Narrow IPL win for Royals

Lynette PayneMay 14, 2018

Victory took Chennai to 16 points with two games to go, massively enhancing their chances of qualifying for the playoffs.

Hyderabad opted for the stable leadership of Kane Williamson while Chennai filled their line-up with veterans like Shane Watson, Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina, with a 36-yer-old MS Dhoni calling the shots. Chennai should have had Dhawan too for just five, but they failed to review a leg before call when Shardul Thakur had trapped him in front.

CSK who are placed second on the points table, four points adrift SRH, are not under a lot of pressure, unlike the mid-table teams.

Talking about the first game of the day, Ambati Rayudu scored his maiden IPL century as CSK made light work of table-toppers SRH in Pune. For CSK- Deepak Chahar, and the spin duo of Harbhajan Singh and Ravindra Jadeja who were incredible the last time they played here would be the bowlers to watch out for. CSK are the only team with fours batsmen that have scored more than 300 runs- Watson, Dhoni, Raina and Rayudu are all amongst the runs which is a heathy sign for the team. He batted through the innings.

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.

Rajasthan Royals medium pacer Jaydev Unadkat conceded that except Buttler the rest of the batsmen were not up to the task. They are also the only team, besides Kings XI Punjab, to beat Hyderabad when Deepak Chahar took three wickets in the PowerPlay and sealed the deal.

For RCB, this is a must-win game as they would be shown the exit gate if they lose another game.

Kane Williamson's fine form was on full display during their emphatic chase against Delhi Daredevils. The SRH total is not a big one but considering the fact that the Orange Army fancies defending low totals, the Chennai Super Kings will be under the pump in the second half of the game.

Yusuf Pathan (186 runs), Manish Pandey (184) and Shakib-Al-Hasan (158) have also chipped in at crunch situations.

The spinners have been well supported by the pace department led by fit-again Bhuvneshwar Kumar and young Siddarth Kaul. Jos Buttler's highest ever IPL score - and fourth-straight half century - keeps Rajasthan in the hunt for the playoffs! Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who struggled for runs earlier, got back his touch against Delhi, smashing a 50-ball unbeaten 92, laced with nine fours and four sixes.

However, Alex Hales and Manish Pandey need to shoulder the responsibility in case Williamson fails to deliver.

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