After being upstaged in two successive games, Chennai Super Kings ended their losing streak on Tuesday against Sunrisers Hyderabad to qualify for the playoffs in the ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League. 

The men-in-yellow also reclaimed their top spot in the points table. The team, captained by MS Dhoni, defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by six wickets at M.A Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. 

The win was set up by Shane Watson, who announced his return to form with a sensational 96 off 53 balls, overshadowing the heroics of Manish Pandey's excellent 83 off 49 balls, batting at number 3 for SRH. 

With this, let’s look at the factors which took the game in favour of the Chennai Super Kings:

1. Harbhajan sending Warner in 14th over

After being put to bat first, the Sunrisers scored 175 for the loss of three wickets. Harbhajan Singh struck first blood, dismissing Jonny Bairstow for a two-ball duck in his last IPL innings this season. Then it was David Warner and Manish Pandey’s turn to stage a comeback for the visiting team. The duo cobbled together a second-wicket stand of 115 runs off 72 balls. The left-handed Warner accomplished his half-century in 39 balls.

The ‘Orange Army’ was scoring almost 10 runs per over, and at one stage it looked like they would end up scoring 190 runs. However, Harbhajan got rid of the ominous-looking Warner in the 14th over. Post Warner’s wicket, SRH could only score 55 runs. This allowed Chennai to solidify their spot in the game.

2. Jonny Bairstow dropped Shane Watson on 33

Chasing 175, Chennai Super Kings lost Faf du Plessis early. Sunrisers were close to picking up another wicket but Jonny Bairstow failed to hold on to Shane Watson’s catch in the 9th over. On the second ball of the over, medium-pacer Sandeep Sharma produced an edge off Watson’s bat, and it went flying past the wicket-keeper. Bairstow went towards his right but could keep hold of the ball despite reaching it.

After this reprieve, Watson set Chepauk alight with some powerful hitting and ended up scoring 96 runs to play a vital role in Chennai’s scintillating win. His 53-ball innings included nine boundaries and six humongous sixes which eventually helped the team cross the winning line.