IPL 2018: Match 46, CSK vs SRH, Review- Ravishing Rayudu carves sensational victory over table toppers

Chennai tighten their grip of qualification for the playoffs.

Chennai Super Kings
Chennai Super Kings’ Shardul Thakur celebrates fall of Kane Williamson’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

In the top of the table clash, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) locked horns at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium in Pune. The match held little significance for SRH as far as the qualification scenario is concerned. However, MS Dhoni’s men were in requisite of a victory, which was more or less expected to take CSK through to the playoffs.

The match went down to the penultimate over, but CSK didn’t have to drop much sweat to win their eighth game of the league. Sunrisers started steadily and gradually accelerated and eventually racked a formidable score. Nevertheless, Chennai was clinical in the batting department and traced down the target of 180 with an over to spare.


Williamson and Dhawan guide the Sunrisers

The pitch seemed decent for batting and Dhoni won the toss and elected to chase against a formidable Sunrisers’ attack. Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan opened the batting, but the former couldn’t survive the heat and was dismissed by Deepak Chahar, who made his comeback after a hamstring injury. Kane Williamson has been in stupendous form and he joined the left-handed Dhawan in the middle.

The duo put their heads down in order to carve a solid partnership of 123 runs off 75 balls. Williamson did the hard yards earlier in his knock and later accelerated to notch his seventh half-century of this year’s tournament. Dhawan, at the other end, looked fluent throughout his knock and accomplished his second fifty on the trot, after his masterclass against the Delhi Daredevils (DD).

Dhawan’s knock of  79 runs, which had ten boundaries and three sixes, was finally halted by Dwayne Bravo’s guile. The Trinidadian bowled a slower delivery and Shikhar tried to reverse-paddle the ball only to find the hands of Harbhajan Singh. To the visitor’s agony, Kane perished to Shardul Thakur in the very next delivery owing to a superlative catch by Bravo on the extra-cover boundary. He scored 51 runs.

Manish Pandey’s poor run of form continued as he became Shardul’s second victim. Deepak Hooda played a brief came of 21 runs off 11 balls, which injected the much-needed impetus into the SRH innings. From CSK’s perspective, Chahar was outstanding in the power-play and hardly gave anything away. Thakur was also impressive and nipped out a couple of wickets at the cost of not too many runs.

Rayudu’s knock vandalize the Sunrisers

The target was challenging, but it wasn’t insurmountable by any stretch of the imagination. Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu opened the batting for the Yellow Army. The duo signalled their intentions and went after the bowling from the outset. The power-play fetched 53 runs as both batsmen didn’t shy away from playing their scores. Shane Watson did the chunk of the hitting while Rayudu took his time.

Thereafter, he came on to his and kept piling on the agony for the SRH bowlers. Siddarth Kaul, who was lacklustre in the earlier match couldn’t make an impact. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ripped apart by Rishabh Pant the and this time it was Rayudu and Watson’s turn to smash him. Meanwhile, Watson accomplished his fifty in 31 balls and soon after Rayudu accomplished the same in as many balls.

The stand was ended when an outstanding throw by the SRH skipper caught Watson short of his crease. In the very next over Sandeep Sharma pinned Suresh Raina courtesy of a sharp catch by Williamson. CSK required 43 runs off 35 balls, which was expected to be a stroll in the park, bearing in mind the firepower they were left with even after the fall of the quick wickets.

The Orange Army had the opportunity to get rid of MS Dhoni early in his innings, but Manish Pandey dropped a dolly at long-on. Thereafter, Rayudu smacked a couple of boundaries off Shakib Al Hasan, which got the hosts within touching distance. The opener eventually raced away to his maiden ton in 62 balls. Dhoni’s knock of 20 runs sealed the fate of the game and they won by eight wickets.

Brief Scores  

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 179/4 in 20 overs; Shikhar Dhawan 79, Kane Williamson 51; Shardul Thakur 2/32, Deepak Chahar 1/16

Chennai Super Kings: 180/2 in 19 overs; Ambati Rayudu 100*, Shane Watson 57; Sandeep Sharma 1/36, Rashid Khan 0/25

Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets

Player of the Match: Ambati Rayudu