Sunrisers Hyderabad knew at the start of the game that this is their best chance to beat CSK after three successive defeats for Dhoni wasn’t playing and SRH were playing at home. They took ample advantage of that to secure a comprehensive win by 6 wickets with more than 3 overs to spare.
The Sunrisers were asked to bowl first on a slow wicket by CSK expecting it to get slower in the later stages of the game. For nearly first 10 overs SRH did not have any wickets. But they made sure CSK did not run away with it. At the end of 10 overs, they had CSK at 80 for 1. A good base to launch from. But then Rashid Khan took the matters in his own hands to remove Raina and Kedar Jadhav in one over. In the last few overs, B Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed conceded just run-a-ball to restrict CSK to sub-par 132 even for this sow wicket.
David Warner killed the chase in the powerplay itself. The pitch was still playing slow but Warner launched an attack nonetheless to score a half-century within powerplay at the strike rate of 200. Once he was gone, his opening partner, Jonny Bairstow made sure he held one end till it was over. SRH lost wickets in the middle overs but were never out of sight as far as the win was concerned. Finally, they made with 19 balls to spare.
Rashid Khan was the peak of the bowlers picking up 2 wickets conceding just 17 runs in 4 overs. Khaleel, Nadeem, and Shankar picked up one wicket each. Apart from Nadeem and Sandeep Sharma, all the other bowlers went for less than run-a-ball. Jonny Bairstow top scored with 61 at the strike rate nearly 140. Orange cap holder David Warner scored yet another lightening half-century. SRH did not really need anybody else to cross the line.
Chennai knew at the halfway stage that they were way below par despite this being a slow wicket. The middle order had failed to make any impact whatsoever against disciplined SRH attack. And when Warner blasted them, as only he could, CSK’s defeat became inevitable. They missed MS Dhoni and how.
Opting to bat first on a tricky wicket CSK had made decent progress at the halfway stage. Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis had prepared a base for their middle order to launch from. However, CSK slumped from 0 for 79 to 5 for 101 in a matter of 5 overs. And although Jadeja and Rayudu made sure there were no more wickets, the duo could manage just 30 runs in the last 5 overs. Jadeja’s painfully slow 10 off 20 deliveries hurt CSK as they eventually crawled to 132.
The only way to defending a small total against SRH is to remove their openers for not much and then have a go at the fragile middle order. However, for all CSK tries Warner put all the pressure back on CSK. In the CSK were just waiting for the defeat as Warner and then Bairstow took SRH home.
Faf du Plessis top scored with 45 followed by Watson who scored 31. Rayudu scored 25 off 21 and remained not out. Jadeja could only manage 10 runs of 20 balls faced. Imran Tahir was the peak of the bowlers who picked to up 2 wickets for just 20 runs. Chahar and KV Sharma took one wicket each but the game was over by then.
Relived after a rare victory against CSK, the Sunrisers will play against the Knight Riders at home on 21st April 2019. SRH and KKR are tied at 8 points at this stage of the tournament and would be looking for the win that takes them ahead of the other team. KKR is a strong team with players like Russell who can change the game in a matter of balls. Rashid Khan and co have work to do to gain the upper hand.
CSK lost their way in the end overs in the absence of Dhoni at Hyderabad. They missed him strategically as well. He will be back though against RCB away from home. This and every other game here on is a must-win game for RCB. Chennai must make sure to not come in the firing line of Kohli and co. CSK would do well to be on their toes against a dangerous but unsuccessful RCB at Bengaluru.
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