Pune: Chennai Super Kings thumped Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs in MS Dhoni’s first match as captain in this edition of the IPL on Sunday. Chennai openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway hammered the Hyderabad bowling attack into submission, notching up a scintillating 182-run partnership, the highest opening stand of the season, to post an imposing 202 for two. In reply, Hyderabad managed only 189 for six with Chennai’s left-arm pacer Mukesh Choudhary taking four wickets for 46. This is Chennai’s third win in nine matches, while Hyderabad has lost its fourth match in nine games.
Earlier, Gaikwad (99 off 57 balls) was at his destructive best as he smashed six sixes and as many fours before falling short of a deserving hundred by just one run. His opening partner Conway, playing only his second game of the season, made an unbeaten 85 off 55 balls studded with eight hits to the fence and four maximums.
Gaikwad was in his zone as he stood on his backfoot, waiting for the ball to come to him and played some exceptional shots to dominate the formidable Hyderabad bowling unit.
Anything short was pulled with immaculate ease, while pitched up deliveries were treated with equal disdain as Gaikwad didn’t miss a trick to send the bowlers on a leather hunt during his classy innings.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/22) was the best bowler on display, while pace sensation Umran Malik had a really bad day in office, having conceded 48 in his four overs. T Natarajan (2/42) picked up two wickets but went for runs. After a watchful start, Gaikwad produced two superb pull shots to deposit Jansen over fine leg area for two maximums, while Natarajan was sent across the mid-wicket area.
Gaikwad continued to find the boundaries as Hyderabad’s sensational pacer Malik was sent on a leather hunt with the opener smashing him over cover before lifting him over long-on for another maximum.
Conway then got into the act, sending Aiden Markram for a boundary at fine leg before going down the wicket for a flat six over the bowler’s head.
BRIEF SCORES: Chennai Super Kings 202/2 in 20 overs (R Gaikwad 99, D Conway 85*) bt Sunrisers Hyderabad 189/6 in 20 overs (K Williamson 47, N Pooran 64*, M Choudhary 4/46)