Australia's Shane Watson smashed 96 off 53 balls to help Chennai Super Kings reclaim their top spot in the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad Tuesday.

Watson struck form after a string of low scores in this edition of the Twenty20 tournament as defending champions Chennai chased down their target of 176 with one ball to spare.

The 37-year-old opener hit nine fours and six sixes to end Chennai's two-match losing run and keep their home record intact in four games so far at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

"I was due for runs, that's for sure," Watson, who registered his first IPL half-century in his 11th match of the season, 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 built crucial partnerships after Chennai lost South African Faf du Plessis for one early in the innings.