Suresh Raina smashed a quick fire half-century while skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni produced a belligerent unbeaten knock of 63 as Chennai Super Kings held their nerves to pull off a narrow 12-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in their Champions League T20 match, in Ranchi on Thursday.
Chasing a daunting 203-run target, Darren Sammy fought cramp and the charged-up opposition to score an attacking 25-ball 50 while skipper Shikhar Dhawan hit a 34-ball 48 top of the order but their efforts proved short in the end.
Sammy looked determined not to go down without a fight but the pressure of mounting run-rate weighed heavily on Sunrisers as they finished at 190 for seven.
Sent in to bat, Raina's 57-ball 84 was perfectly matched by Dhoni's pyrotechnics as the hard-hitting local skipper broke the spirits of the Sunrisers bowlers with his ruthless batting display to propel Chennai Super Kings to a massive 202 for four.
Such was the brutality as neither speed nor spin provided any challenge to Dhoni as he decorated his 19-ball knock with an astonishing eight sixes.
There was no mistaking the impact Dhoni's arrival had on the innings and no one could better understand it than Sri Lankan all-rounder Thisara Perera, who was smashed for five huge sixes in the 18th over.
Dhoni, in the process, also struck the fastest fifty in the history of the Champions League, reaching the landmark in just 16 balls and surpassing West Indian Kieron Pollard's record (50 off 18 balls).
Dhoni played a leader's innings of the finest order and, together with Raina, put on a 60-run partnership in just 23 balls for the fourth wicket. The last five overs produced 76 runs for the CSK.
Before Dhoni's arrival, the show belonged entirely to Raina and his powerful stroke-play.
Walking in to bat after the dismissal of opener Murali Vijay, Raina unleashed an assault on the Sunrisers pacers in the middle part of the innings, launching them over the mid-wicket and long-off boundaries with consummate ease.
Raina walked back to the pavillion in the penultimate over after decorating his innings with nine fours and a six.
Steyn was the most economical bowler for Sunrisers with a figure of two for 23 while Perera went for 60 runs from his three overs.