Chennai Super Kings' (CSK) desperation for a win, after two successive defeats, finally ended on Tuesday as the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team registered a 20-run win over SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH).
The win helped CSK to keep their playoff hopes alive as the team now sits at the sixth spot on the points table while SRH remain at the fifth position in the eight team table. Both CSK and SRH have six matches each left to play in the league phase.
After putting a respectable 167/6 wickets in 20 overs, some disciplined and economical bowling helped CSK restrict their opponents at 147/8 wickets in 20 overs at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Chasing the target, SRH suffered a top-order collapse as their opener-cum-skipper David Warner (9), Manish Pandey (4) and Jonny Bairstow (23) were back in the hut with just 59 runs on board.
Kane Williamson (57) took control of the proceedings however, the Kiwi skipper lacked support as wickets kept on tumbling from the other end.
Priyam Garg and Vijay Shankar chipped in with 16 and 12 runs before falling, despite Williamson keeping the fight on single-handedly.
Karn Sharma came with a much needed breakthrough in the 18th over, applying brakes on Williamson's innings, which lasted 39 deliveries and contained seven boundaries.
Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem contributed with 14 and 5 runs respectively. However, it wasn't enough to help SRH cross the line.
For CSK, Dwayne Bravo and Karn Sharma scalped two wickets each while Ravindra Jadeja, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur settled with one each.
Earlier, some valuable contributions by Ambati Rayudu (41) and Shane Watson (42), followed by a quick and unbeaten 25 from Ravindra Jadeja guided CSK to 167/6 wickets in the allotted 20 overs.
Opting to bat after winning the toss, CSK received the first jolt when opener Faf du Plessis departed without troubling the scorers with the scorecard reading 10/1.
Sam Curran (31), who was promoted to open the innings with du Plessis, became Sandeep's second victim after which Watson and Rayudu anchored the CSK innings. The duo was involved in a crucial 81-run stand for the third wicket.
After they departed, Dhoni (21) and Jadeja took CSK beyond the 150-run mark as the three-time champions ended their quota at 167/6 wickets.
For SRH, Sandeep (2/19), Khaleel Ahmed (2/45) and T Natarajan (2/41) picked couple of wickets each.
Brief scores: CSK: 167/6 wkts in 20 overs (Shane Watson 42, Ambati Rayudu 41; Sandeep Sharma 2/19) beat SRH 147/8 wkts (Kane Willaimson 57, Jonny Bairstow 23; Dwayne Bravo 2/25) by 20 runs