Chennai Super Kings (CSK) tightened their grip on a playoff berth on Sunday having registered an eight-wicket victory over the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Pune. The match started on a bright note for them as they restricted the visitors to 29/1 in Powerplay.
However, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson combined to produce a 123-run stand for the third wicket, thus taking the momentum away from Chennai completely. A cameo of 21 runs from Deepak Hooda propelled Hyderabad’s score to a challenging 179/4 in their 20 overs.
Everyone was expecting this contest to go down to the wire but Chennai openers Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson made a complete mockery of the strongest bowling attack in this tournament with a thunderous opening stand of 134 runs. Watson departed after playing a good knock of 57 runs off just 35 deliveries but Rayudu kicked on and registered a century to his name. Chennai thus raced to the total with an over to spare and eight wickets in hand.
Let us now have a look at how the players performed in this match and rate them on a scale of 1-10.
Shikhar Dhawan - 10/10
Shikhar Dhawan brought up his second consecutive fifty in this tournament producing a masterclass against some quality swing bowling earlier on. Her started off slowly, playing the deliveries on their merit. He started exploding after the 10th over of their innings when the ball had stopped swinging and seaming. He brought up his fifty in just 38 deliveries and kicked on to register a score of 79 off just 49 deliveries before being dismissed by Dwayne Bravo in the 16th over of their innings.
Ambati Rayudu — 10/10
Rayudu mesmerised everyone with his batting skills as he registered the first century of his IPL career off 62 deliveries. It consisted of seven classy boundaries and equal number of sixes. He started off slowly, watching his opening partner Shane Watson having a go at the bowlers early on. However, he caught up with him beautifully as the innings progressed and even surpassed him in terms of both runs and strike rate. Rayudu remained unbeaten and helped his side home safely.
Kane Williamson — 9/10
The Sunrisers’ skipper walked out to bat when they lost their first wicket with just 18 runs on the board in the fourth over of their innings. He continued his rich vein of form with the bat as he registered his seventh of the tournament. Williamson started off slowly going at less than a run-a-ball but suddenly exploded around the 12th over, thus bringing up his fifty in 38 deliveries. He departed soon after Dhawan when Bravo plucked out a superb catch at third man off Shardul Thakur’s bowling.
Shane Watson — 9/10
Shane Watson produced a top notch all-round performance. He bowled two economical overs for just 15 runs to start with and then walked out to bat with all guns blazing later on in the match. He stitched an opening stand of 134 runs with Rayudu in which he contributed 57 runs off just 35 deliveries. None of the bowlers seemed like troubling him. He was run-out trying to attempt a tight single. But by then, he had already ensured Chennai’s victory with that kind of a performance.
Deepak Chahar — 8/10
Being fit, Deepak Chahar walked into the playing XI once again at the expense of Karn Sharma. And he produced magic with the ball in swinging conditions. He beat the outside edge of the batsmen on numerous occasions and MS Dhoni bowled him out within the first 10 overs of the match itself. He was successful with the wicket of Alex Hales in his second over. He had bowling figures of 1/6 in three overs but he leaked 10 runs in his final over to end up with figures of 4-0-16-1.
Shardul Thakur — 7/10
Thakur utilised the swinging conditions early on to perfection as he bowled some beautiful deliveries to trouble the Sunrisers openers. He even got Dhawan to knick one off the inside edge quite early in his innings but the ball travelled to the boundary. He conceded just 11 runs off his first two overs. Although he conceded 21 runs in his next two overs, he picked up the wickets of Kane Williamson and Manish Pandey.
Deepak Hooda — 7/10
Having already lost Dhawan, Williamson and Manish Pandey in quick succession, Hyderabad needed someone to finish their innings off nicely. Deepak Hooda, who came in at the expense of injured Yusuf Pathan into the side, turned out to be that man as he scored 21 runs in 11 deliveries and took their total to 179/4 in their 20 overs.
Rashid Khan — 6/10
Rashid Khan’s threat was negated as Rayudu and Watson played him out smartly. He conceded just 25 runs off his four overs but couldn’t pick up any wicket. He was the only bowler who showed the ability to contain the Super Kings batsmen.
MS Dhoni — 6/10
The Super Kings skipper walked out to bat quite late in the innings with 30 odd runs to win. Although he got one life when Manish Pandey dropped him at long-on, he didn’t give any other chance in his innings and went on to score 20 runs off just 14 deliveries.
Sandeep Sharma — 3/10
Sandeep Sharma proved to be totally ineffective with the new ball in conditions favouring his kind of bowling. He conceded 20 runs in his first two overs. Although he pulled things back towards the end conceding 16 runs and picking up a wicket in his final two overs, it was too late for that to make an impact.
Dwayne Bravo — 2/10
Bravo’s bowling form has been a cause of concern for MS Dhoni and Co in the previous matches and it continued on Sunday as he conceded runs at almost 10 runs an over in his four overs. He was lucky to get Dhawan’s wicket as he hit it straight to Harbhajan at short fine leg. Moreover, he was totally wayward with his bowling conceding 39 runs in four overs.
Shakib Al Hasan — 2/10
Shakib has been instrumental to Sunrisers’ success this season, making valuable contributions both with bat and ball. He scored 8 runs off 6 deliveries towards the end. With the ball, he bowled some good deliveries but was hammered on most occasions by Watson and Rayudu. He could even have the wicket of Dhoni to his name if Manish Pandey wouldn’t have dropped a straight forward catch at long-on.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar — 2/10
The leader of the Sunrisers’ bowling pack also turned out to be quite ineffective in this match. He bowled decently in the powerplay considering the way Rayudu and Watson were batting. He conceded 16 runs in his first two overs and then came back to concede 22 runds in his second spell, thus registering bowling figures of 4-0-38-0.
Alex Hales — 1/10
Alex Hales’ torrid time at the crease continued against CSK as he got dismissed after a struggling stay of nine deliveries at the crease in which he could fetch only two runs. He continuously struggled to deal with the swinging conditions and was finally dismissed trying to loft Deepak Chahar over the cover region in the fourth over of the innings.
Manish Pandey — 1/10
Pandey’s dismal time with the bat continued even today. Having walked out to bat in the 17th over of the innings, everyone was expecting to see a quick cameo from him. However, all he managed to score was just 5 runs at a run-a-ball before Thakur got the better of him.
Harbhajan Singh — 1/10
An experienced player like Harbhajan Singh couldn’t offer his side anything when they needed him to deliver the most. He was called upon to bowl in two one-over spells to break the partnership between Dhawan and Williamson. However, he failed to do so and turned out to be expensive every time. He conceded 26 runs in his two overs without any wicket to his name.
David Willey — 1/10
The English all-rounder couldn’t justify his place in the Super Kings playing XI once again as he leaked 24 runs in his two overs, thus allowing the Sunrisers batsmen to get away in conditions perfectly conducive for seam bowling.
Suresh Raina — 1/10
Raina walked out to bat after a stupendous partnership of 134 runs between Rayudu and Watson. Chennai just needed 40 odd runs to win with more than six overs to go and nine wickets in hand. But the left-hander miscued a big shot off Sandeep Sharm and had to walk back to the pavilion with just two runs to his name.
Siddarth Kaul — 1/10
Kaul took quite a hammering today as none of the Chennai batsmen spared him. He was smashed all around the park by Rayudu and Watson first up. Later, Dhoni smashed him for a six over deep square leg. Kaul conceded 40 runs in his three overs.
Ravindra Jadeja — 1/10
Jadeja’s role in this team has been under scrutiny in the whole tournament so far as he has neither impressed with the bat nor with the ball. He bowled just two overs today and conceded 24 runs at an economy rate of 12.00.
Sam Billings — NA
It would be unfair to rate Sam Billings in this match. He didn’t get the opportunity to bat in this match and rating him just on the basis of his fielding is not fair.
Shreevats Goswami — NA
Goswami didn’t get batting time at the crease in this match, although his wicketkeeping was neat. However, considering the limited chances he had to showcase his skills, we will not rate him for this match.
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor