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By Prakash Govindasreenivasan
Hyderabad: May 8, 2013
The duo added 133 runs off just 72 balls for the third wicket as Hyderabad bowlers had a hellish day in office. Hussey fell after making 67 off 42 deliveries but Raina carried on to score an unbeaten knock of 99 from just 52 deliveries to take Chennai to a commanding total.
Kumar Sangakkara won the toss and elected to field, trusting his potent bowling attack to keep Chennai’s scoring under check. Dale Steyn started the proceedings well with a maiden off the first over. However, it was one of those days when Steyn’s hardwork and toil from one end was undone by poor bowling from the rest of the bowlers. Ishant Sharma endured a hellish night as he went wicketless and conceded 65 runs in four overs — the worst bowling figures in the history of the Indian Premier League. He started poorly, letting Vijay slam three consecutive sixes while Thisara Perera also went for runs. Perera came back well to get rid of Vijay.
However, that was not enough for the home side to keep the runs down. Hussey had a momentary lapse in the game against the Mumbai Indians when he was dismissed cheaply but returned to full swing as he took apart the Hyderabad bowlers. Suresh Raina joined him in the onslaught.
The visitors managed 91 for one at the half way stage, courtesy some powerful hitting from Hussey and Raina as they set about erasing their memory of the poor performance against Mumbai Indians. They were aided by listless bowling and ordinary fielding from the Hyderabad side that clearly seemed under pressure.
The Hyderabad wicket, which has been slow throughout the season thus far, seemed to have had an impact due to the drizzle ahead of the game as the ball was coming nicely onto the bat of the Chennai batsmen.
Sangakkara was forced to bring back Steyn as early as the 13th over as the Hussey-Raina juggernaut was starting to take the game away from the home side. Hussey kept his patience and negotiated Steyn’s third over when he also brought up his 21st IPL half-century. Steyn came mighty close to getting his side a breakthrough as Raina almost played a short delivery onto his stumps.
The 16th over from Amit Mishra went for seven runs and brought up Suresh Raina’s half-century. It also let Hussey regain the orange cap as he went past Chris Gayle’s total.
Perera bowled a good yorker in the 18th over to get rid of Hussey but enough damage was already done. MS Dhoni walked out ahead of Subramaniam Badrinath and was dropped by Steyn at 2. But, that did not hurt the home side much as Karan Sharma pulled off an outstanding catch at the boundary to send the Chennai skipper back to the hut in the same over..
Yet, the boundaries refused to dry up. Steyn was brought back into the attack but he too went for runs as Ravindra Jadeja slammed two boundaries through backward point.
Chennai went past the 200-run mark in the 19th over and collected 20 runs off the final over from Darren Sammy to post a mammoth total of 223 for three.
Chennai Super Kings: 223 for 3 in 20 overs (Suresh Raina 99*, Michael Hussey 67; Thisara Perera 3 for 45) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad
Also on cricketcountry.com