Chennai Super Kings reclaim top spot after seeing off Sunrisers' challenge
Chennai Super Kings left it till late to defeat the Sunrisers Hyderabad despite a blazing knock from Shane Watson at the top of the order in an IPL 2019 match in Chennai on Tuesday.
Watson (96*) hit 9 fours and 6 sixes during his stay at the crease. His departure led to the match going into the final over but the result never looked in doubt.
Earlier after being put in to bat, half-centuries from David Warner and Manish Pandey helped propel SRH to 175-3 in their 20 overs.
Warner (57) and Pandey (83*) led the way with the bat even as CSK successfully managed to strangle the flow of runs towards the end of the innings.
CSK got the big wicket of Jonny Bairstow early, with Harbhajan Singh getting him to edge one behind the stumps to MS Dhoni.
However, Warner played a gritty innings that complimented Pandey’s free-flowing knock as the two put on a 115-run stand for the second wicket.
Pandey had been in poor form since the previous season but finally came good, playing an innings that consisted of both good cricket shots and aggressive strokeplay.
His time at the crease saw him get hit 7 boundaries and 3 sixes, his return to form a timely one since Bairstow will be joining up with the England team soon.
Warner was eventually stumped by Dhoni off Harbhajan’s bowling but Vijay Shankar joined Pandey in the middle and the two put together a 47-run stand.
They could have taken SRH to a bigger total but some good bowling by CSK eventually saw Shankar depart too and the runs dried up as the innings drew to a close.
CSK got off to a poor start, scoring just 3 runs from the first 2 overs. The pressure eventually led to Watson and Faf du Plessis going for a quick single that led to Deepak Hooda running out the South African.
Suresh Raina was the next man in and while he started in a circumspect manner, he eventually found his rhythm. He smashed Sandeep Sharma for 22 runs in the bowler’s first over and that was the impetus the home side needed to kick on in the chase.
Watson followed suit and began to attack the bowlers, even getting into a staring match with Rashid Khan after smashing the leg-spinner for a boundary in his first over.
Raina eventually departed for a well-made 38 but Watson continued to plunder runs at will thereafter, with new man Ambati Rayudu playing a more cautious innings. The opener eventually departed 4 short of a century, but by then had done enough to ensure the home side would end up on top.
The runs did dry up towards the end of the innings and a close finish looked on the cards. CSK needed 9 off the final over and Kedhar Jadhav hit a six on the second ball of the over to calm the nerves.
Rayudu was out on the next ball, holing out to Vijay Shankar at mid-off but a scrambled single did the job for the home side.