|| AFP ||
Indian batter Abhishek Sharma struck his maiden half-century in the Indian Premier League as Sunrisers Hyderabad on Saturday handed holders Chennai Super Kings their fourth straight loss this season.
Chasing 155 for victory, Hyderabad depended on an opening stand of 89 between Abhishek (75) and skipper Kane Williamson (32) to achieve their target with 14 balls and eight wickets to spare in Mumbai.
Abhishek, a 21-year-old left-hand batter who plays for the northern state of Punjab in domestic cricket, hammered three sixes in his 50-ball knock before he fell to Dwayne Bravo.
Rahul Tripathi hit an unbeaten 15-ball 39 to drive 2016 winners Hyderabad to their first win in the third attempt of this edition's Twenty20 tournament.
But it is only the second time that four-time champions Chennai, led by new captain Ravindra Jadeja, have lost four consecutive matches in IPL -- the other instance came in 2010.
"Didn't get the start (that) we were looking for. Twenty-25 (runs) short," said skipper Ravindra Jadeja, who took over from Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the start of this season.
"Will look to improve in both departments. We're all professional cricketers, need to work hard on our game, stick together and try to come back."
Chennai's England all-rounder Moeen Ali made 48 off 35 balls and guided Chennai to 154 for seven after being put into bat first.
Spinner Washington Sundar and left-arm quick T Natarajan took two wickets each and checked the opposition scoring with their disciplined bowling.
Moeen and Ambati Rayudu, who made 27, put together 62 runs for the third wicket before Jadeja smashed 23 off 15 balls to boost the total.
Moeen, a left-hand batter, took on the Hyderabad bowlers including fast bowler Umran Malik who clocked the fastest ball of the season -- 153.1 kmph (95 mph) -- but gave away 29 runs off his three overs.