(ESPNCricinfo) – Chennai Super Kings all but joined Sunrisers Hyderabad in the play-offs with a dominant win over the leaders of the league on Sunday evening. The job was finished for them a few hours later by Rajasthan Royals; their win against Mumbai Indians at the Wankhede confirmed a top-four finish for CSK.
Sunrisers arrived in Pune with a perfect record batting first, having successfully defended118, 132, 146 and 151. Asked to bat first, they put on their highest total of the tournament, but ran into Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu, arguably the best opening combination this IPL.
Watson began the aggression but Rayudu wasn’t too far behind. Rayudu capped a remarkable turnaround of a season with his maiden T20 hundred, and Watson fell for 57 off 35. The real damage, arguably, was done by Super Kings bowlers: a returning-from-injury Deepak Chahar at the start of the match to force a slow start on Sunrisers, and then Dwayne Bravo at the end of the innings to convert what looked like a chase of 200 into 180.
You know the basic principles of swing, the techniques, the release, the wrist position, but the phenomenon of swing bowling sometimes surprises you by disappearing suddenly.
When the ball does swing, though, it becomes difficult to take it from upwards of eight runs an over. Alex Hales and Shikhar Dhawan tried, followed by Kane Williamson, but they all struggled against the swing of Chahar. MS Dhoni cleverly gave him a change of ends to sync his outswing with the wind in Pune after giving him the customary first over. Bowling the fourth over, Chahal got rid of Hales, while Dhawan and Williamson were forced to be watchful as Chahar finished inside eight overs with figures of 4-0-16-1.
Sunrisers’ 29 for 1 at the end of six was the second-lowest Powerplay this season for the loss of just one wicket. The lowest was Super Kings’ 27 against the same opposition in their first match against each other. Super Kings went slow till the ninth over – much like Sunrisers here. Super Kings were 41 after nine, Sunrisers 51 after nine.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.