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Dhawan, Warner Keep Sunrisers Fighting

David Warner hits out
David Warner cracked 90 in 45 balls as the Sunrisers kept their chances alive
©REUTERS / Action Images

Sunrisers Hyderabad 189-4 (Warner 90) beat
Chennai Super Kings 185-3 by six wickets
Indian Premier League 2014, Ranchi

The Sunrisers Hyderabad kept their slim hopes of qualifying for the Indian Premier League 2014 play-offs alive with a six-wicket win over the Chennai Super Kings in Ranchi.

At the JSCA International Stadium, they scored 189 for four in 19.4 overs to chase down Chennai’s 185 for three and keep the Rajasthan Royals honest.

With this win, Hyderabad move on to 12 points from 13 games (six wins) and while they still need to win their last game, they heaped the pressure on the Royals who, on 14 points from 12 games (seven wins), still need a win to be safe. Meanwhile Chennai continued to stay put at second spot with 16 points from 13 games (eight wins).

Chasing 186 to stay alive in the tournament, Hyderabad got off to their best start of the season as David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan put on a century stand. The two big-hitting left-handed batsmen brought up the 50-run mark in only the sixth over, off 33 balls, as they started quickly.

The momentum was kept up through the innings and Chennai appeared dazed from the very outset against this onslaught.

Warner completed his fifty off only 25 balls, hitting 10 fours and one six, and in doing so accelerated the scoring even further.

Only 28 balls later, they were celebrating a three-figure stand for the opening wicket as the 100-run mark came up at the end of the 10th over. At the halfway stage then they still needed 86 runs with all wickets intact and a clear shot at the victory line.

Warner was the first to fall, out in the 12th over, scoring 90 runs off only 45 balls hitting 12 fours and three sixes in all, setting up the momentum for this improbable chase.

He was bowled by John Hastings (1-29) but Dhawan carried on and saw that the job was done. He reached his half-century off 40 balls, hitting two fours and two sixes, but scored an unbeaten 64 runs overall, adding two more fours, to help ease the burden on the new batsmen.

In doing so he put on a 52-run partnership for the second wicket with Naman Ojha (19), and while there weren’t many runs coming from Aaron Finch (7) and Darren Sammy (0), Hyderabad did hold out for a win with two balls to spare.

Ravindra Jadeja (1-42) and Suresh Raina (1-17) were the other wicket-takers, while Venugopal Rao (4 not out) was the unbeaten batsman.

Earlier in the day, Hyderabad won the toss and elected to field first. Faf du Plessis (19) opened the innings with Dwayne Smith as Chennai trialled a new combination with Brendon McCullum back home ready for the birth of his third child.

They put on a quick 33 runs within the first four overs but thereafter Hyderabad pulled back and made the hosts struggle.

Smith provided the early resistance, scoring 47 runs off 28 balls, with four fours and four sixes. He helped bring up the 50-run mark in the sixth over, but then both he and Suresh Raina (4) fell in quick succession to leave them reeling at 77 for three in nine overs.

It brought David Hussey and skipper MS Dhoni together and they made sure that Hyderabad were not able to create any more inroads into their batting line-up. The two batsmen put on an unbeaten 108-run partnership to dig Chennai out of their hole and take them to an improbable target.

They started slowly with the 100-run mark coming in the 14th over and their 50-run partnership consuming 44 balls. But then the two batsmen shifted gears together and the next 50 runs of their partnership came in the next 22 balls only.

Hussey reached his fifty off 33 balls with five fours and two sixes, while Dhoni scored his 50 runs off 29 balls, hitting one four and four sixes.

They were both unbeaten in the end, with Hussey scoring 50 and Dhoni ending up at 57 off 41 balls, hitting an additional four.  Karn Sharma (2-19) was the lone wicket-taker for Hyderabad on the day.

© Cricket World 2014