Pune, May 13 (IANS) Chennai Super Kings rode on opener Ambati Rayudu (100 not out) and Shane Watson (57) heroics to hammer Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets here on Sunday and maintain their second spot in the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Following the win at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Chennai are virtually through to the play-offs with 16 points.
In pursuit of Hyderabad's 179/4, it was the Chennai openers who gave their side a flying start, forging a match-winning 134-run partnership.
Rayudu meanwhile, also slammed his maiden IPL ton facing 62 deliveries, smashing seven fours and as many hits into the stands. On the other hand, Watson's knock off 35 balls contained five boundaries and three sixes.
Chennai started the proceedings straightway as the openers gathered 28 runs in the first three overs.
The duo fully utilised the powerplay overs as Chennai put 53 runs on board in the initial six overs. The hosts went on to hammer the visiting bowlers as the openers lifted Chennai to 93 runs at the end of 10 overs. Meanwhile, the Australian all-rounder also got his fifty.
Hyderabad got the much-needed breakthrough in the 14th over when Watson fell short of the crease as skipper Kane Williamson's throw from extra-cover ended the all-rounder's innings.
Incoming batsman Suresh Raina fell cheaply, contributing just couple of runs, with Chennai's scorecard reading 137/2 in 14.1 overs.
Rayudu was then accompanied by skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (20 not out off 14 balls) and the pair played sensibly to help their side recover from the consecutive blows.
Denying anymore wickets to the visitors, the duo added the remaining 43 runs for the third wicket in the next five overs to inch Chennai closer towards the play-offs.
For Hyderabad, Sandeep Sharma bagged a wicket conceding 36 runs while the others remained wicketless.