Images from Tuesday’s IPL match between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad, in Chennai.
Shane Watson brought back memories of last year's IPL final with a blazing knock that has almost ensured Chennai Super Kings a play-off berth. The Australian batsman roared back to form, scoring 96 off 53 balls, as CSK beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by six wickets, in Chennai, on Tuesday.
That after Manish Pandey and David Warner powered Sunrisers to an imposing fighting 175 for 3 after being put in to bat.
On a vastly improved Chepauk track, Watson's innings, studded with nine fours and half a dozen of sixes, ensured that CSK reached the cut-off limit of 16 points needed for a play-off berth even though they would like to finish in the top two.
Watson's innings will come as relief for skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who had urged the top order to finish off matches.
A 77-run stand between Watson and Suresh Raina (38) created the platform. In fact, the former Australia all-rounder single-handedly decimated the Sunrisers attack.
What made it more difficult for the Sunrisers was the fact that their strike bowler Rashid Khan was pulverised by Watson, who took him to the cleaners with 44 coming off his spell.
Sandeep Sharma was another bowler, who was handed severe punishment as he went for 54 in 3.5 overs. He repeatedly bowled short and Watson gleefully pulled him.
Skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/18 in 4 overs) had no option but to bowl the 19th over and left Sandeep with nine runs to defend.
However, Kedar Jadhav literally finished the match with a six off the second ball that sealed the deal.
Earlier, the immensely talented Pandey was back in his element. His unbeaten 83 off 49 balls powered Sunrisers Hyderabad to a fighting total.
Pandey and the league's current leading run-scorer David Warner (57 off 45 balls) added 115 runs for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a decent score on what was the best batting track on offer at the Chepauk.
Veteran spinner Harbhajan Singh struck an early blow, having the in-form Jony Bairstow caught behind in the second over for a duck.
He was the most successful bowler with figures of 2 for 39 in four overs while Deepak Chahar picked the wicket of Vijay Shankar (26 off 20 balls).
Despite the early dismissal of Bairstow, the visiting team did not get tied down as the irrepressible Warner and Pandey kept hitting those boundaries and sixes. They brought up the team's 50 in the sixth over.
Pandey. who has not been in the best form, hit his straps, scoring freely and was not afraid to go over the top.
Dhoni's shuffling of the bowlers did not make much of an impact as Warner and Pandey kept attacking.
Pandey was the first to reach 50, off 25 balls, pulling one from Dwayne Bravo for a boundary.
Warner was a touch slower in comparison to Pandey, but did not miss out when the opportunity presented itself and hit a couple of big sixes.
The pugnacious Warner fell against the run of play, a victim of Dhoni's trademark lightning quick stumping off a Harbhajan delivery.
The Australian, who is leading the run charts this season, fell for 57 (45 balls, 3x4, 2X6) after adding 115 runs for the second wicket with Pandey.