Openers Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway put on this season’s best stand of 182 to set up a comfortable win for IPL holders Chennai Super Kings who had Mahendra Singh Dhoni back as captain on Sunday in Pune.
Four-time winners Chennai beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 13 runs after they defended 202 for two in the second match of the day.
Dhoni, who gave up the captaincy ahead of this Indian Premier League, accepted the job back on Saturday after Ravindra Jadeja stepped down following the team’s six losses from eight games.
The 40-year-old wicketkeeper-batter received a rousing welcome when he walked out for the toss with Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson who put Chennai in to bat.
Gaikwad, who made 99, and the left-handed Conway, who hit an unbeaten 85, guided Chennai to a big total as their marathon partnership frustrated the opposition bowlers.
Speedster Umran Malik bowled the fastest ball of the season at 154 km/h (95.6 mph) to Gaikwad, but he smashed it for a boundary down the ground. Umran, who returned figures of 5-25 in his previous match, hit the mark again with a yorker to Dhoni. The previous fastest delivery was 153.9 km/h bowled by Gujarat Titans’ New Zealand import Lockie Ferguson.
Gaikwad kept up the attack and brought up his fifty with a boundary off Malik, but missed out on a ton when he gave a catch to point off T Natarajan. He hit six sixes in his 57-ball knock.
The Hyderabad bowlers, including Umran, came back to check the flow of runs in the final few overs but Conway finished with two fours and a single to get Chennai past 200.
In reply, Sunrisers finished on 189-6 despite Nicholas Pooran’s unbeaten 33-ball 64.
Skipper Kane Williamson, who made 47, and Abhishek Sharma got Hyderabad off to a brisk start with 52 off the first five overs, before Mukesh Choudhary broke through wickets from successive balls.
Williamson then fell lbw to Dwaine Pretorius as he missed a big heave in an attempt to accelerate the scoring.
Left-arm seamer Choudhary finished with figures of 4-46, with 24 coming off his last over with the match out of SRH’s reach by then.
The left-handed Pooran survived two dropped catches before he hit three sixes off the 20th over to help his side avoid taking a big hit to their net run-rate.
CSK: 202/2 in 20 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 99, Devon Conway 85 not out; T Natarajan 2/42).
SRH: 189/6 in 20 overs (Nicholas Pooran 64 not out; Mukesh Choudhary 4/46).