum, who unlike other days had a quiet knock and was happy giving the strike to Smith. The Kiwi batsmen took 33 balls and smacked three fours and two sixes.
Suresh Raina made 14 and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remained unbeaten on 13 and finished off things in a style by hitting a four for the winning runs.
Earlier, Aaron Finch made 44 and Lokesh Rahul 25 as Sunrisers managed a modest 145 for five on board.
Super Kings pacers Ben Hilfenhaus and Mohit Sharma picked up two wickets each.
Sunrisers skipper Shikhar Dhawan blamed the dew for the loss.
"We never knew that dew was going to come tonight, the ball got wet and out spinners could not grip it. It was coming nicely on to the bat. In the first innings the wicket was dry and the ground was dry so the ball was stopping on the batsman, it was difficult to hit the ball. We planned to get 150 but we did not know dew was going to come ... not going to take the credit away from them. They batted well," he said.
Dhoni said the game really changed once the ball was changed.
"When the ball was not wet it started doing things until it got wet again. It was a decent total, the dew got worse, the opposition bowlers weren't able to execute plans. We would have batted first as well, so a good toss to lose. Overall we are playing good cricket, everyone has contributed, not everyone in our top seven has been tested, openers doing a fantastic job," he said.
(Posted on 28-04-2014)