Match 20 of VIVO IPL 2018 between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings was decided off the final ball of the contest, with the latter prevailing by a slender margin of 4 runs. The win was the Chennai Super Kings’ fourth of the season and helped them climb to the top of the standings. Given the opportunity of setting a target at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad, CSK recovered from a slow start to post 182-3 riding on half-centuries from Ambati Rayudu and Suresh Raina. Deepak Chaharthen landed three blows in the first five overs to derail the host’s run-chase at the very beginning. Kane Williamson then produced one of his best IPL innings, and a late innings blitz by Yusuf Pathan brought life back into the contest, before Dwayne Bravo, who had 19 to defend off the final over & six to defend off the final ball, bowled the perfect yorker to deny the hosts.
The CSK openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis (who replaced an ill Imran Tahir) could not find the boundary until the 20th ball of the innings when the former pulled a short delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and deposited it into the stands. The very next delivery the Australian didn’t pick the slower delivery, played too early, and holed out to the short midwicket fielder. du Plessis lost balance while attempting a sweep shot to be stumped. CSK 32-2 after 7.1 overs. Then the rescue act, staged by Rayudu and Raina, who stitched together a century partnership over a period of 9.3 overs. MS Dhoni gave the innings the flourish CSK needed at the end, scoring 25 from 12 balls, which included 3 fours and a six. CSK, who were 27-1 in the powerplay, added 93 in the middle overs, and a further 62 in the final five to finish at 182-3.
Very few would have given the Sunrisers a chance to chase down 183 after being 22-3, more so without Shikhar Dhawan in their line-up. But Williamson wasn’t ready to surrender, and played a fantastic innings of 84 – made from 51 balls and studded with 5 fours and as many sixes. Opening the innings, the SRH captain cut and pulled well, and on one instance hit Ravindra Jadeja for an inside-out six. In the fifteenth over, he singled out Karn Sharma and hit him for three sixes.
Yusuf Pathan came out to bat in the eleventh over, by which time the required rate had nearly reached 12. He too started slowly, not scoring a boundary until he had faced 14 balls. Then he unleashed, hitting three sixes and a four and collecting 23 off the next six balls he faced. He collected another six at the start of the nineteenth over, and SRH were very much in business.
But the dismissals of Williamson and Yusuf (45 from 27 balls) in the space of five deliveries once again swung the momentum in favour of the visitors. Dwayne Bravo had six to defend off the final ball of the match, and Rashid Khan could only score one off the perfect yorker.
Standout batting performances
Ambati Rayudu used his familiarity of the stadium in Hyderabad to help himself to a wonderfully compiled 79. Rayudu, who must have played plenty of cricket at the RGICS, opened his account with a second-ball boundary – a heave that sent a Rashid Khan on its way to the midwicket boundary. A little later, he deposited Bhuvneshwar Kumar into the crowds sat in the stands at long-on. Rayudu’s third boundary came off the eleventh ball he faced – this time by means of a reverse sweep off Deepak Hooda. After a brief period of calm, the 32-year old opened up yet again, and the bowler at the receiving end was Billy Stanlake. Rayudu collected a boundary through point second ball, and then collected two boundaries off outside edges;in between he crunched a slower delivery high and wide over long-on. 19 runs were added to the CSK in that over – the most productive over of the innings.
In the following over, Rayudu collected a single of Shakib-al-Hasan to reach his half-century; he consumed 27 balls to get to the milestone – which equalled his fastest half-century in the IPL. Later in the same over, he collected a boundary and a six and meted out the same treatment to Rashid Khan in the following over. Rayudu’s innings ended at 79 – when he was run out as a result of a misunderstanding in an attempt to collect a second run; he consumed 37 balls and dominated the 112-run partnership with Suresh Raina that put CSK in a position of strength.
Notable Support Act – Batting
Suresh Raina scored his first half-century of the season when he made an unbeaten 54 batting at number three. The left-hander, who walked out to bat in the fourth over, was far from fluent at the crease; he scored at less than a run-a-ball until he teed off against Rashid Khan in the twelfth over and hit the leg-spinner for consecutive sixes.
Raina, 20 from 27 balls at one stage, scored 34 from the next 16 balls, to finish unbeaten on 54; he struck five fours and two sixes in his 43-ball knock.
Standout bowling performance
Deepak Chaharbowled a sensational spell at the start of the SRH innings; he had the debutant Ricky Bhui edging to slip in the first over, had Manish Pandey caught at deep thirdman at the start of his second over, and found the leading edge of Deepak Hooda’s bat in his third over. The CSK pacer, who had bowled out by the eighth over, had fantastic returns of 4-1-15-3 and his spell included 17 dot deliveries.
For the Sunrisers, the Indian pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul (0-33)were impressive, though it was surprising that Bhuvneshwar did not bowl his complete quota of four overs and returned figures of 3-0-22-1.
Stat of the Match
282.35 - Ambati Rayudu's strike-rate for the last 17 balls he faced; he scored 48 runs. Off the first 20 balls he faced, he had scored 31 runs at a strike-rate of 155.0.
Suresh Raina, when on 46, surpassed Virat Kohli’s aggregate of 4649 runs to once again become the highest run-getter in the IPL.
Chennai Super Kings 182-3 (Ambati Rayudu 79, Suresh Raina 54*, MS Dhoni 25*, Bhuvneshwar Kumar 1-22) beat Sunrisers Hyderabad 178-6 (Kane Williamson 84, Yusuf Pathan 45, Deepak Chahar 3-15) by 4 runs.
Man of the Match:
Ambati Rayudu, for his 37-ball 79, which contained 9 fours & 4 sixes.