The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) walloped the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by 7 wickets in a crucial Indian Premier League (IPL) encounter for the latter. The loss, SRH's fifth from six games, keeps them at the bottom of the IPL points table and might lead to a significant strategic rethink.
SRH's first innings featured an incredibly laborious fifty by skipper David Warner, with the Australian visibly frustrated with himself on several occasions. A quicker fifty from Manish Pandey and cameos from Kedar Jadhav and Kane Williamson dragged the team to 171. CSK were hardly challenged in their chase, as they reached the target with nine balls to spare despite Rashid Khan's three-for.
Here are the three main reasons why SRH lost to CSK on April 28.
#3 Rashid Khan's off day with the ball
Rashid Khan has been one of the most consistent threats with the ball in the IPL since his first season. In fact, several years on, batsmen still fail to pick his googlies and leg-spinners, choosing to read the ball after it pitches instead. In the past few years, teams have often looked to play him out and conserve wickets even if the runs dry up.
Given his terrific record, him conceding 36 runs from four overs is unheard of. Even though he started well, extracting edges and creating drama as usual, Ruturaj Gaikwad managed to get the better of him in his third over with three boundaries.
Though he bounced back with three wickets, CSK emerged on top largely because SRH's best bowler was unable to apply the brakes on their scoring.
#2 CSK's sensational opening partnership
During SRH's innings with the bat, with Manish Pandey and David Warner batting for the most part, the pitch seemed like it was moderately difficult to bat on, with the duo not finding their timing regularly. Despite the CSK bowlers not producing some serious wicket-taking deliveries, SRH motored along at around eight an over or less for most of the innings.
In sharp contrast, Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad reiterated their serious abilities and quashed all doubts about the pitch, as they scored at ten runs an over to silence SRH's bowlers. Gaikwad was the aggressor, with 75 off 44 balls, as he continued his transformation from early-season liability to mid-season hero.
When Gaikwad was dismissed, CSK needed merely 43 runs from seven overs. And although there were some hiccups to follow, it was hardly a contest from there on.
#1 David Warner's forgettable knock for SRH
Kane Williamson's presence contributed all-round batting brilliance to the SRH middle order, while Kedar Jadhav brought along end-overs acumen of his own. However, Williamson and Jadhav got just 14 balls of the innings put together, largely due to a nightmare innings by the SRH captain.
David Warner could not connect two balls in a row, and scratched his way to a forgettable 57 off 55 balls with just five boundaries. The second-wicket partnership for SRH ate up just less than 14 overs at a scoring rate of about 7.5 an over, ensuring that although CSK's bowlers didn't have their best night, they weren't punished either.
Warner's knock was put to shame by Williamson's breezy 26 off 10 and the batting display of CSK's openers, and the southpaw needs to find his form quickly.