Making it a habit of sorts, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) again scraped through with a 4-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Sunday at Hyderabad. After posting a competitive total of 182/3, CSK managed to eke out the win after SRH were able to score only 1 off the 6 runs required off the final ball.
Ambati Rayudu starred with the bat for CSK and was named the man of the match for his fantastic 79 in 37 balls. CSK got off to a slow start losing both their openers, Shane Watson and the returning Faf du Plessis cheaply.
Suresh Raina joined Rayudu in the middle when the score was 32 for 2 in 7.1 overs. The pair put on a partnership of 112 runs off just 57 balls. Raina ended up with an unbeaten 54. When Rayudu was dismissed in the 17th over, Raina was joined by the captain MS Dhoni, who ended the innings with a crucial cameo of 25 in 12 balls to propel the asking rate to over 9 runs per over.
In reply, SRH had a horror start as Deepak Chahar took a wicket in each of his first 3 overs and at one point had only conceded 1 run. With his team in disarray at 22 for 3, skipper Kane Williamson and Shakib Al Hasan looked to steady the innings. When Shakib was dismissed in the 11th over, Yusuf Pathan joined his captain in the middle and the pair proceeded to gather some momentum. The duo was involved in a 79-run partnership for the 5th wicket to bring SRH back into the game.
However, the game seemed to slip out of SRH’s grasp when Williamson was dismissed for 84 off the last ball of the 18th over and Pathan followed him back just 4 balls later for 45.
Defending 19 runs in the last over, Dwayne Bravo started well by conceding only 3 runs in the first 3 balls off the final over. Requiring 18 runs to win off the last 3 balls, Rashid Khan gave SRH a glimmer of hope as he smashed Bravo for a six and a boundary leaving 6 runs to win off the last ball. Off the final ball, Bravo was able to hold his nerve and only conceded a single to secure a thrilling victory for CSK in Hyderabad.
After the game, MS Dhoni said, “I didn't want him (Dwayne Bravo) to change his plans, basically. At times, even the best like Bravo, need advice. What's important is you make mistakes and you learn. At lot of times we have these debates, but a lot of times, when you make mistakes, the bowlers understand what we were talking about. I think the wickets have become better compared to the first few years of the IPL. The batsmen are bigger and stronger. I think we need to give credit to the batsmen and the bowlers are also constantly improving. But as we progress towards the knockouts, you will see the bowlers come up with new plans, and getting the big scores won't be so easy.”