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Shane Watson smashed 96 off 53 balls to help Chennai Super Kings reclaim their top spot in the IPL with a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, as the defending champions chased down their target of 176 with one ball to spare.

The 37-year-old hit nine fours and six sixes to keep Chennai's home record intact in four games so far.

"I was due for runs, that's for sure," Watson said after receiving the man of the match award.

"I can't thank (coach) Stephen Fleming and (skipper) MS Dhoni enough for their belief in me. Most of the teams I've played in, I would have been dropped by now but they showed the trust in me."

Watson was involved in crucial partnerships after Chennai lost Faf du Plessis (1) early in the innings.

He was finally caught behind off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the 18th over to miss out on his fifth IPL ton.

Kumar (1-18), Sandeep Sharma (1-54) and Rashid Khan (1-44) took a wicket each.

Earlier Hyderabad rode on a 115-run second-wicket partnership between David Warner (57) and Manish Pandey (83*) to post 175 for three after Chennai chose to bowl first.

Harbhajan Singh took 2-39 including the wickets of Warner and Jonny Bairstow (0).

Hyderabad was captained by Kumar in the absence of regular skipper Kane Williamson who returned to New Zealand following the death of his grandmother but is expected back for the next game.