Chasing 180 against a string Hyderabad attack, Rayudu cracked a superlative century and added 134 for the opening wicket with Shane Watson to help Chennai win the match comfortably and all but qualify for the IPL playoffs.
The Super Kings now have eight wins from 12 matches and are on the verge of qualification.
DHAWAN-WILLIAMSON SHOW AGAIN
Most century partnerships by a pair in an IPL season:— Bharath Seervi (@SeerviBharath) May 13, 2018
5 Kohli-ABD, 2016
3 Dhawan-Gambhir, 2008
3 Gayle-Kohli, 2012
3* Dhawan-Williamson, 2018#CSKvSRH
Sunrisers Hyderabad are a top heavy side. Their top three batsmen have generally done all the heavy lifting. Earlier it was David Warner and Shikhar Dhawan. This year it’s Dhawan and captain Kane Williamson.
It’s a strategy that has worked for them. On Sunday, opener Alex Hales was dismissed for a laborious two from nine balls. It was left to the prolific Williamson (51) and Dhawan (79) to put some impetus into the innings by adding 123 runs for the second wicket.
SEAMERS STRIKE BACK
Sunrisers were 141-1 in the 16th over and a total close to 200 seemed on the cards. However, Chennai dismissed Dhawan and Williamson off successive deliveries with Dwayne Bravo getting the Indian and Shardul Thakur dismissing the Kiwi skipper.
Deepak Hooda connected a few towards the end. Otherwise Sunrisers would have struggled to reach close to 180.
OPEN AND SHUT CASE
The Super Kings top order has been in great form this season and they reserved their best for the best bowling attack in the tournament. Opener Ambati Rayudu (100*) and Shane Watson (57) took on the might of Hyderabad’s bowling, not allowing Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Siddarth Kaul especially to settle. The two Indian seamers were blasted for 78 runs from seven overs. Chennai’s openers accumulated 134 runs inside 14 overs.
POOR FIELDING HURTS SUNRISERS
Despite the opening stand, Hyderabad had a golden opportunity to knock the wind out of Chennai’s sail during the death overs. In the second ball of the 16th over, MS Dhoni slapped Shakib Al Hasan straight to long on where Manish Pandey, one of the safest fielders in India, dropped an absolute dolly.
A wicket at that point would have reduced Chennai to 143 for three with 37 needed from 28 balls. However, that chance was all that Dhoni needed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Dhoni finished the game off with 20 from 14.
RAYUDU ON A ROLL
Chennai batsman Ambati Rayudu has been in scintillating form this season. He has 535 runs from 12 matches and the best part about his batting has been an uncomplicated approach to batting.
Rayudu has been around for more than a decade and has made regular appearances in the national team as well. But his batting never looked as smooth and effortless it has this season.
It has been an amazing change in fortunes for Rayudu who last year made headlines for a road-rage incident where he was captured on camera getting into a fight with a senior citizen.
He maybe 32 right now but it can be said Rayudu has made a fresh start in his career.
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