Ravindra Jadeja’s 3-22 led Chennai’s dominance in spin-friendly conditions at home for a smooth seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League last evening.
The visitors managed just 134-7 after being sent in to bat and Jadeja’s four-over spell for the Super Kings choked their innings before it could get going.
“It is a good track to bowl on for me,” Jadeja said. “The ball stops a bit here and I am able to trap the batsmen bowling straight.”
Opener Abhishek Sharma was the one bright spot for Hyderabad with 34 off 26 balls before the home town’s spinners applied the squeeze.
Harry Brook, who scored this IPL’s first century two innings ago, only managed 18 off 13 balls.
Apart from Sharma, only number three batter Rahul Tripathi crossed the 20-run mark for Hyderabad.
Skipper M.S. Dhoni put on a clinic behind the stumps, snapping up Aiden Markram before stumping Mayank Agarwal. Later he also ran out Washington Sundar, overcoming a troublesome knee injury.
The hosts eased to 138-3 in reply with eight balls to spare as opener Devon Conway scored his third consecutive tournament half-century.
Conway finished undefeated on 77 from 57 balls with 12 fours and a six although the capacity home crowd were a little disappointed at not getting to see Dhoni at the crease.
Speculation is rife that this tournament will be the beloved 41-year-old’s last, but Dhoni could return to his home ground next month with Chennai now third on the table.
The IPL finals schedule was announced before the match with the first qualifier and eliminator to be played in the city on May 23 and 24.
Ahmedabad, home ground of last year’s winners Gujarat Titans, will host the second qualifier and the 2023 final on May 26 and 28.