Hyderabad: Title contenders Chennai Super Kings put up yet another comprehensive performance as they thrashed Sunrisers Hyderabad by 77 runs to assert their supremacy in the Pepsi Indian Premier League here on Wednesday.
Riding on Suresh Raina`s blistering unbeaten 99 and Mike Hussey`s smashing 67, Chennai Super Kings managed a massive 223 for three.
The chase was out of question as Sunrisers lost wickets at regularly to restrict them to 146 for eight.
It was a match where CSK outplayed the home team in all departments of the game with consummate ease. While Raina and Hussey nearly batted the opponents out of the match, the CSK bowlers also didn`t let the guard down as Sunrisers lost their first match at home.
While CSK with 20 points sit pretty at the top of the table, the huge loss should be a cause of worry for the Sunrisers as they remain on 14 points from 12 games. The margin of defeat however dented their net run-rate which dipped to -0.228.
The loss could also have an impact on Sunrisers` chances of qualification for the Play-offs during the home stretch of the tourney.
A target of 224 is as daunting as it can get and Parthiv Patel hit a flurry boundaries initially although Shikhar Dhawan (3) and skipper Kumar Sangakkara (3) were dismissed cheaply.
While Dhawan failed to beat rival captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni`s direct throw, Sangakkara`s woeful season continued as he tried to sweep the ball and gave easiest of catches to Chris Morris standing at short fine leg.
To consistently score at more than 11 runs per over from the start is near-impossible and Sunrisers lost half of their side even before the halfway mark of the innings. Parthiv fought it out with a gutsy 44 off 30 balls with six fours and a six.
Mohit Sharma (2/28) continued impress as Ravichandran Ashwin (1/23) with clever variations also stifled the run-chase. `Purple Cap` holder Dwayne Bravo was accurate as usual giving 25 runs in his four overs and taking a wicket in the process. The victory came so easily that one of their strike bowlers Morris bowled only two overs.
Earlier, Raina missed his second century of this edition by a run but sent the Sunrisers bowlers on a leatherhunt in company of `Mr Cricket` Mike Hussey, who was in an equally punishing mood.
The duo added a whopping 133 runs in 12 overs to help the `Yellow Brigade` reach an imposing target.
Needing five runs of the final delivery of the innings to complete his century, Raina hit his trademark uppish cover-drive to reach 99 off 52 balls with 11 fours and three sixes. Hussey, who again took the `Orange Cap` back from Chris Gayle struck his fifth half century of the edition with 67 off 42 balls with five boundaries and four huge sixes.
Ishant Sharma would like to forget the day in a hurry as his 0/66 in four overs was the worst figures by a bowler in the history of IPL eclipsing the joint record held by Ashoke Dinda and Varun Aaron (0/63 in 4 overs). The second and fourth overs of his spell went for 18 and 25 runs respectively.
Such was their dominance of the duo that Dale Steyn (0/17 in 4 overs) deserved kudos for being the only bowler who was able to hold his own while others were being smoked all around the park by Raina and Hussey.
Murali Vijay (29) set the tone hitting three successive sixes off Ishant`s second over with a hook, a hoick over deep mid-wicket and another one over deep square leg.
However as has been his wont, he couldn`t carry on with the good work as a delivery with extra bounce from Thisara Perera found the Tamil Nadu opener edge one to Parthiv behind the stumps.
However 45 runs added in the first overs provided the perfect impetus that helped Raina and the ever dependable Hussey to consolidate. Both found boundaries at will and yet took the singles and doubles to score at a brisk rate.
While the team`s 100 came up in the 11th over, Hussey also duly completed his half-century in 32 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.
Hussey, who has been in sublime form this season has now scored 574 runs in 13 matches and is eight runs ahead of West Indian Chris Gayle (566).