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Chennai edge Hyderabad in IPL thriller

HYDERABAD, India, April 22, (AP): Chennai Super Kings overcame a late onslaught from Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four runs on Sunday in an Indian Premier League thriller. Williamson scored a classy 84 off 51 balls and Yusuf fought a bad back to hit a rapid 45 off 27 before Hyderabad was restricted to 178-6 in reply to Chennai’s 182-3.

Rashid Khan nearly pulled off victory for Hyderabad, smashing 17 off just four deliveries, including a six and a four off Dwayne Bravo in the last over. With six required off the last ball, Bravo bowled a perfect yorker to Rashid and conceded only a single.

The win took Chennai to the top of the table with eight points from five matches. Hyderabad is fourth with six points after losing its second game in five matches. “I think the wickets have become better compared to the first few years of the IPL,” Chennai captain MS Dhoni said. “But as we progress toward the knockouts, you will see the bowlers come up with new plans, and getting the big scores won’t be so easy.”

Earlier, Ambati Rayudu (79 off 37) and Suresh Raina (54 not out off 43) lifted Chennai’s total after being put into bat. Hyderabad restricted Chennai to 54-2 by the halfway mark, but conceded 95 runs in the last seven overs against some clean hitting by No. 4 batsman Rayudu. “Rayudu has been fantastic. One of the questions was where do we play him? He can bat at all numbers, but I’d prefer to see him opening, where he looks very dangerous,” Dhoni said. Rashid did well with the bat but, as a legspinner, he again proved expensive (1-49) despite getting Faf du Plessis (11) stumped off his first ball.

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