Ruturaj Gaikwad and Devon Conway’s effortless six-hitting exhibition was well complemented by a four-wicket haul from Mukesh Choudhary as Chennai Super Kings took a 13-run victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in an IPL match here on Sunday. Gaikwad (99 out of 57 balls) and Conway (85 not out of 55) put SRH’s charge to the sword, creating a scintillating partnership of 182 runs, the season’s highest opening score, as CSK set an impressive 202 for two after being invited to play. bat.
In response, SRH came up short, reaching 189 for 6 in 20 overs, despite late exploits from Nicholas Pooran (64 not out) and a 47-run innings from skipper Kane Williamson at the top.
Choudhary came out with the best numbers for CSK, scalping four for 46, while Mitchell Santner (1/36) and Dwaine Pretorius (1/40) each took one wicket.
The win, which coincided with MS Dhoni’s return as captain, propped up CSK for an unlikely play-off spot as they now have six points with five games to go, while SRH remained in fourth position with 10 points overall rankings.
Abhishek Sharma (39) and Williamson gave SRH a flying start to their chase, but Choudhary hit two balls twice to reduce the Hyderabad outfit to 58 for 2 in six overs.
While Sharma was caught by Dwaine Pretorius during long-on, Rahul Tripathi was out for a duck after giving catching drills to short third man.
Aiden Markram hit two sixes before falling prey to Mitchell Santner.
Pooran hit Ravindra Jadeja for a six before unleashing a monstrous reverse sweep for another max, while Williamson also hit a one-handed six to tick the scoreboard.
However, the SRH skipper was stuck up front by Pretorius when it turned 126 for 4 on the 15th over.
Pooran then continued to fight in vain as the pressure on the scoreboard took its toll on the other batters.
Previously Gaikwad, who has been blowing hot and cold this season, was at his destructive best when he crushed six sixes and as many fours before tragically falling a ton short with just one run.
The 25-year-old was in his zone as he stood on his back foot, playing some exceptional shots to dominate the formidable SRH bowling squad.
Anything that fell short was brought in with impeccable ease, while set up deliveries were treated with equal disdain as Gaikwad didn’t miss a trick to send SRH on a leather hunt during his classy innings.
Conway also showed a great temperament as he was the perfect foil for Gaikwad. He initially bided his time before going for the big shots in the slogovers.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/22) was the best bowler on display for SRH, while pace sensation Umran Malik had a really bad day at the office after conceding 48 in his four overs. T Natarajan (2/42) took two wickets but also went for runs.
As Washington Sundar sustained an injury while fielding, SRH was forced to use Markram and Shashank Singh as the fifth bowler, giving up 46 from their combined four overs.
After a tentative start, Gaikwad broke free when he pulled Marco Jansen for two maximums, while Natarajan was sent over the mid-wicket line when CSK reached 40 for 0 after the power play.
Gaikwad was particularly hard on Malik, knocking him over cover first before lifting him long for another max in his first over.
Malik picked up the pace, bowled the fastest delivery of the tournament, clocking in at 154 mph in the 10th, but finally conceded two more limits to Gaikwad’s knife as the opener completed his half-century on 33 balls.
Markram also faced the duo’s fury as Conway sent him over the fine leg line before descending the wicket for a flat six.
Gaikwad also knocked him out for consecutive sixes when the 100 was over in the 11th.
Malik was once again in the line of fire as Gaikwad dragged him down the long road for a boundary before lifting him over the long distance for another max.
A top six from Marco Jansen, meanwhile, helped Conway bring out his fifty in 39 balls and he finished 15th over with another four and a six.
Natarajan was brought back, but he also gave up 13 runs, with Gaikwad producing another pull. Conway also sent an over the bowler’s head in the 18th over.
However, Gaikwad missed a creditable hundred when he gave an easy catch on point.
Back at the helm of things, MS Dhoni promoted himself to the order but failed to impress when he was caught by Malik at Natarajan.
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