Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways on Sunday after MS Dhoni returned as captain. Just like the good old days, the unit delivered an impactful performance and left no stone unturned in making situations tough for the opponents, Sunrisers Hyderabad.
Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway put SRH’s attack to the sword, notching up a scintillating 182-run partnership, the highest opening stand of the season, as CSK posted an imposing 202 for two after being invited to bat. In reply, SRH fell short, reaching 189 for 6 in 20 overs despite late heroics from Nicholas Pooran and a gritty innings by skipper Kane Williamson at the top.
As Chennai Super Kings registered a 13-run win over the Sunrisers, let’s have a look at the talking points:
Ravishing Ruturaj: After a series of failed innings, Ruturaj was back with a bang. Batting on his home turf, the right-hand batter took every SRH bowler to the cleaners. He was completely in his zone as he stood on his backfoot, and played some exceptional shots. Anything short was pulled with immaculate ease, while pitched up deliveries were treated with equal disdain as Gaikwad didn’t miss a trick to send SRH on a leather hunt during his classy innings. Unfortunately, he missed out on his 2nd IPL hundred, getting dismissed for 99. During his stint at the crease, he smashed 6 boundaries and as many sixes.
Conway’s colossal innings: The Kiwi returned to the CSK XI after missing out on 7 games and pulled off a class act with the bat in hand. His innings took off slowly but when he found the rhythm, he showed no mercy on the Sunrisers bowlers. He showed great temperament as he was the perfect foil for Gaikwad. Carrying his bat, the opener scored an unbeaten 85 off 55 deliveries with the help of 8 boundaries and 4 maximums.
Highest opening stand for CSK: Ruturaj and Conway stitched a mammoth 182-run stand for the first wicket against the Sunrisers. It’s the highest opening stand for CSK in the tournament history, bettering the old record of an unbeaten 181 between Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis against Punjab Kings in 2020. It’s also the highest first-wicket partnership of this season.
Nicholas Pooran’s fifty in vain: Nicholas Pooran walked out to bat when Sunrisers Hyderabad were reduced to 88 for 3. He showcased a top batting effort, scoring an unbeaten 64 off 33 deliveries. However, it went in vain as he lacked support from the other end. He smashed 6 sixes and 3 boundaries but failed to finish the game in SRH’s favour.
Williamson’s commendable knock: Had the SRH skipper batted till the end with Pooran, the results could have been different. But he was trapped by Dwaine Pretorius and his resilient innings came to an end. After the dismissal of his batting partner Abhishek Sharma, Williamson played the sheet anchor’s role, with a one-handed six coming off the bottom hand going flat over wide long-on against Maheesh Theekshana being the standout shot. But in a bid to accelerate, Williamson was trapped plumb lbw by a slower ball, falling for 47 off 37 balls.