CSK ease to playoffs with clinical win over SRH
Chennai Super Kings became the first team to qualify for the playoffs and Sunrisers Hyderabad became the first to be eliminated following the MS Dhoni-led side’s six-wicket victory at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium on Thursday (September 30). Having restricted the Sunrisers to 134/7, the Super Kings started the chase well thanks to their openers, had some nervy moments leading to the close, before Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni sealed the chase with two balls to spare.
Gaikwad, Du Plessis at it again
After a slow start to the chase, with only 12 runs coming in the first three overs, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis chose to target Bhuvneshwar Kumar, going over deep mid-wicket and long on respectively for two sixes in the fourth over. The former South Africa captain sustained the momentum with two fours off Jason Holder while Rashid Khan wasn’t spared either as Gaikwad top-edged a four and went straight over the bowler’s head for a six. Gaikwad also got a leg-before decision reversed in the final over of the powerplay as the Super Kings made a confident start, moving to 47/0.
No respite for SRH against record-breaking CSK openers
Having already extended their partnership runs past 500 in this IPL, Gaikwad and du Plessis went past Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina’s tally of 587 runs in 2013 during their 75-run association that came in only 10 overs. Even after the field spread, the big hits continued as du Plessis didn’t allow Siddarth Kaul to settle, hitting a six over long-off, followed by a four. With Gaikwad scoring boundaries off Rashid and Abhishek Sharma, the openers extended their fours tally to seven and sixes to four by the time the 10th over was completed – the same number that the Sunrisers managed for their entire innings.
Holder leads SRH fight but CSK prevail
It was in the 11th over that Holder delivered the first wicket for the Sunrisers as he dismissed Gaikwad five short of a half-century. The opener came down the pitch and tried to hit the ball over mid-off but Kane Williamson leapt and held on to the catch. Moeen Ali struck a couple of boundaries in his knock of 17 before he got an under-edge off Rashid that struck his pad and hit the stumps. Raina missed a flick and was out leg-before to Holder, who also had du Plessis miscuing. The Super Kings were 109/4, needing 26 off the last four overs. It came down to 16 off the last two overs as Ambati Rayudu struck a crucial four off Kaul after Jason Roy nearly took a blinder that would have sent Dhoni back. Bhuvneshwar, however, erred with his lengths as Rayudu put away a half volley for a six while Dhoni flat-batted a short ball through cow corner for a four. With three required off the final over, Rayudu played a dot ball and took a single. Dhoni too played a dot before bringing out his famed finishing six as he sent the fourth ball sailing to the deep midwicket stand.
SRH maintain powerplay trend in Sharjah
Barring the first game in Sharjah in this edition of the IPL, when both Royal Challengers Bangalore and the Super Kings managed in excess of 50 without losing a wicket in the powerplay, the scoring rates in the four other innings have all been less than eight, with at least a wicket going down in each of those innings. The trend continued in this game too, despite Wriddhiman Saha’s brisk start, as the Sunrisers ended up with 41 for 1 in the first six overs. Only 5 came in the first two overs and while Saha struck two sixes off Deepak Chahar – over deep midwicket and long-off – Roy struggled to get going at the other end. The England batter eventually fell to Josh Hazlewood’s scrambled seam delivery for a seven-ball 2 as he got an under edge while trying to play across the line. A couple of boundaries from Kane Williamson helped the Sunrisers but the middling powerplay scores in Sharjah continued.
CSK tie SRH down with regular incisions
Dwayne Bravo struck in his first over to pick up the important wicket of Williamson – the Sunrisers skipper missed a full delivery that curled away a bit and was trapped in front. Saha, meanwhile, had a lucky break when he guided a Shardul Thakur delivery straight to point as a signal came from the TV umpire’s box that the bowler had over-stepped. But the boundaries dried up as the Super Kings bowlers applied the stranglehold. Priyam Garg, in his attempt to end the drought, top-edged a pull off Bravo while Saha fell trying a pull off Jadeja – with Dhoni holding on to both top-edges – as the Sunrisers slipped to 74/4 in the 13th over.
Sharjah trends back in play again
The Sunrisers went without a boundary for 48 deliveries before Abdul Samad flayed a Thakur delivery through cover while Abhishek tickled one fine for a couple of much-needed fours. Samad even hit a straight six off Hazlewood while Abhishek got a maximum off the same bowler with a classy drive over cover setting up a good little platform for Sunrisers to finish well. Hazlewood hit back in style with the wickets of the set batsmen, finishing with his best figures in the IPL. Jason Holder didn’t stay long to do any damage, handing a catch in the deep off Thakur, who conceded 11 runs in the penultimate over. Teams batting first had only managed 66, 70 and 63 in the last 10 overs in the last three games in Sharjah. The Sunrisers only fared slightly better, managing 71 in the last 10 in this game, with Rashid scoring a 13-ball 17. They still ended up with their lowest ever total against the Super Kings, and the Chennai team – whose only loss in chases of totals below 135 came way back 2008 – ensured they did not add to it.
Brief scores: Sunrisers Hyderabad 134/7 in 20 overs (Wriddhiman Saha 44, Josh Hazlewood 3-24, Dwayne Bravo 2-17) lost to Chennai Super Kings 139/4 in 19.4 overs (Ruturaj Gaikwad 45, Faf du Plessis 41; Jason Holder 3-27) by 6 wickets.
In what has clearly been their worst IPL season since they started in 2013, the Sunrisers travel to Dubai where they face Kolkata Knight Riders on October 3. The Super Kings will leave for Abu Dhabi to face Rajasthan Royals on October 2.