Ambati Rayudu © Getty Images
Ambati Rayudu © Getty Images

When Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were 32/2, a total of 182 for 3 might have been farsighted for the visitors on two-paced pitch of Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Hyderabad. However, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni went berserk to take CSK to 183/2 against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Raina and Rayudu 112-run stand laid the foundation for CSK. A total of 129 runs were added in the final 10 overs to take CSK on top.

The famed SRH bowling unit were torn apart again by local boy Rayudu coupled with Suresh Raina’s 54* and MS Dhoni’s late blitz of 12-ball 25*. Since 2015, the highest target chased down here is 148, during SRH vs Mumbai Indians (MI) clash. Only nine times 150-plus targets have been chased down in this venue, last was in 2014.

Opting to bowl, SRH bowlers left no room for error. Bhuvneshwar Kumar tormented openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis with his variations – in-swingers and knuckle ball. Even Stanlakes’ short balls and bouncers left Watson and du Plessis struggling to get going. Watson freed his arms for a six off Bhuvneshwar’s rare bad delivery. However, his knuckleball fooled Watson that saw him heading back to the hut for 9.

Following Watson’s wicket, CSK added an unwanted record to their name in 2018 IPL of lowest Powerplay score of 27/1. To add salt to CSK’s wounds, du Plessis who was included in the XI for unfit Imran Tahir was cleaned for 13 following his mistimed sweep shot off Rashid Khan’s quick fizzer. Wriddhiman Saha’s quickfire stumping was icing on the cake.

Raina and Rayudu also could not get going until the 10th over. The run-rate was sputtering around 4. Along the way CSL put up their lowest score in 10 overs of 54 in 2018 IPL. Their previous lowest score at this stage has been 56 which came against Mumbai Indians (MI).

Then, Raina and Rayudu took the matter in their hands. They put up a classy show for Hyderabad, taking every bowler coming their way to cleaners. It started off with Bhuvneshwar’s third spell who went for 13 runs. But it was Rashid who paid the price again as he ended with figures of 4-0-49-1.

Raina and Rayudu’s partnership removed CSK from ruins. En course to a massive finish, Rayudu slammed his first fifty of 2018 IPL and en route registered his second highest IPL score of 79 until an unwanted extra run costed CSK their third wicket.

Raina, unperturbed by the fall of wicket, got to his fifty off 39 deliveries thereafter. Also the cat and mouse race between Raina and Virat Kohli continued. Raina took over the throne from Virat Kohli once again to become the leading run-scorer in IPL history. At the other end, Dhoni added the finishing touches.

Brief scores:

Chennai Super Kings 182 for 3 in 20 overs (Ambati Rayudu 79, Suresh Raina 54*, MS Dhoni 25*; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 4-0-22-1) vs Sunrisers Hyderabad