Ambati Rayudu’s maiden T20 century saw Chennai Super Kings sweep to an eight-wicket victory over table-toppers Sunrisers Hyderabad.
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The Chennai opener carried his bat finishing unbeaten on 100. hitting 14 boundaries in his innings and sharing a opening century stand with Shane Watson (57), as the hosts chased down 180 in 19 overs.
Having been asked to bat first, Shikhar Dhawan and Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson’s 123-run second-wicket partnership helped the visitors post 179-4 but their often brilliant bowling line-up struggled to contain the hosts’ batsmen.
Hyderabad remain at the top of the IPL table, after losing just their third match, and Chennai stay in second but are only two points behind their opponents with two group games left.
With moisture in the air and the possibility of rain later in the day in Pune, Chennai opted to bowl and Deepak Chahar took advantage of the swing on offer as he had Alex Hales caught at backward point for two.
Despite the early loss, the Sunrisers regrouped with Dhawan and Williamson, who were forced to play watchfully early on as seamers Chahar and Shardul Thakur produced a bowling masterclass.
The pair took advantage when the spinners were brought on as they accelerated, sharing a 123-run second wicket standing hitting 20 boundaries between them.
But, Hyderabad pulled themselves back into the innings as Dhawan (79) and Williamson (51) fell in successive balls, with the India opener scooping a slower ball from Dwayne Bravo to short fine leg before the New Zealand captain was well caught by Bravo in the deep as the visitors finished on 179-4.
Faced with a potentially challenging chase, Watson and Rayudu took full advantage of the lack of moisture in the air in the second innings as they raced towards their target as both batsmen reached their half-centuries.
Although Watson was run-out and Suresh Raina was dismissed for just two, CSK captain MS Dhoni kept his cool – finishing unbeaten on 20 – as Rayudu scored just fourth hundred in the tournament.