Dhoni captaincy return a success as Super Kings openers hammer Sunrisers

·2-min read

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway combined for the highest partnership of the Indian Premier League season as Chennai Super Kings dented Sunrisers Hyderabad's play-off hopes.

Playing their first game since Ravindra Jadeja stepped down as skipper and returned the captaincy to MS Dhoni, the Super Kings delivered a performance that belied their form this season.

Indeed, this 13-run triumph was only Chennai's third of the season, and it came as a result of glorious batting from their opening pair.

Gaikwad (99) and Conway (85 not out) put on 182 for the first wicket as the Super Kings posted 202-2, that target proving beyond Sunrisers, who missed the chance to move level on 12 points with third-placed Rajasthan Royals.

Each of the Chennai openers either found or cleared the rope 12 times, Gaikwad hitting six fours and as many sixes while Conway struck eight fours and four maximums.

The latter's most fortuitous six came in the 15th over when he went for a pull and top-edged over fine leg to bring up his maiden IPL half-century, Conway then hammered another over mid-off to take Chennai to 150.

Gaikwad missed out on a stunning century when he was undone by a slower length ball from Thangarasu Natarajan. Dhoni fell to the same bowler in the final over for just eight but successive fours from Conway took Chennai to 200.

Sunrisers had already lost two wickets by the end of the powerplay and their chase lost momentum when captain Kane Williamson went for 47. Nicholas Pooran (64 not out) hit three sixes and a four in a final over in which Hyderabad needed 38.

Mukesh Choudhary took 4-46 as CSK moved four points clear of bottom side Mumbai Indians.

Openers send records tumbling

The stand between Gaikwad and Conway was also the highest in the IPL against Sunrisers and the biggest opening IPL stand at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium.

Gaikwad misses out

Two players, Jos Buttler (3) and KL Rahul (2) have combined for the IPL's five centuries this season. Gaikwad missed out on joining that select club but can take solace in victory and a remarkable partnership.

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