• IPL 2018: Match 46, Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad – Expectation vs Reality

    As expected, Ambati Rayudu stole the show by scoring his maiden century in T20s.

    Ravindra Jadeja Chennai Super Kings
    Chennai Super Kings. (Photo by IANS)

    When two teams at the very top of the points table lock horns in one of the final encounters of the Indian Premier League (IPL), the match is bound to be an exciting affair. The first half of Sunday (May 13) will witness the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) take on the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune.

    SRH, led by Kane Williamson, have performed in an exemplary manner all throughout the tournament and quite deservingly have become the first team in IPL 2018 to get through to the playoffs. CSK, with MS Dhoni at the helm, has been equally impressive, save a few slip-ups like their defeat against the Rajasthan Royals on Friday. Before the real action begins, here’s a sneak peek at what we’re expecting from the game.

    Kane Williamson to rip through the CSK bowling attack

    SRH had started off their IPL 2018 campaign as the underdogs and have broken all stereotypes to qualify for the playoffs first up. Their skipper, Kane Williamson has led from the front and emerged as the highest run-scorer with 493 runs in 11  games. His last unbeaten knock worth 83 runs against the Delhi Daredevils (DD) was perhaps one of his finest innings in the tournament.

    Williamson’s side is arguably the most balanced side in the tournament right now, with their bowling line-up, particularly Rashid Khan, winning them matches time and again. When faced with a side as strong as the Chennai Super Kings, SRH will be eager to dominate with the bat and Kane Williamson can be expected to help the effort.

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    Ambati Rayudu to stun the crowd with his batting

    Onlookers will be eager to witness a batting carnage from the likes of Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni when it comes to the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) batting outfit. However, the unsung hero of CSK’s journey this year has been Ambati Rayudu. The 32-year-old has helped his team cross the line on more than one occasions and can be expected to step up to the task on Sunday as well.

    CSK could have already qualified for the playoffs on Friday but for the unforeseen defeat against the Rajasthan Royals, owing to the underwhelming performance with the bat and the failure to defend it eventually. Rayudu, who could muster only 12 runs off the 9 balls in the last game, can be expected to fire with the willow and take his team to the next stage.

    Here’s the reality right after the match..

    Williamson and Dhawan steal the limelight

    Sunrisers were invited to bat first by CSK and they lost Alex Hales early in the innings only for the fantastic duo of Shikhar and Kane to come together. Both of them showed their prowess again by belting every bowler that came in their way. The former was absolutely special today and was hitting the ball with extreme confidence. He scored 79 runs while his partner notched up yet another half-century as SRH posted 179 runs after their 20 overs. CSK bowled well in the last few overs as the middle order struggled yet again for the Orange Army.

    As expected, Rayudu stuns the crowd

    Ambati Rayudu was in the zone as he took his opening partner Shane Watson and won the game for CSK. While the latter had started the assault first but then once Rayudu joined the fun, it was no looking back for the Men in Yellow. They added 134 runs for the opening wicket in less than 14 overs which eventually ended the contest in the game. The batsman from Hyderabad originally continued his excellent batting and scored his maiden century spectacularly to seal the game for CSK by 8 wickets.

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