It was a game of margins for both Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers and the former came out on top thanks to the death-over turnaround in a pulsating game in Dubai. The game also saw a change in batting approach from CSK and that helped the bowlers the freedom to defend, which they did brilliantly.
The game was still perfectly poised in Sunrisers’ favour till the moment MS Dhoni introduced Ravindra Jadeja to the attack in the 9th over. That over changed the complexion of the game, with the left-arm spinner castling Jonny Bairstow on the penultimate delivery to put SRH in a shell. The way the game panned out after that, it was very well the turning point of the game.
Highs and Lows
You see the game of T20 might’ve moved away from its usual curriculum and became a game of impact, but when the man in question the logic goes out of the equation. The 102-meter six that Dhoni hit in Dubai today was classic Dhoni written all over it. It was the majestic personality cult of the man that sent the world to a tizzy and was the ultimate high in the game that had many weak moments.
David Warner has not really had a bad game so far since his single-digit score against RCB but that is half the story. He might have scored a lot of runs, 284 to be exact, but that came off 233 deliveries which accounts for a strike-rate of 121.9. A dot-ball percentage of 33.9 has not helped the cause either and his batting touched another low today. Watching him go about his innings today was a difficult thing to witness and SRH fans wouldn’t take that.
Powerplay exploitation - CSK 6.5/10 SRH 6/10
In a fine tactical move, Chennai Super Kings sent in Sam Curran as the opener to attack from the word go, and even though it was partly successful, with the Englishman hitting Khaleel for 20 overs in one over, Sunrisers Hyderabad picked up two wickets to pull things back to an extent. A powerplay score of 44/2 wouldn’t make a team proud, but CSK would any day take this having been the team which scores the least in the powerplay overs this IPL.
Deepak Chahar used to be the heart-beat of Chennai’s powerplay bowling, with regular strikes, but his drop in ability has resulted in the side conceding more runs in the powerplay. Sunrisers Hyderabad had the opportunity to cash in on that but it was not one of their days. David Warner’s dismissal followed by Manish Pandey’s run-out put them in a box, culminating with the side scoring just 40 runs. Definitely anti-climatic for a top-heavy side like SRH.
Death Bowling- CSK 8.5/10 SRH 7/10
Despite historically being a fantastic bowling side in the powerplay overs, Sunrisers had the tendency to concede runs at the death. Thanks to the evolution of T Natarajan, they have somehow salvaged that part but today they came up against the best side in the death overs, quite ironically, CSK. It is to their credit that they contained the side to only 51 runs in the last five overs. Both Khaleel and Natarajan used the true pace to fiddle around and then used the cutters to great effect to dismiss a few batsmen.
Chennai Super Kings did the strangulation job to perfection and that started right from the first over. But in the death, they were at their superior best, with Bravo and Karn Sharma accounting for Vijay Shankar and Kane Williamson on back to back deliveries. But things followed a stutter when Sharma actually gave away 19 runs to hand over the advantage. However, Karn had Shardul Thakur to thank for who used his agility to dismiss SRH’s last hope Rashid and ensured a CSK win.
Ground Fielding and Catching- CSK 8/10 SRH 7/10
As a side, Sunrisers pride themselves for their ground field and catching ability thanks to the number of fine fielders they have at their disposal. They all turned up nicely and in the face of Chennai batsmen taking a fresh approach, you could see SRH fielders gave their bowlers a great day. Jonny Bairstow dropped one catch of Ambati Rayudu but that aside, nothing went wrong. Pandey was at his usual best, Warner saved a few runs in the death to keep the CSK total under check.
Chennai surged off the inertia of the last game and tuned up in style as far as their ground fielding is concerned. Dwayne Bravo effected a fantastic run-out to dismiss Manish Pandey and that was just part of the story. The powerplay and the middle-order strangulation created by the spinners were ably supported by the fielders at the fence and inside the circle, leaving the SRH batsmen in a state of flux towards the end. Fair play to the entire side.
Match Frenzy O Meter - Excellent
Not a single CSK match this season, barring the Kings XI Punjab encounter, had anything for the fans to hooked onto but the pattern changed a bit this time. Batting first for the first time this IPL, they seemed fresh in their batting and seemed energetic in their fielding too. SRH, on the other hand, played percentage cricket to keep up with the pace. Money’s worth? Surely it was.