Ambati Rayudu knocks the winds out of SunRisers Hyderabad's star-studded bowling to put Chennai Super Kings on the verge of Playoffs

Ambati Rayudu
 

Chennai Super Kings (180-2) beat table toppers SunRisers Hyderabad (179-4) by 8 wickets courtesy free-flowing innings from openers Ambati Rayudu (100*) and Shane Watson (57).

The first encounter on the Super Sunday was between the two most successful teams of IPL 2018. On the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium in Pune, CSK took on the table toppers SunRisers Hyderabad (179-4).

Put in to bat, SRH found it hard to get going with the ball swinging around quite a bit. Deepak Chahar (4-16-1) and Shardul Thakur (4-32-2) started the proceeding for CSK as the batsmen looked tentative early on. Chahar, who was making a comeback after his hamstring injury, got the better off English opener Alex Hales (2) in his second over.

It was again up to the reliable pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson to take SRH to a good score. Both responded well under pressure. They first stabilized the innings and once they were set, the duo took on the CSK bowlers.

Dhawan and Williamson scored 79 and 51 respectively but fell in quick succession. Deepak Hooda (21, 11b) who was making a comeback in this match in place of Yusuf Pathan came up with a 21-run cameo to give CSK a good target of 180.

However, SRH would consider themselves unfortunate that as soon as they came out to bowl, the swing that their batters had to cope up with early on was nowhere to be found. Even the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (4-38-0) and Sandeep Sharma (4-36-1) who are one of the best exploiters of swing failed to make early breakthroughs.

In a 134-run stand, it looked as if Watson and Rayudu would never get out. However, once Watson (57) fell, Raina (2) followed shortly. Rayudu (100*) then rode on the back of his purple patch and kept going along smoothly.

With some support from MS Dhoni (20, 14b), he took CSK home with a scintillating century to jump up to No. 4 in the list of highest run scorers in IPL 2018.

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