Hyderabad: A superb unbeaten 99 by Suresh Raina helped table-toppers Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 77 runs in an Indian Premier League match here on Wednesday.
Put into bat, Raina missed his second century by only one run but sent the Sunrisers bowlers on a leatherhunt as Chennai Super Kings piled up a massive 223 for three.
The league leaders then restricted the hosts to 146/8.
With 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey in an equally punishing mood, the Raina-Hussey partnership added a whopping 133 runs in 12 overs to help the 'Yellow Brigade' reach an imposing target.
Needing five runs of the final delivery of the innings to complete his century, Raina hit his trademark uppish cover-drive to reach 99 off 52 balls with 11 fours and three sixes.
Hussey, who again took the 'Orange Cap' back from Chris Gayle struck his fifth half century of the edition with 67 off 42 balls with five boundaries and four huge sixes.
The Sunrisers reply satrted of on a poor note when their star batsman Shikhar Dhawan was run out for three in the second over. And they failed to recover from the big early blow as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals to slump to 64/5 in the ninth over.
That broke their batting backbone as they failed to put up a fight in chase of the massive total.
Earlier, all the Hyderabad bowlers had a miserable day at the office.
Particularly, Ishant Sharma would like to forget the day in a hurry as his 0/66 in four overs was the worst figures by a bowler in the history of IPL eclipsing the joint record held by Ashoke Dinda and Varun Aaron (0/63 in 4 overs). The second and fourth overs of his spell went for 18 and 25 runs respectively.
Such was the dominance of the Raina-Hussey duo that Dale Steyn (0/17 in 4 overs) deserved kudos for being the only bowler who was able to hold his own while others were being smoked all around the park by Raina and Hussey.
Murali Vijay (29) set the tone hitting three successive sixes off Ishant's second over with a hook, a hoick over deep mid-wicket and another one over deep square leg.
However as has been his wont, he couldn't carry on with the good work as a delivery with extra bounce from Thisara Perera found the Tamil Nadu opener edge one to Parthiv Patel behind the stumps.
However 45 runs added in the first overs provided the perfect impetus that helped Raina and the ever dependable Hussey to consolidate. Both found boundaries at will and yet took the singles and doubles to score at a brisk rate.
While the team's 100 came up in the 11th over, Hussey also duly completed his half-century in 32 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.