Abhishek, Markram lead SRH to their second win of the season


A fine bowling performance in the death overs followed by Abhishek Sharma’s early blitz and Aiden Markram’s half-century helped Sunrisers Hyderabad to a six-wicket win. They chased down the 166-run target against Chennai Super Kings with 11 balls to spare at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Uppal. With this win they have moved to the fifth spot on the points table.

A fighting powerplay

Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rachin Ravindra made a steady start to CSK innings, managing 25 runs off the first three overs without taking many risks. There was a possibility of running Ravindra out on 11 when he attempted a quick single, but Aiden Markram missed the stumps with his direct attempt. However, that didn’t prove too costly as the southpaw was eventually dismissed in the next over, top-edging a length delivery angling away to Markram at mid on. A couple of balls later, Bhuvneshwar could have even accounted for Rahane’s dismissal when the batter got a leading edge that nearly carried back to the bowler. Nonetheless, Gaikwad went on the offensive against Bhuvneshwar and Pat Cummins later in the powerplay to help the side to 48 for 1.

The Dube-Rahane stand

In possibly what was the brightest period of play for CSK on the day, Shivam Dube and Ajinkya Rahane put on a 65-run stand in only 39 balls. Gaikwad, after getting a good start, holed out to the long fielder in the eight over, leaving the Mumbai duo to do the work through the middle overs. Dube took the mantle of the aggressor and got going by taking Mayank Markande down in a 15-run ninth over. And then three overs later, he smashed back-to-back deliveries off T Natarajan for sixes over the deep mid wicket region. He eventually fell mistiming a pull off a slower delivery from Cummins to backward point. Nonetheless, his 24-ball 45 gave the pace CSK needed to their innings going into the death overs.

Rahane, who played a fine second fiddle in the partners, also departed in the next over, undone by Jaydev Unadkat’s slower delivery.

Stifling in the death

Taking advantage of the track that was holding up a bit, SRH pacers employed the length-delivery tactic. Following the dismissal of the set pair of Dube and Rahane in quick succession, the incoming batters struggled to come to terms with the pace of the pitch while they attempted to accelerate, especially Ravindra Jadeja who clawed his way to an unbeaten 23-ball 31. There wasn’t much support from Daryl Mitchell (11-ball 13) and MS Dhoni (2-ball 1*) either as CSK managed to add only 51 runs in the last seven overs and were restricted to 165 for 5.

Killing the contest in the powerplay

Even before CSK could possibly make the chase trickier, SRH blunted the challenge with Abhishek Sharma taking down the CSK pacers in the powerplay. It was the second over when the southpaw turned the contest one-way, smashing three sixes and two boundaries off Mukesh Choudhary. He then went after Chahar and smashed him for a boundary and a six. Even though the pacer eventually had him dismissed, the 12-ball 37 by Abhishek had set the chase rolling.

Markram steadies the chase

With nearly half the target chased down by the end of the powerplay, SRH didn’t need to resort to riskier methods. On the contrary, CSK kept changing their options, utilising as many as seven options in order to find some success. While the spinners managed to slow the scoring rate, they couldn’t pull the game back in the visitors’ favour. Maheesh Theekshana struck in the 10th over when Head swept a ball straight to the backward square leg fielder, but Markram ensured there wasn’t any panic. He worked the ball around gaps, was active to pick the twos and even went down the ground against Jadeja once and stroked him for a six. He brought up his half century off 35 balls by bunting a Moeen Ali delivery down to long on for a single and soon after fell while attempting to reverse sweep the office and getting struck on the pads.

Any late twist?

Not really.

For a brief period though after Markram’s dismissal, SRH batters did come under a bit of pressure, especially Shahbaz Ahmed, who was promoted to number 4. A string of dot deliveries forced him to go for the big shots. He did hit a six but much like Markram, was trapped legebfeore by Moeen while attempting to reverse sweep.

Nonetheless, Heinrich Klaasen ensured there was no panic and guided SRH to their second win of the season

Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 165/5 in 20 overs (Shivam Dube 45, Ajinkya Rahane 35; Shahbaz Ahmed 1-11) lost to Sunrisers Hyderabad 166/4 in 18.1 overs (Aiden Markram 50, Abhishek Sharma 37; Moeen Ali 2-23) by 6 wickets. (Cricbuzz)


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