CSK put themselves in the ascendancy after Bairstow’s early wicket before a Warner-Shankar partnership put the contest far away from the visitors’ hands with the score reading 172/5. On the back of Rashid Khan’s 3/31 and Sandeep Sharma’s 2/29, SRH notched up an impressive 12-run victory.
After opting to bat first, Sunrisers were jolted early by the thunderous Deepak Chahar, dismissing Jonny Bairstow in the first over of the innings. At 2/1, the encounter was far away from being a perfect start for the hosts before Chahar added to their dismay, with the wicket of Kane Williamson. Post that, a 75-run partnership between Manish Pandey and Warner ensured that Sunrisers breezed away to a total of 88 for the loss of three wickets. Towards the back end of the innings, a powerful knock from Vijay Shankar stole the show and the encounter back into the home side’s favour. A 20-ball 45, consisting of four boundaries and three sixes alongside Warner’s 64-ball 79 ensured that Sunrisers scored 172 for the loss of just five wickets.
Meanwhile, CSK’s innings started off slowly, in a well-known fashion, with just six off the first over. However, before the tourists could get themselves well-placed on the scoring charts, Faf du Plessis walked off for just one. Suresh Raina too fell in similar fashion two overs later, as Chennai were reduced to 30/2. They were still in play though, thanks to Shane Watson who was making the required plays. But, when he was dismissed for a 35-ball 44, the responsibility fell on the shoulders of MS Dhoni. Despite a 31-ball 40 from the skipper, the tourists fell short by 12 runs on the night, scoring 160 for the loss of nine of their wickets. Watson top-scored, with a 35-ball 44, with Dhoni finishing second scoring a 31-ball 40 for the visiting Chennai side.
Vijay Shankar’s cameo certainly shifted the gears for the Sunrisers on the night after a shaky start early on in the innings. Coming into bat after Manish Pandey exited the scene, the responsibility was on his shoulders to put up an aggressive performance while Warner steadied the ship from the other end. While he did take a few balls to get well settled in, once he did start scoring, there was really no stopping from the three-time IPL champions. In the end, he scored a 20-ball 45, scoring four boundaries and three sixes against the star-studded Chennai bowling unit.
Highs and Lows
David Warner once again stood tall for his side when it was most required, with a stunning 64-ball 79 which bailed the Sunrisers out of early trouble. On top of that, his eloquent decision making during the middle phase of the innings, batting alongside the Indian middle-order batsman Vijay Shankar. He certainly was the difference between SRH scoring a below-par 150 in the contest and scoring a worldly 172, as they finished after their 20 overs.
The ever-dependable CSK’s star-man, Suresh Raina was the ultimate disappointment in this particular fixture after exiting the scene early. Prior to this encounter, Raina’s performance against Sunrisers Hyderabad, in particular against Rashid Khan and co have been excellent. The same was expected from the southpaw in this particular contest when he walked in to bat very early on. After showing glimpses of promise for the tourists, with a boundary, he messed it up, getting out for a four-ball six to leave the visitors in a troubled fashion.
Powerplay exploitation: SRH 3.5/10 and CSK 6/10
Deepak Chahar’s opening spell took the thunder away from the Sunrisers opening duo of Jonny Bairstow and David Warner. First, he struck to remove the English opener for a first-ball duck before he accounted for the Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, with the score just reading 18/2. From 18/2, it was always going to be a herculean task for Warner and Manish Pandey to resurrect the innings. While the Australian opener ended the powerplay phase, scoring a 22-ball 18, Pandey scored a run ball ten runs to take Sunrisers to a total of 31 for the loss of two wickets.
On the other hand, in contrasting fashion, CSK got themselves off to a steady start, scoring 15 runs on board, with Shane Watson leading the line. Just as Watson crossed the mark to the other end, Proteas batsman Faf du Plessis fell in a hurry after a three-ball one. While even Suresh Raina struggled with the scoring rate, his partner at the other end, Watson continued to showcase some of the best batting in T20s. He continued to dominate the proceedings, taking the men in Yellow to a grand total of 51 for the loss of two wickets.
Middle-overs manoeuvring: SRH 5/10 and CSK 4/10
It was during the middle-overs where Sunrisers looked a formidable force, one that they had shown during the 2016 IPL season that they won convincingly. The Australian opener, who was batting alongside the talented Indian middle-order batsman, Manish Pandey put on a show for the third wicket, with the Indian batsman scoring a 26-ball 29. Once Pandey was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja, it gave the tourists a chance to make a comeback. However, a blooming partnership between Vijay Shankar and the southpaw ensured that they did not lose further wickets. In between all of this chaos, thanks to their skipper, the men in Orange scored 80 runs in the ten-over phase.
Being 51/2, surely the game would have eyed in towards Chennai’s favour, chasing 173 for a victory away from home. However, that was not true, with CSK’s faulty middle-order coming to prove their disastrous self once again in this fixture. Rayudu’s 11-ball 18 somewhat kept the visitors going before Khaleel delivered the body blow. Once Rayudu was done and dusted, the responsibility automatically was on MS Dhoni and Shane Watson to keep the scoring rate going. However, the Australian fell prey to the crafty spinner, Sanjay Yadav, as the side in yellow dug themselves a huge grave. With the subsequent wicket of Kedar Jadhav, it all lay down to CSK’s two mainstays - Jadeja and Dhoni to keep it going.
Death bowling: SRH 3/10 and CSK 2/10
Just before the end-phase started, Sunrisers were still finding their scoring feet, with their total reading 111/3. However, once the death over phase started, it looked like a carnival was about to kick-off at home for the Orange Army. While Warner was still adamant at the crease, his partner at the other end, Vijay Shankar ensured that the scoring rate was flowing, not ticking. A 20-ball 45 from the Indian batsman and a flurry of boundaries towards the end by Warner ensured that the home side were ready far off from their ideal total. At the end of all the chaos, the men in Orange finished at 172 for the loss of five wickets, with Warner standing strong on 79 off 64 deliveries.
Needing 41 runs off the last five overs, the men in Yellow’s run-chase was met with an unexpected crash, with the twin wickets of Dwayne Bravo and Ravindra Jadeja in the span of two deliveries. After that, the pressure was on Dhoni and Deepak Chahar to pull off a miraculous run-chase, with the duo scoring two boundaries to keep themselves in the run-chase. However, the task of pulling off 22 runs off two overs got the better of the CSK batsmen, as they succumbed to a 12-run loss against Sunrisers.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Exciting
While the game till the last point looked one-sided, with Sunrisers walking away with the encounter, it had everything that makes a T20 contest exciting. In the first innings, it had Deepak Chahar with the early strikes, which helped the visitors get an edge before Warner’s epic finish to the first innings. In the second, fellow Australian Shane Watson lit the stage up before a great bowling effort from Rashid Khan sealed the deal for the hosts.
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