May 23 (): Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) kept their hopes alive of qualifying for the play offs by defeating Chennai Super Kings (CSK) by 6 wickets.
Unlike previous editions CSK started very strongly in IPL 7 but have now lost 3 matches in a row jeopardizing their chances of finishing in the top 2 before the play offs.
Put in to bat, Chennai opened with Smith and Fauf du Plessis due to the absence of McCullum, who has gone home for the birth of his child. They were off to a great start with both batsmen scoring 3 boundaries each in the first two overs from Kumar and Steyn. SRH were lucky to get the wicket of Fauf as he was run out at the non-strikers end with the ball ricocheted off the bowlers fingers.
Rasool was welcomed by Smith in the 6th over, with 3 consecutive sixes, yielding 22 runs. The power play ended with 60 on the board and CSK looked well and truly on track. Sharma pulled back things with the wickets of Smith for 47 and Raina for 4 in consecutive overs and finished with outstanding figures of 19 in 4 overs. Rasool too came back strongly giving away only 13 off his remaining 3 overs.
Pathan was taken for 17 runs in his 2nd over only to give 14 more 3 overs later. Dhoni kept the best to the last, carting Steyn all over the park for 24 runs hitting him for 2 huge sixes.
Chasing a stiff target of 186, Warner and Dhawan gave Sunrisers their 2nd consecutive 100+ opening partnership. Such was the brutality of Warner’s batting, that he scored his 50 off just 25 deliveries before the end of the power play overs, the last of which was hit for 21 runs with the help of 5 boundaries off Hastings.
The 100 of the partnership came in just 10 overs with Dhawan’s contribution a mere 16 off 21 deliveries with not a single boundary. He took over the scoring once Warner was dismissed for a well-made 90 off just 45 deliveries with a strike rate of 200. The bowler to suffer most was Jadeja as he gave away 42 runs in less than 4 overs. Dhawan reached his 2nd consecutive 50 in IPL 7 in the 17th over facing 40 deliveries and was at the crease with 63 runs to his credit while the winning runs were scored by Venugopal Rao, thus ensuring SRH were in the hunt for the play offs spot.
Looks like the pressure of captaincy was holding back Dhawan and he made his last 2 innings count. Warner on the other hand has opened up well and was aptly name man of the match , as SRH would not have been able to chase such a huge target without his explosive start. Dhoni on the other hand, told that 230 would be the ideal target his bowlers would be able to defend, a sign which is not good with the teams going in to the play offs.
IPL 7 Points Table
Table courtesy : espncricinfo.com