The undying spirit of an aching MS Dhoni, the turnaround fifty from Ravindra Jadeja and some lusty blows by Sam Curran showed the immense potential that the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have. On the night, it was not enough to overhaul a competitive total set by the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), as they fell short by an eventually tight 7 runs.
It was the first time since 2014 that CSK have lost three matches on the trot. At one stage, it looked like it would be a walk in the park for the CSK batsmen with SRH's innings motoring along slowly.
However, some inaccurate bowling and fielding errors allowed young Priyam Garg to capitalise and move to his maiden IPL fifty. A few hits from Abhishek Sharma ensured that SRH set CSK a target of 165 - not as facile as it may have been at Sharjah.
In reply, CSK's usual struggles resurfaced with their batsmen unable to put any pressure on the SRH bowlers. Rashid Khan was respectfully allowed to bowl out giving merely 12 runs off four overs.
Shane Watson went for one, Faf du Plessis was run out just when he was looking confident, and Ambati Rayudu could not replicate the form from his first game this season. It left a lot for CSK's all rounders to do, and as a result, they fell short despite giving it a fair shout with 113 scored in the final 10.
There were positives for both sides - Abdul Samad's all-round display for SRH, and Ravindra Jadeja's show of form with the bat. However, there were also many players who let down their team, and here's a look at three such players.
#3 Jonny Bairstow (SRH)
Opening the innings for SRH, Jonny Bairstow was expected to set the tone for the batsmen to follow, but he failed miserably. Deepak Chahar was swinging the ball for CSK up front, and after two dot balls, the English opener went for a hoick. Unfortunately for him, he missed completely, with the inswinger smashing his front pad before ricocheting onto the stumps.
With gloves in hand, the story was not a lot better. In his enthusiasm and nervousness, he nearly fluffed a crucial run-out by allowing the ball to slip out of the gloves. Luckily for him, after repeated replays, umpires concluded the ball may have dislodged the bails milliseconds before his gloves met the stumps.
With Abdul Samad bowling to CSK skipper Dhoni in the final over, Bairstow slipped while trying to collect a leg-side wide. Not only did Dhoni get a stumping reprieve, but SRH also conceded five wides due to his error. However, the win would give some confidence to Bairstow for the next match.
#2 Kedar Jadhav (CSK)
51 runs from four games is all that Kedar Jadhav has to show in response to questions regarding his top-order contributions for CSK. That those runs have come at a strike-rate of 108 does not speak well for him, not least that he left the crease tonight having made 3 off 10 balls.
Being tied down by Rashid Khan and the other experienced SRH bowlers, Jadhav fell to the most inexperienced bowler on the night - Abdul Samad.
What his innings did was pile on the pressure onto an already beleaguered skipper, as would be clear later in the chase, and an out-of-form all-rounder in Ravindra Jadeja. Some runs in the tricky period during the first 10 overs, particularly against the less experienced bowlers, may even have given CSK more than the 7 runs they eventually fell short by.
#1 Sam Curran (CSK)
After being one of CSK's most consistent performers this season, the law of averages finally caught up with the dynamic Sam Curran. For the first time this season, he was not called upon to complete his quota of overs.
While he did well to keep the batsmen down to 15 runs from his first two overs, the third over he bowled was the one where SRH's innings got an unexpected surge, and Curran's economy rate worsened rapidly.
After giving away three off two, Curran conceded a boundary off a decent ball before bowling a waist-high full toss that was sliced towards the point region. The free hit which came right after was butchered over the deep midwicket boundary by SRH youngster Priyam Garg, who looked more and more comfortable at the crease.
Off the next ball, things only went worse as the ball outside off was dabbed fine. Despite the dot next ball, the over went for 22 and Curran was taken out of the attack.
Curran still found other ways to help the team - he took a catch to dismiss Manish Pandey, and struck two long sixes in an attempt to get CSK over the line. In his primary suit, however, he was unable to offer the control his captain expects, and he should bounce back for the next game.
CSK had several failures with the bat, but not all of them carried the expectations Curran did.
Published 03 Oct 2020, 00:53 IST