It was the clash between the top and bottom teams in the standings. Chennai Super Kings was comfortable with 16 points and waiting for their final confirmation of playoff qualification while Sunrisers Hyderabad was hanging on the narrow thread of hope to qualify. Well, the match held at the slow pitch of Sharjah became a decider. CSK defeated SRH by 6 wickets in another low-scoring game. With the victory, CSK is now the first team to qualify to the playoffs with 18 points and SRH became the first team to be eliminated from IPL 2021 after being able to feature in five consecutive playoffs.
Story of the match
Inferring from the recent matches at Sharjah International Stadium, a low-scoring match was on the cards. Winning the toss, skipper MS Dhoni made the wise and obvious decision to send their opponents to bat. It has been tough at Sharjah to set a decent 1st innings total and it repeated one again. None of the SRH batsmen could score above 20 runs except their only consistent batsman in the past matches Wriddhiman Saha, who slowly took his team to a defendable total of 134 contributing 44 runs from 46 balls. Josh Hazlewood was leading the CSK bowling department with a bowling figure of 3 from 24. The returning veteran Dwayne Bravo was astonishingly economic giving away just 17 runs from his 4-over quota and bagging two wickets including the one of Kane Williamson.
CSK on the other side batted like it’s a batting paradise. Once again, Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad got off to a flying start, building an opening foundation of 75 runs in just 10 overs. At that point, there was never a doubt that CSK would take the game home easily. It would have been so if Jason Holder wouldn’t have stepped in and given the breakthrough. Rashid Khan combined with the Caribbean and turned the game around with the quick wickets of Moeen Ali, Suresh Raina, and Faf du Plessis. But they could only pierce through the CSK batting that far. Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni put an end to the game with all the experience and adroitness. MS Dhoni had his first decent outing and finished off the game with an iconic towering six.
Saha is what SRH has only got
Wriddhiman Saha wouldn’t be named as the no.1 SRH batsman but in their second leg performance, he clearly is. Though the innings was slow, you cannot expect anything at all with no support from the teammates.
SRH batting is a total disaster
It has already been an awful ride for SRH. David Warner was a constant provider of runs all these years for the franchise but when he failed to make some runs, the whole batting system crumbled. They have to make serious changes in the upcoming mega auction.
Bravo is a different class
IPL 2021 is Dwayne Bravo’s comeback to his death bowling mastery. In the past few seasons, the Trinidadian went for huge runs in some matches but this time, he is simply unstoppable. 2 wickets conceding only 17 runs from four overs can only be defined as the ‘Bravo-class’.
CSK’s magical openers
In the last season, CSK was under severe criticism for the sluggish batting in powerplay overs. Now they are one of the consistent opening pairs in the tournament. Another 50 plus partnership to prove that.
Rayudu and Dhoni cleaned up the affair
The experienced pair reigned supreme in the death overs and put an end to the game with ease. Rayudu found those important boundaries at crucial moments and Dhoni did what he is known for – finishing off in style with a massive hit.
Hits and flops
- Josh Hazlewood – The Australian pacer used to perform amazingly well in the international circuit but this was his first recognizable IPL performance.
- Dwayne Bravo – The older he gets, the stronger he becomes. Bravo is still CSK’s go-to bowler, just like before 10 years.
- CSK openers – Faf and Ruturaj is having the time of their career. They showed up and left everyone amazed once again.
- Ambati Rayudu – Probably the unsung hero of CSK this tournament. Rayudu didn’t get a long innings to score big but his cameos are priceless.
- Kane Williamson – Saha was solid at one end and we all expected Kane to be the same. The SRH skipper is off his shine lately.
- Priyam Garg – It’s the former U19 captain’s third IPL season in row and Priyam Garg is not yet ready for the big league.
- Suresh Raina – Back-to-back setbacks for the veteran. Raina has been the least expressed batsmen for CSK this season.