A desperate Chennai Super Kings dished out an all-round performance to earn a much-needed win as they stay afloat in the race for the IPL Play-offs with a 20-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad, here on Tuesday.
Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu shared a 81-run stand to power Chennai Super Kings to 167 for six after electing to bat. CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni then used seven bowlers, who executed their plans to perfection, to restrict SRH to 147 for eight. With 57 off 39 balls, Kane Williamson was the top scorer for Sunrisers. He hit seven fours to keep his side in hunt but the steep required run-rate made it tough for SRH after the fall of the Kiwi batsman.
For CSK, the win, their third of the tournament, comes after two back-to-back losses. They now have six points and are placed sixth in the points table. While Sunrisers remain in the fifth spot. Sunrisers were struck with twin blows in the fourth over with opener David Warner (9) and Mainsh Pandey (4) getting out, but Jonny Bairstow (23 off 24) and Williamson took them to 40 for two in the Powerplay overs.
Sunrisers’ problems amplified when Ravindra Jadeja removed the dangerous Bairstow with the team struggling at 60 for three at the halfway stage. With Priyam Garg (16) by his side, Williamson kept the scoreboard ticking with Sunrisers needing 75 off 36 balls. But as soon as Sunrisers looked to get back into the chase the youngster was caught at deep midwicket by Jadeja off a Karn Sharma delivery in the 15th over.
Vijay Shankar(12) didn’t last long as the New Zealand skipper looked helplessly from the other end. With the pressure mounting, Williamson had no option but to go for the big shot resulting in him being caught at long-on. Rashid Khan contributed with an eight-ball 14 in a lost cause.
Dwayne Bravo (2/ 25), Karn Sharma (2/37) picked two wickets each while with Sam Curran (1/18), Jadeja (1/21), Shardul Thakur (1/10) claimed one wicket each. Earlier, Watson’s 42 off 38 balls was studded with one four and three maximums, while Rayudu’s hit three boundaries and two sixes in his 34-ball 41-run knock.
Jadeja (25 not out) and Dhoni (21 off 13 balls) played quick cameos smashing a total of five fours and two sixes between them in a stand of 32 in just 2.4 overs. SRH bowlers did a commendable job, claiming four wickets for 47 runs in the last six overs. Sandeep Sharma (2/19), Khaleel Ahmed (2/45) and T Natarajan (2/41) picked two wickets apiece.
Desperate to snap their two-match losing streak, CSK elected to bat. The three-time champions sent young England all-rounder Sam Curran instead of Watson to open the innings with Faf du Plessis. Sharma drew first blood for the Sunrisers, removing du Plessis in the beginning of the third over.
The South African sneaked one to Jonny Bairstow off the very first ball he faced for a golden duck. Curran was off to a bright start, smashing Ahmed for the first boundary of the match in the second over. He continued his onslaught on the pacer by hitting him two fours and as many sixes in the fourth over, quickly racing to 31 off 21-balls. But Curran’s time in the middle was brought to an end by Sharma, who went around the wicket to bowl a good length delivery angled into the leg stump. CSK ended the powerplay at 44/2 with both openers back in the dugout. With pacer Sandeep Sharma accounting for both openers in the Powerplay, Watson and Rayudu stitched a valuable 81-run partnership.
The duo initially kept the score board ticking with occasional boundaries on a dry but weary surface but upped the ante in the 15th over, hitting Rashid Khan for a six each. Ahmed broke the stand by getting rid of Rayudu, who was caught at long-off by skipper David Warner. Watson soon followed with Natarajan dismissing the Australian. The pacer then went on to claim the wicket of Dhoni as well.