CSK rides on Rayudu to thump Sunrisers

Ambati Rayudu scores maiden IPL ton as Chennai Super Kings beats Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets to inch closer to the play-offs.

Chennai Super Kings’ Ambati Rayudu in action against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Sunday.   -  V. GANESAN

 

Ambati Rayudu top-scored with an unbeaten hundred (62b, 7x4, 7x6) as Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by eight wickets in the Indian Premier League game at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium here on Sunday.

With 16 points, the yellow army is now almost certain to make it to the play-offs.

Electing to chase, CSK achieved the target, 180, with six balls to spare; courtesy, Rayudu and Shane Watson’s 35-ball 57(5X4, 3X6). The pair added 134 runs for the first wicket.

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Watson remarkably hit Sandeep Sharma for two back-to-back sixes. The first, he swept over deep fine leg. The second, he pulled over deep midwicket.

Rayudu also stood out with an inside-out six over deep cover off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

 

Then, Watson departed. But Rayudu just wouldn't snap out of his phenomenal form. He added 43 runs with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni for the unbroken third-wicket partnership.

Earlier, Williamson and Shikhar Dhawan were involved in a 123-run second-wicket stand to take Sunrisers to 179 for four.

READ: Prasad lauds Rayudu's heroics

The pair, for two matches now, have been doing the bulk of the scoring for Sunrisers. Their batting appeared casual. The shots looked intuitive, not effortful. They fell off successive balls, when they had just gone hit-all.

Encouraged by the swing, perhaps, Dhoni had the seamers bowl nine of the first ten overs.

Deepak Chahar, who had returned from injury to replace Karn Sharma in the team, was impressive again in the powerplay overs. He bowled his four overs on the trot. His outswing was striking. He had Alex Hales slash a wide delivery to Raina at point. All of Chahar's six wickets this season have come in the powerplay.

"They got a considerable amount of swing in the first eight overs or so. That made it a bit difficult to bat," Williamson said post-match.

ALSO READ: Rayudu slams maiden IPL hundred in CSK's win

"We should've scored a bit more. Credit to CSK. It was always a tough chase," he added.

CSK coach Stephen Fleming said, "Rayudu has been leading the way. We want his form to continue, and the others also to score along with him. Because, it's contagious - when one person plays really well, it has a positive effect on the others."