Dhoni Smashes a Big Six to Finish Off SRH Match, CSK Qualify For Playoffs
Chennai Super Kings have become the first team to qualify for the play-offs of IPL 2021.
A big six off MS Dhoni's bat to finish off the match and Chennai Super Kings have become the first team to enter the playoffs of IPL 2021.
Kane Williamson's Sunrisers Hyderabad were beaten by six wickets on Thursday night at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium where chasing 136, CSK overcame a mini-collapse in the middle to reach the target with two balls to spare.
The defeat also means Sunrisers Hyderabad have become the first team to be officially knocked out of the race for the next stage of the tournament.
After a sedate start of 12/0 in three overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis smashed Bhuvneshwar Kumar for a six each on the on-side in the fourth over. In the next over, du Plessis creamed Jason Holder on both sides of the park. Gaikwad then went after Rashid Khan, top-edging a sweep over fine leg followed by a straight six down the ground. He also got an lbw decision overturned for CSK to finish the powerplay unscathed at 47/0. Du Plessis brought up the half-century of the opening partnership with a straight loft over Siddarth Kaul's head.
Hyderabad broke the 75-run partnership at the half-way stage with Gaikwad lofting to mid-off off Jason Holder, falling five runs short of his half-century.
Moeen Ali continued the flow of runs with boundaries through pulls off Holder and Khan. In a bid to go big, Ali tried to heave through the leg-side off Khan in the 15th over but he inner-edged to the pads and ball rolled to the stumps.
Holder then picked two wickets in the next over, trapping Suresh Raina lbw followed by du Plessis top-edging a pull to short mid-wicket. With 22 runs needed off 18 balls, Rayudu lofted Kaul over extra cover. In the next over, Rayudu launched Kumar for a six over long-on. It was followed by Dhoni crunching a four through cow corner to calm the nerves in the Chennai camp.
Dhoni finished off the chase with a huge six over deep mid-wicket off Kaul in the final over to seal a playoff spot for his team.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and put Hyderabad into bat first.
The team started strong with Wriddhiman Saha hitting Deepak Chahar for two sixes over mid-wicket and long-off in the third over. However, they lost their first wicket as Jason Roy bottom edged a cross-seamer from Josh Hazlewood to keeper MS Dhoni in the fourth over.
After finishing power-play stage at 41/1 in six overs, Dwayne Bravo floated a full ball which went past Kane Williamson's flick and trapped him lbw. Saha had luck on his side when he cut straight to backward point off Shardul Thakur in the ninth over, but replays showed Thakur had overstepped.
Bravo came back in the eleventh over to take his second wicket of the match as Priyam Garg top-edged a short ball, grabbed by Dhoni moving to his left. In the next over, Saha decided to break the shackles with a pull, which he top-edged to give Dhoni another catch off Ravindra Jadeja.
Abdul Samad and Abhishek Sharma took 21 runs from 14th and 15th overs to infuse life into Hyderabad's innings. While Sharma hit Thakur for a brace of boundaries, Samad hit Hazlewood for a down the ground six. Sharma lofted Hazlewood over extra cover in the 17th over.
On the next ball, Hazlewood had his man as Sharma mistimed the loft to long-on. Hazlewood had his second wicket in three balls as Samad slashed to point. Jason Holder tried to go big but holed out to deep extra cover off Thakur. A few lusty blows from Rashid Khan ensured that Hyderabad crossed the 130-run mark.
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