Sunrisers Hyderabad all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite came up with a brilliant 29-ball 43* to save his team the blushes and help them post a respectable total of 139/7 against the Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier of the IPL 2018 at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
SRH were struggling at 88/6 by the end of the 15th over. But a seventh-wicket partnership of 50 runs off 29 balls between Brathwaite and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (7) rescued the team and gave their bowlers something to bowl at. Captain Kane Williamson (24) and Yusuf Pathan (24) were the other contributors with the bat.
Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the CSK bowlers, with figures of 1/13 in his four overs. Dwayne Bravo chipped in with two wickets, including a brilliant return catch of Pathan. Shardul Thakur bore the brunt of Brathwaite's assault, conceding 20 runs in the final over of the innings.
CSK pegged back SRH at 47 for 3 with both Williamson and opener Shikhar Dhawan (0) back in the dugout.
Dhawan, the second-highest scorer for SRH with 437 runs, was played on off Deepak Chahar of the first delivery of the match.
Williamson, in red-hot form in the season, produced three hits to the fence off the last three balls in the same over, an exquisite extra cover drive being the pick.
From the other end, Lungi Ngidi packed off the other opener Shreevats Goswami, taking a smart return catch, when the batsman tried to pull.
At 34 for two Sunrisers, who came into the play-off game after suffering three straight losses, were in trouble and it worsened when they lost their skipper Williamson.
The New Zealand captain feathered a catch down leg-side ball off Shardul Thakur to rival captain Dhoni to leave SRH reeling at 36 for 3 in the fifth over.
CSK, attempting to make it to their seventh final in nine seasons that they have been part of IPL, struck another blow just past the Powerplay period.
Shakib Al Hasan also fell to a leg-side catch by Dhoni off Dwayne Bravo (2/25) and it left Sunrisers at a spot at 50 for 4. After 10 overs, the score was a modest 64 for 4.
Jadeja sent back Manish Pandey cheaply as half the Sunrisers was back in the pavilion with only 69 on the board.
(With PTI inputs)