It was Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings, who prevailed in a nail-biting thriller against the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday (April 22) evening by just four runs in the 21st encounter of the Vivo Indian Premier League’s (IPL) 11th edition.
On the other side, SRH skipper Kane Williamson played a terrific knock. However, it went in vain as the CSK bowlers eventually held their nerves and sealed the deal for his franchise.
It was Rashid Khan who struck a quickfire 17 of just four deliveries to take the match to the last ball.
Earlier in the day, it was some tremendous batting performance by Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina which helped CSK recover from a tricky situation and post a commendable 182 on the board at the end of their allotted 20 overs.
Following Rayudu’s dismissal, skipper Dhoni smashed three fours and a six in his breezy unbeaten cameo of 12-ball 25,
Williamson keeps the toss trend intact:
Faf du Plessis made a comeback in the yellow jersey and was asked to open the innings with Shane Watson.
CSK didn’t begin particularly well as the SRH bowlers restricted them to only eight runs in the first three overs.
Watson broke the shackles with a terrific pull shot (six) which went sailing out of the boundary ropes.
However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar provided the breakthrough in the very next delivery. Watson failed to read a knuckle delivery from Bhuvneshwar and ended up giving a straightforward catch to the silly mid on fielder.
Du Plessis also fell in quick succession as Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid foxed him with a wrong’un owing to the very first delivery of his spell.
The South African was off balance and Wriddhiman Saha whipped off the bails in a flash.
It also allowed Chennai to improve their run rate. And it was the best I have seen Rayudu bat for a long time.
Rayudu takes on the charge:
He simply took on the Hyderabad bowlers with disdain. Rayudu’s innings came to an unfortunate end when a lapse in concentration saw him getting run out.
Moreover, it was really a strange dismissal, to say the least. However, by then he had helped Chennai post a competitive total on the board. His 79 came in just 37 deliveries which were studded with nine fours and four sixes.
Following his dismissal, it was skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who walked out in the middle. Raina, on the other hand, was also playing a good knock and reached yet another half-century in IPL.
Chasing a target of 183 to win in their allotted 20 overs, Sunrisers Hyderabad got off to the worst possible start.
It was fast bowler Deepak Chahar who wrecked havoc in the powerplay by bagging two crucial wickets of Ricky Bhui and Manish Pandey. He bagged his third when Chahar induced a false shot from the blade of Deepak Hooda.
Hyderabad was reduced to 22 for three. It was when skipper Kane Williamson and Shakib Al Hasan, who started resurrecting the innings. Both played some delightful shots but the required rate was climbing up gradually.
After making 24 of 19 deliveries it was Karn Sharma, who brought about the downfall of Shakib.
Captain’s knock by Kane Williamson:
However from there on it was brilliant batting from Williamson and Pathan which kept Hyderabad in the hunt. Williamson, in particular, started the charge as he smashed Karn Sharma for three sixes in an over. Y
Yusuf then emulated his partner in the next over by smashing a couple of sixes. It was indeed a terrific partnership between the duo which helped SRH make a comeback from a hopeless situation.
Williamson was dismissed by Dwayne Bravo while delivering the final ball of the 18th over. It was a good slower delivery from Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja completed a sensational running catch.
Rashid Khan struck a couple of sixes in the first two deliveries he faced. He smashed a six with 16 required off the last three. He added a four to bring the calculation down to six of the last ball. However, he failed to connect properly the final delivery of the game.
Dhoni at the post-match presentation revealed a lot of insights on the game.
Let us have a look at his quotes:
“Won’t say what we were talking about (chat with Bravo before the last ball), wanted him to change his plan. At times even the best – Bravo – need a bit of advice. That’s what they’re paid for. What’s important is you make mistakes and learn,” Dhoni said.
“In league stages, you can afford to do that. Where we are at this point, a few mistakes won’t dent us. Bowlers will learn out of it. Wickets have gone better. If you compare it to the first few editions of the IPL, these wickets are very good batting surfaces. Need to give credit to the batsmen. They’re getting stronger,” Dhoni remarked.
“They’re making plans as to which bowler bowls what. As we get into the knockout stages, we’ll see the bowlers coming up with new plans and it won’t be easy for the batsmen to score the kind of runs they’re scoring so far. What’s important is to give them – the younger bowlers – as many games as possible. Deepak swings the ball and lends balance with his batting down the order. Shardul had a few bad games,” Dhoni asserted.
“Last international series wasn’t good for him. But he has the right attitude and also the variations. Rayudu was fantastic. One thing was where to make him play. Had to make space for him because I’ve always rated him highly. I’ve seen him bat up the order, he looks confident. Whenever he hits the big shots, he maintains the shape. He’s somebody who can bat at different numbers. But I prefer him opening the batting,” Dhoni concluded.