Johannesburg : Sydney Sixers relied on a superb all-round show from Moises Henriques and a couple of stunning catches as they thumped Chennai Super Kings by 14 runs in their opening Champions League Twenty20 match here on Sunday.
Chasing the big target, Chennai were on course till the 16th over as they needed 50 runs from the last four overs before the Sydney side affected two stunning catches to end their innings at 171 for nine at the New Wanderers Stadium.
Suresh Raina, who top-scored with an impressive 33-ball 57 which included eight fours and two sixes, fell in the 17th over to a stunning catch by Steven Smith who held onto a high ball just inches before the boundary ropes.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was out two balls later as his pull shot was held by Josh Hazlewood who dived forward to take a superb catch. Chennai had two substantial partnership in their run chase — 61 for the second wicket between Faf du Plessis (43) and Michael Hussey (16) and then the 55-run stand for the fourth wicket between Raina and Subramaniam Badrinath (6).
They began slowly in their run chase and they were dealt with a blow as Murali Vijay was out for just one in the second over as his stump flew cartwheeling while trying to hit a swinging full delivery without moving his feet.
At three for one, Chennai had to settle down for a while but they did not take much time to launch their attack with du Plessis and Hussey finding the boundaries to keep the asking rate under control.
Du Plessis punished Mitchel Starc with a six in the fourth over while Hussey also found a boundary as Chennai took 12 runs from that over.
Du Plessis then smashed three fours off Pat Cummins in the next over which yielded 13 runs before launching Hazlewood for a six and a then a four in the seventh over.
It was an even contest till then, but Chennai lost two quick wickets in successive overs with du Plessis and Hussey departing in quick succession in the eighth and ninth overs respectively.
Du Plessis walked down the wicket to hit a Cummins delivery out of the park only to miscue and land at Mitchell Starc’s hands at long-on, thereby ending the second wicket stand of 61 runs from 6.3 overs. Du Plessis hit five fours and two sixes from 25 balls in his 43.
Hussey was out in the last ball of the ninth over as his slog-sweep off Steve O’Keefe landed straight at Michael Lumb’s hands.
Chennai were 73 for three at the halfway mark with the asking rate climbing to 11 and a half per over and new man in Raina had to press the accelerator straightaway.
Raina hit a six and four from an over off O’Keefe and Henriques while also smashing two boundaries off Shane Watson. Raina was so dominant that his partner Badrinath could just contribute six runs in the four-wicket stand of 55 from 5.2 overs before the latter was out.
Chennai needed 61 runs from the last five overs and 50 from the last four but the dismissals of Raina and Dhoni, who scored just eight from as many balls ended their hopes.
Ravindra Jadeja (2) could not do much as he was out in the penultimate over while Ravichandran Ashwin (18) and Yo Mahesh were out in the final over.
Besides Henriques (3/23), Mitchell Starc grabbed three wickets for 31 runs while Watson, Pat Cummins and Steve O’Keefe took a wicket each.
Earlier, Henriques, who came at the 14th over as number six batsman, produced a stunning late onslaught of fours and sixes as Sydney Sixers posted a big total of 185 for five after being sent into bat. His onslaught took the Sixers from 124 for four at the end of 16th over to 185 for five.
He was joined in the exhibition of strokeplay for a brief period by Smith (26 off 17) balls. The duo shared 75 runs for the fifth wicket from just 6.3 overs.
World Twenty20 man-of-the-tournament Watson was instrumental in a solid start for the Sixers with a 30-ball 46 which included five fours and two sixes as he and Michael Lumb (18) were involved in a quick 50-run stand in 6.1 overs for the opening wicket.
- M Lumb lbw b Jadeja………………..18
- S Watson run out……………………..46
- N Maddinson b Ashwin……………..12
- B Haddin c Hilfenhaus b Ashwin…20
- S Smith c Vijay b Hilfenhaus……….26
- M Henriques not out…………………49
Extras: (lb6, wd8)……………………14
Total: (For 5 wkts in 20 overs)…185
Fall of wickets: 1-50, 2-78, 3-109, 4-110, 5-185.
Bowling: B Hilfenhaus 3-0-26-1,
D Bollinger 4-0-39-0, Y Mahesh 1-0-18-0, R Jadeja 4-0-29-1, R Ashwin 4-0-32-2, F du Plessis 4-0-35-0.
Chennai Super Kings
- M Hussey c Lumb b O’Keefe……….16
- M Vijay b Starc…………………………..1
- F du Plessis c Starc b Cummins……43
- S Raina c Smith b Henriques………57
- S Badrinath c Haddin b Henriques..6
- Dhoni c Hazlewood b Henriques…..8
- R Jadeja c Rohrer b Watson………….2
- R Ashwin c Smith b Starc…………..18
- B Hilfenhaus not out…………………..7
- Y Mahesh c Lumb b Starc…………….2
Extras: (lb3, wd8)……………………11
Total: (For 9 wkts in 20 overs)…171
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-64, 3-67,
4-122, 5-141, 6-141, 7-155, 8-166, 9-171.
Bowling: J Hazlewood 4-0-25-0, M Starc 4-0-31-3, P Cummins 4-0-42-1, S Watson 3-0-31-1, N O’Keefe 2-0-16-1, M Henriques 3-0-23-3.