Suresh Raina smashed a quickfire half century while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni produced a belligerent unbeaten knock of 63 as Chennai Super Kings held their nerves to pull off a narrow 12 run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Champions League T20 match, here on Thursday.Chasing a daunting 203 run target, Darren Sammy fought cramp and the charged up opposition to score an attacking 25 ball 50 while skipper Shikhar Dhawan hit a 34 ball 48 top of the order but their efforts proved short in the end.Sammy looked determined not to go down without a fight but the pressure of mounting run rate weighed heavily on Sunrisers as they finished at 190 for seven.
Sent in to bat, Raina`s 57 ball 84 was perfectly matched by Dhoni`s pyrotechnics as the hard hitting local skipper broke the spirits of the Sunrisers bowlers with his ruthless batting display to propel Chennai Super Kings to a massive 202 for four.Such was the brutality as neither speed nor spin provided any challenge to Dhoni as he decorated his 19 ball knock with an astonishing eight sixes.There was no mistaking the impact Dhoni`s arrival had on the innings and no one could better understand it than Sri Lankan all rounder Thisara Perera, who was smashed for five huge sixes in the 18th over.
Dhoni, in the process, also struck the fastest fifty in the history of the Champions League, reaching the landmark in just 16 balls and surpassing West Indian Kieron Pollard`s record (50 off 18 balls).Dhoni played a leader`s innings of the finest order and, together with Raina, put on a 60-run partnership in just 23 balls for the fourth wicket. The last five overs produced 76 runs for the CSK.Raina walked back to the pavillion in the penultimate over after decorating his innings with nine fours and a six.Steyn was the most economical bowler for Sunrisers with a figure of two for 23 while Perera went for 60 runs from his three overs.Sunrisers needed a solid start to their run chase and their openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel, did just that as both made the most of the fielding restrictions to take the team past 50-mark in 5.2 overs.
Sunrisers got another reprieve when Patel was caught by Mohit Sharma off Holder at deep fine leg only for the square leg umpire to call it a no ball due to its height.Sunrisers` run chase suffered a body blow when Dhawan failed to cash in on the dropped chance and was caught behind by Dhoni off R Ashwin after a well made 48. Dhawan hit seven fours and one six in his 34 ball knock.Earlier, South African speed merchant Steyn drew the first blood for Sunrisers when he removed opener Vijay for a golden duck. Dhawan`s ploy to introduce part timer Duminy early on into the attack bore fruit as he dismissed Mike Hussey for 21 ball 23 in the seventh over.Raina was dropped by Hanuma Vihari at deep midwicket off Perera. The left-hander continued his onslaught as he hit Sammy for a six and two fours in the 14th over.