The MCA Stadium, Pune witnessed the clash of the table toppers as Chennai Super Kings took on Sunrisers Hyderabad in the 46th match of IPL 2018. SRH have been in a tremendous form of late as they have defended almost every total so far but the only team that seemed like defeating them was CSK and the yellows indeed made that possible.
In general, teams haven’t preferred to chase against SRH as they have been brilliant while defending. But MS Dhoni had other ideas as he put the opposition in to bat first after winning the toss. The pacer Deepak Chahar claimed the early breakthrough when he sent back Alex Hales for just 2 in the 4th over.
Dhawan-Williamson at it again
The visitors have been reliant on the pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson to do the goods for them so far in the league. The duo once again stood up and spent a valuable time together at the crease. The CSK bowlers didn’t let them flourish initially as the score read 29/1 after 6 overs but the batsmen ensured no further losses.
After 9 overs, they reached 51/1 and that’s when the batting side decided to up the ante. Dhawan became the aggressor and brought up his half-century in the 13th over. SRH got to 130/1 after 15 overs and the skipper too notched up his fifty. The duo was going all guns blazing and a score of above 190 was well within the sight.
But both of them departed in a quick succession as Dhawan was sent back for 79 by Bravo and Williamson became a victim of Shardul Thakur for 51. Deepak Hooda played a cameo of 21 from 11 balls that took the side to 179/4 after 20 overs.
Rayudu’s well-deserved ton
The CSK openers Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu had a clear intention from the outset. They put the lethal SRH bowling under pressure and maximized the powerplay overs. Both of them were on the charge as the score raced off to 53/0 after 6 overs. Even after the fielding restrictions were lifted, there was no stopping them and the assault continued.
Watson was the first to reach his fifty and 3 balls later, his partner too reached the landmark. After 13 overs, CSK had boosted themselves to 128 without loss and were firmly in the driver’s seat. All of a sudden, SRH struck twice as Watson got run out for 57 while Raina fell cheaply for 2 courtesy Sandeep Sharma.
MS Dhoni had to come out to bat in his usual territory when the team needed a finishing touch. He took care of the required run-rate while Rayudu brought up his maiden IPL hundred from 62 balls. CSK got home with 6 balls to spare and with 16 points in the bag, almost confirmed their berth for the playoffs.
Moment of the Game
Even though it was a game dominated by the batsmen, the best moment of the game came from a fielding effort. And when it comes to miracles in the field, you can’t take your eyes off Dwayne Bravo. The Caribbean all-rounder produced a magical moment with his fielding that got the crowd going.
It was in the 17th over of the SRH innings when Kane Williamson sliced a wide delivery off Shardul Thakur towards the third man. The flight of the ball seemed like carrying it over the ropes but from nowhere, Bravo appeared and with his outstretched hands towards the left, pulled off a stunner. The departure of Williamson at the crucial moment turned the game into the favor of CSK.
Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to bowl first
Sunrisers Hyderabad: 179/4 in 20 overs
Shikhar Dhawan 79 (49), Kane Williamson 51 (39)
Shardul Thakur 32/2 (4), Deepak Chahar 16/1 (4)
Chennai Super Kings: 180/2 in 19 overs
Ambati Rayudu 100* (62), Shane Watson 57 (35)
Sandeep Sharma 36/1 (4)
Chennai Super Kings won by 8 wickets
Player of the Match: Ambati Rayudu