IPL: CSK beat SRH by 8 wickets

In IPL Cricket, Rajasthan Royals defeated Chennai Super Kings by four wickets in a thrilling encounter in Jaipur last night to keep their playoff hopes alive in the tournament.

Earlier, a consistent duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson stitched second successive century-plus stand and struck consecutive fifties to guide Sunrisers Hyderabad to a competitive 179/4.

On Friday, a combined batting effort by Suresh Raina, skipper MS Dhoni and opener Shane Watson helped Chennai post a fighting total of 176 against Rajasthan.

For RCB, this is a must-win game as they would be shown the exit gate if they lose another game.

Fortunes swung both sides in the first half of the match.

The visitors were off to a slow start with just 29 runs in the powerplay, mainly due to a fine spell of bowling by CSK pacer Deepak Chahar (1/16).

Today, Kings Eleven Punjab will take on Kolkata Knight Riders in Indore at 4 PM and Delhi Daredevils will meet Royal Challengers Bangalore in Delhi at 8 pm. Chennai should have had Dhawan too for just five, but they failed to review a leg before call when Shardul Thakur had trapped him in front.

Rayudu's resurgence has come about mostly at the top of the order, where he has combined with Shane Watson to consistently give Chennai good starts. Hyderabad shifted gears effortlessly, the opener targeting Ravindra Jadeja successfully.

With the run-making being facile against the medium pace trio - Bhuvneshwar, Sandeep and Siddarth - and Shakib Al Hasan, Watson and Rayudu could afford to play out Rashid Khan, who Williamson unleashes when the required run-rate is mounting. Their batting mainly centers around the skipper - Williamson - who has repeatedly dug them out of troubled waters, scoring six half-centuries so far in IPL 2018.

How good yet unfortunate in the end was Deepak Chahar's brilliant burst? Chennai never allowed SRH to take off as the ball swung early. These sessions seemed to have worked for Dhoni, since he has hit as many as 28 sixes this IPL season in 11innings. So, the two got together to make swift, steady runs. With Chennai having also qualified for the playoffs, it won't be surprising if he ends up as the leading run-scorer, bearing in mind his rich vein of form for the franchise. MS Dhoni provided the finishing touch with unbeaten 20 runs as CSK beat SRH with an over to spare.

In each of the 13 overs Rayudu and Watson stood their ground, they found at least one hit to or over the ropes.

  • Julie Sanders