Ambati Rayudu and Kane Williamson © AFP
Ambati Rayudu and Kane Williamson © AFP

Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) played a similar sort of innings in VIVO IPL 2018, Match 20 on Sunday at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. SRH bowlers did not allow much room for error in the initial overs. However, Ambati Rayudu along with Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni took the SRH bowlers for cleaners in the final 10 overs. CSK who were tattering at 54 for 2 in 10 overs, added 128 runs in the final overs. Rayudu scored the most of the runs scoring 79, his second best IPL score.

SRH had a similar story to offer in the second innings. Deepak Chahar cleaned up SRH’s top-order in the first five overs ending his quota of 4 overs with 3 crucial wickets and 17 dot balls. Kane Williamson took the matter into his hands and notched up 84, taking SRH closer to victory. He received able support from Yusuf Pathan (45) as well. However, Dwayne Bravo’s introduction into the attack saw SRH crumble. He scalped Williamson followed by Shardul Thakur scalping Pathan.

Bravo’s yorkers in the final over, denied Rashid Khan to end the game on a high for SRH. Williamson during the post-match presentation lauded Rayudu’s innings on a two-paced pitch: “He played very well, to get off to a strike rate of 200 up there was outstanding and (it) put the pressure back on us. (He) certainly played a match-winning knock. You do have to take your hats off to the way Rayudu played, and at the same time it was not our best start but it was nice to put together middle to lower order partnerships and one hit away.”

Shikhar Dhawan was missed in the top following his wrist injury. Replacement Ricky Bhui could not get going against Chahar. Williamson believes Dhawan’s presence could have changed the course of the game: “Like I have said, any team would be fortunate to have him. Unfortunately he was injured, not able to play but hopefully he would be right by the next game. He is a big player for us, he has been hitting the ball nicely and scoring a lot of runs for us. But it would be hard to judge how much of an influence he would have had but it would have been great to have him.”

Williamson also credited Bhuvneshwar Kumar for his economical bowling, once again. Williamson, however, revealed why Bhuvi could not complete his quota of 4 overs: “Whenever Bhuvneshwar plays he is going to bowl his quota of overs but unfortunately he had a stiff back (due) to which we had to make some adjustments. You break the game down into small, small margins and Bhuvi, like Shikhar, is a big player for our team and you always want them to be able to take the field.”