Dhoni hits 63 off just 19 balls

2013-09-27 00:00

MS DHONI hit the quickest 50 at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi yesterday. Chennai Super Kings defeated the Sunrisers Hyderabad by 11 runs in their Champions League T20 Group B match.

Dhoni smashed an unbeaten 63 off just 19 balls with one boundary and eight huge sixes as the Super Kings totalled 202 for four in their allotted 20 overs. The Sunrisers put up a brave fight, ending on 191 for seven with Darren Sammy top scoring with 50 off 25 balls, smashing two fours and five sixes along the way.

But the evening belonged to the Chennai captain as he scored the fastest 50 in Champions League T20 history, needing only 16 deliveries to do so. Suresh Raina laid the platform with a wonderful 84 off 57 balls, hitting nine fours and a six along the way.

Raina and his captain shared a whirlwind partnership of 60 off only 29 deliveries that helped boost the total. Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath (13) laid the foundation with a 70-run partnership for the third wicket off 50 deliveries.

The manner in which the Super Kings reached their total held the crowd in awe as they were 141 for three at the end of the 17th over.

Dhoni tore into Thisara Perera (3-0-60-0), hitting the medium pacer for five sixes on an over that yielded 34 runs.

Only Dale Steyn (2-23) and JP Duminy (2-27) held respectable figures as the South Africans combined for figures of 8-0-50-4.

The Sunrisers were keeping the run-rate in check with an opening stand of 88 off 60 balls between Parthiv Patel and Shikhar Dhawan. But the introduction of Raina in the 10th over turned the game on its head.

With the second ball of his over, Raina (1-3) turned and threw down the stumps at the non-strikers end to run out Patel, who faced 28 balls for his 38.

Worse was to come when, with the last ball of his over, Raina clean bowled Duminy without scoring. The final ball of the next over saw the Sunrisers’ captain, Dhawan, dismissed by Ravichandran Ashwin.

The offspinner had Dhawan caught behind for 48, after facing 34 balls and hitting seven fours and one maximum.

Even though Sammy tried in vain to keep his side in the game, his dismissal, and that of Karn Sharma (11 off nine balls) in the penultimate over bowled by James Holder, snuffed out their challenge.

Although the young West Indian seamer claimed 2-40 in his four overs, it was his countryman, Dwayne Bravo, who was the pick of the bowlers, ending with figures of 4-0-30-2.

Chennai now lead Group B with eight points from two matches, followed by Trinidad & Tobago, Sunrisers and the Titans all on four points.

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