Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) ended a three-match losing streak against Chennai Super Kings in the absence of MS Dhoni to register their fourth win in eight matches this season. Chennai opted to bat first after winning the toss but struggled to get going against Rashid Khan and eventually ambled along to a below par 132. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow then raced away in the powerplay overs and despite losing a few wickets in the middle overs, Sunrisers comfortably gunned down the target.
Here are some of the key moments from the match:
Rashid Khan's twin strikes and CSK's bad fortune with DRS
Rashid Khan had been pretty much ineffective this IPL with teams opting to play him out rather than go after him. On Wednesday, the Afghanistan leg-spinner turned around his form and exposed Chennai Super Kings’ middle-order in one over where he dismissed Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav. At 97/2 after 13 overs, CSK were prepping up for a final flourish but Rashid had other ideas.
He had put Raina in two minds with googlies in his previous over – even beating him on the edge twice – and dished out a regulation leg break first ball next over to trap the batsman in front. Raina, who had gone for a mighty slog sweep, reviewed the decision but had to depart after replays showed the ball just about hitting the stumps.
Two balls later, he had an lbw decision going his way after he trapped Kedar Jadhav in front with a googly. The Chennai middle-order batsman reviewed the on-field decision but once again, DRS showed umpire's call on hitting the stumps.
Khaleel's flying kiss to Sam Billings
Khaleel Ahmed had bowled a pretty good spell first up despite his last over within the powerplay, where he conceded 14 runs. He returned to the attack for the 15th over with CSK just having lost two wickets to Rashid Khan. Khaleel used pace against the new batsman, Sam Billings, but subtly varied the speed off the third ball he bowled to the England batsman.
Billings, on seeing a length delivery in his arc, played a classic cover drive but went with his shot early and gifted an easy catch to Vijay Shankar at cover. A thrilled Khaleel celebrated wildly, even throwing a flying kiss at Billings.
Vijay Shankar vs Ambati Rayudu
First, Shankar pipped Rayudu for a place in the Indian World Cup squad, even more specifically for the No 4 spot with chairman of selectors, MSK Prasad, pointing to Vijay Shankar's “three dimensional” qualities as the reason behind the choice.
Miffed at his non-selection, Rayudu took a sly dig at the selectors and Shankar with a tweet. "Just ordered a new set of 3d glasses to watch the World Cup,” Rayudu wrote on Twitter while adding a winking and smiling emoji.
However, Wednesday arrived with better news for Rayudu as the selectors named him as one of the three players on stand-by for the World Cup in case of any injury.
Hours later, he was batting against Vijay Shankar for Chennai Super Kings at Hyderabad. Rayudu nearly had an embarrassing start as he inside edged the first ball he faced from Shankar but luckily for him, the ball missed the stumps by a whisker. He faced five balls from Shankar and made four runs off it but would be more relieved by the fact that his face-off with Shankar, this time on the field one, did not end off the first ball.
Another no-ball controversy in the final over
Yet another no-ball controversy surrounding Chennai Super Kings unfolded in the final over of the first innings. Ravindra Jadeja had left a slower short ball from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the final over assuming it would be called an overhead wide but it wasn't.
Next ball, Bhuvneshwar dished out another bouncer outside the off-stump and the Chennai all-rounder went for a slash without luck. The ball appeared to go above Jadeja's head and the batsman was surprised to see that the umpire, Ulhas Gandhe, had signalled for one bouncer in the over rather than a no-ball.
Jadeja and Rayudu animatedly signalled that the previous ball ought to have been the first bouncer for the over and that the fourth delivery of the over was a no-ball. Both the batsmen eventually let go as Sunrisers got two dots on the trot. There was no MS Dhoni to walk into the pitch and to argue with the umpires this time around.
Sunrisers rock the powerplay overs yet again
Sunrisers Hyderabad have been top-heavy this season and while it has cost them a few matches, on Wednesday, it helped them thwart Chennai Super Kings’ spin barrage in the middle overs. The Hyderabad surface has been consistently slowing down in the second innings and though Chennai had only 132 on the board, the hosts needed a quick start to ensure their middle order did not have to take on Chennai's spinners.
David Warner and Jonny Bairstow put on 68 in the first six overs, the second-most by any team this season (the highest also belong to the same pair), with the Australian making a half-century in 24 balls. In five out of eight matches this season, Sunrisers have made over 50 runs in the powerplay overs. The quick start to the innings forced Chennai onto the back-foot and with the required rate considerably lowering, the spinners weren't as much of a threat.