CHENNAI: T20 is all about making the most of the powerplay and power hitting from thereon. The team that does well in these two areas tends to emerge victorious more often than not on a given day. Sunrisers Hyderabad first did well in the power play by not conceding any wicket, then their opener Abhishek Sharma (75) excelled in power hitting to set up a good platform for their team to defeat Chennai Super Kings by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League clash at Mumbai on Saturday, registering their first win of the season.
In contrast, CSK lost two wickets in the powerplay and this slowed down their run-rate. Although Moeen Ali made 48, none of the top-order batters of CSK could excel in power hitting. Having been put into bat in the afternoon, in perfect conditions, one expected CSK to bat out the opposition as they had huge depth in its ranks, but that was not to be as they succumbed to their fourth defeat in a row.
"It's with the ball that we are disappointed, but we were 20-25 runs short. We were looking to fight till the end. 155 isn't bad and our bowlers were looking to take wickets. We'll talk about where we are lacking. We are professionals and need to work hard, stick together and come back stronger," said CSK skipper Ravindra Jadeja after the defeat.
Set a target of 155 for win, Hyderabad's Abhishek and Kane Williamson first played a bit cautiously to have a feel of the surface and conditions. Once they gained confidence, it was a run fest. The duo added 89 runs for the first wicket in 12.1 overs.
After Williamson (32) fell to Mukesh Choudhary, Abhishek took charge of the proceedings. His presence of mind to pick the gaps to score effortlessly was on full display against a flat CSK attack. Rahul Tripathi did not lag behind and matched Abhishek stroke for stroke. The duo added 59 runs in five overs before Abhishek holed out off Dwayne Bravo to Jordan in the deep. Thereafter Tripathi (39 n.o.) and Nicholas Pooran finished the formalities.
Sources in the team indicated that CSK coach Stephen Fleming apart from the regular team meetings had a word with the players individually and tried to boost their self-confidence in order to arrest the slide. Sources also revealed that the former New Zealand captain had told the players to have self-belief in their abilities and start afresh, forgetting what had happened in the previous games. He advised them to play with a positive frame of mind. However this pep talk did not work.
Put into bat, CSK had an excellent start with Robin Uthappa and Ruturaj Gaikwad striking well. The duo handled the right-left combo of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Marco Jansen effectively. But Ruturaj failed to convert his good start as he was castled by T Natarajan failing to read an inswinger, angled at the middle stump. CSK were reduced to 41/2 in the powerplay.
Rayudu and Moeen Ali consolidated to add 62 runs off 50 balls for the third wicket. But, Washington Sundar varied the pace and did not give the length for Rayudu to exploit. Eventually, Rayudu holed out off Washington to Markram in the deep. After Moeen’s dismissal, it was left to Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni to excel in death overs, but that was not to be as Marco Jansen and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar bowled well to restrict them to 154 for seven in 20 overs.
Brief scores: CSK 154/7 in 20 ovs (Moeen 48, Washington 2/21) lost to SRH 155/2 in 17.4 ovs (Abhishek 75, Bravo 1/29).