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Rayudu's 62-ball ton powers CSK to 8-wicket victory over table-toppers SRH

Monday, May 14, 2018 • Tamil Comments

Ambati Rayudu's quick-fire and unbeaten 100 off 62 balls, his first-ever century in the decade-long Indian Premier League tournament, powered Chennai Super Kings (CSK) to a comfortable 8-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), the table-toppers in the points tally.  Despite this win, CSK is placed second on the points table with 16 points from 12 matches while SRH has 18 points from an even number of matches.

In a match which was of least significance in the context of the tournament (both the teams had already qualified for play-offs) and played CSK's 'new home' at Pune’s MCA Stadium, Mahendra Singh Dhoni called correctly at the toss and invited the Kane Williamson-led SRH to bat first.  In what was a sedate start by SRH’s own standards in previous matches, the openers started off very slowly.  Shikhar Dhawan’s opening partner and Englishman Alex Hales departed in the fourth over after finding the going tough during his brief stay.

What followed was nothing which wasn’t unexpected - left-handed Shikhar, India’s Test, ODI and T20s opener, and the right-handed Kane Williamson, added 123 runs in just 12.3 overs.  Shikhar hit a brisk 79 off 49 balls with ten 4’s and three 6’s while Kane made a 39-ball 51 with the help of five 4’s and two 6’s.  Both departed at 141.  With Manish Pandey failing yet again, the onus was on Deepak Hooda (21 off 11 balls) and all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan to do their bit and take SRH to 179/4 in 20 overs.

Returning to action after missing a few matches, Deepak Chahar showed his worth by conceding only 16 runs in his four overs besides taking Hales' wicket.  Shardul and Bravo did well while Harbhajan, Jadeja and David Willey were taken for runs.  During the innings break, experts felt that the target of 180 was a par score on a pitch with variable bounce.

Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu, however, had other ideas.  They stitched together a century partnership and put on 134 runs in just 13.3 overs.  Watson continued his rich vein of form and made a 36-ball 57 with five 4’s and three towering 6’s.  For once, Raina fell cheaply for 2 but the target was well within CSK’s control.  Dhoni joined Rayudu early i9n the 15th over and took the team to victory in the last ball of the penultimate (19th) over.  ‘Man of the Match’ Rayudu completed his first-ever IPL ton in the penultimate ball of the match.  He hit seven 4’s and seven 6’s in his knock.

SRH, which is easily the 'strongest' team in terms of bowlers in this edition of IPL, counldn’t contain CSK’s rampaging batsmen as the ball didn’t swing at all, rendering the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Sandeep Sharma almost useless.  Among the spinners, only Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan did well by conceding only 25 runs in four overs.  Shakib and seamer Siddharth Kaul conceded more than 10 runs per over.

Man of the Match: Ambati Rayudu

Brief scores: SRH: 179/4 in 20 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 79, Kane Williamson 51, Deepak Hooda 21*, Shardul Thakur -32) lost to CSK: 180/2 in 19 overs (Watson 57, Rayudu 100*, Dhoni 20*, Sandeep Sharma 1-36)