Chennai Super Kings’ bid to get campaign back on track begins well

Chennai Super Kings, batting first for the first time in the tournament, scored 167 for six against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

The highlight of the innings was the 81-run stand between Shane Watson (42) and Ambati Rayudu (41) for the third wicket before M.S. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja gave it the final push.

With just two wins in seven matches, the Super Kings, after winning the toss, promoted Sam Curran to open the innings.

Paying off

The move paid dividends as the England all-rounder sparkled with a 21-ball 31 (2x4, 3x6).

Curran, who had most of the strike in the first two overs, initially struggled with his timing, especially against Sandeep Sharma.

In the fourth over of the innings, Curran freed his arms, pulling Khaleel Ahmed for two boundaries and also smashed two sixes down the ground, punishing the bowler who pitched short regularly.

Sandeep, at the other end, was miserly and accurate for Sunrisers in the PowerPlay overs.

He removed Faf du Plessis for a golden duck, having the South African caught behind by wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. Sandeep then pegged back Curran’s middle-stump, bowling around the wicket and making the delivery hold its line.

Watson and Rayudu rebuilt the innings, being circumspect against Rashid Khan and Shahbaz Nadeem initially.

Getting lucky

After making 44 in the first six overs, Super Kings failed to maintain the tempo as only 15 runs came off the next four overs.

The two batsmen were lucky too as they were dropped when on nine and 20 respectively.

While Bairstow dropped Rayudu off Nadeem, Rashid could not hold on to a caught and bowled chance offered by Watson.

Attacking Rashid

Watson and Rayudu looked like they would make the Sunrisers pay for the lapses as they waded into Rashid in the leg-spinner’s final two overs.

Watson slammed two sixes down the ground while Rayudu slog-swept him over midwicket for the maximum.

With the scorecard reading 116 for two after the 15th over, the two looked all set to move up a gear.

However, both Rayudu and Watson, in that order, mistimed full tosses from Khaleel and T. Natarajan, hitting the ball straight to the long-off fielder off successive overs.

Dhoni’s 13-ball 21 (2x4, 1x6) and Jadeja’s unbeaten 25 (10b, 3x4, 1x6) helped Super Kings regain the momentum in the final overs as the final five overs produced 51.

However, Super Kings would rue the fact that their key batsmen, including Dhoni, fell tamely to full tosses and fell a little short of what they would have liked to finish with. The Chennai side would be happy with the fact that it chose an extra bowler Piyush Chawla instead of batsman N. Jagadeesan.

Sunrisers 109 for four

  • Sunrisers were 109 for four in 16 overs, with Williamson (47) and Vijay Shankar (5) at the crease. Warner (9), Manish (4), Bairstow (23) and Garg (16) were the batsmen dismissed