Chennai, April 23: Shane Watson announced his return to form and almost single-handedly steered Chennai Super Kings to a six-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 encounter.
With this win, CSK brought an end to their two back-to-back defeats and continued their dominance at MA Chidambaram Stadium and once again climbed at the top of the table.
Watson scored a brilliant knock of 53-ball 96 and missed his fifth IPL ton by a whisker. The right-handed former Australia cricketer smashed nine boundaries and six maximums in his knock. He was dismissed while attempting an ambitious shot on the bouncer against Bhuvneshwar and Jonny Bairstow took a brilliant diving catch.
Chasing a target of 176, CSK openers Watson and Faf du Plessis (1) started cautiously as they took eleven deliveries to get off the mark as Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed started things well with the new ball. The pressure of the scoreboard forced Du Plessis to take a quick single but a direct hit from substitute Deepak Hooda ended his innings.
CSK vice captain Suresh Raina stepped into the middle and started scoring runs with an attacking mindset with a boundary on the very first ball he faced. He then bludgeoned 22 runs from Sandeep Sharma's first over in the powerplay and brought CSK back on the track in the run chase.
Together with Watson, Raina (38) forged a partnership of 77 runs before Rashid Khan got the better of the southpaw with a brilliant googly. After Raina's departure, Watson unleashed himself and not just notched up his first half-century of the season and later targetted SunRisers' key bowler Rashid.
The 20-year-old has never got the wicket of Watson and the Australia attacked the Afghan spinner with some big hits. Along with Ambati Rayudu (21), Watson stitched another 80-run stand and made the run chase look easy for the home team.
Later, Kedar Jadhav (11*) hit the winning runs and took his team on the other side as the visitors tried to make a game after Bhuvneshwar (1/18) got the wicket of Watson in the 18th over but it was already too late.
Earlier, David Warner struck his fifth consecutive half-century in the tournament and attacked CSK spinners in his trademark style to revive SRH after his opening partner Jonny Bairstow was dismissed for duck by Harbhajan Singh. Bairstow - who was playing his last game of the season - had a forgettable outing at Chepauk.
But Manish Pandey, who made a comeback after being dropped for quite a few games due to poor form - announced his return to form with an unbeaten 83 off 49. Along with Warner (57) he forged a century stand. The duo attacked Chennai spinners in the powerplay till the 15th over.
At the time of Warner's dismissal in 13.3 overs, Sunrisers were 120 for 2. Vijay Shankar (26 off 20) and Pandey tried to up the ante in the death overs but Chennai bowlers pulled thing back and prevented the visitors from posting a total in access of 185-190, which at one stage was looking gettable.
Harbhajan Singh was the pick of the bowlers for Chennai as he got the wickets of Bairstow and Warner but he also conceded 39 runs from his quota of 4 overs. Deepak Chahar (1/30) bowled well in the death over while Dwyane Bravo too put a brake on the flow of runs in the death and prevented the visitors from carrying the momentum at the end of the innings.
Here's how the match between CSK and SRH panned out:
Shane Watson, Man of the Match: I was due for runs, that's for sure. I can't thank Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni enough for their belief in me. Most of the teams I've played in, I would have been dropped by now but they showed the trust in me. Of course, I was doing alright in the PSL and in the BBL too, struck the ball well. Needed some things to go my way, like it did today when Bhuvi was all over me. He is an incredibly skilful bowler as he swings it both ways.
MS Dhoni, the winning captain: I think you can give individuals some games and the team gives them the rest. Watson has been a matchwinner for us. He has been batting well in the nets. Whatever small innings he played so far, he was middling them well although he did struggle a bit. This is the time when you need to back them. The management's thinking was to give him as many games as possible. And the team winning also means that a player gets more games than he would actually get. It's good to see different individuals step up every game. Nice to see our bowling department do well but would like our batting unit also get into the mode that's necessary for the playoffs. If I tell everyone what it is, then they won't buy me at the auctions. It's a trade secret. The crowd support and franchise's support are key of course. Huge credit has to also go to the support staff who play a huge role in keeping the team atmoshphere good for the team and other individuals. Other than this, I can't reveal anything till I retire. It's alright, not showing signs of getting worse. With the World Cup coming, I need to be careful as that comes first
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the losing captain: It was a par score on that wicket. There was dew on the ground but that didn't really bother us. The way Watson batted we couldn't really do much. This is probably the first off day for Rashid in three years, anyone can have an off day. The credit goes to Watson. We will obviously miss Bairstow but we have players in the squad who can replace him. We have three away games now out of four and we have to win those games to qualify. We have to be our best to defeat RR. I have learnt a lot doing captaincy.
It's all over! Kedar Jadhav gets the winning runs and Chennai beat SunRisers by 6 wickets with 1 ball remaining. Shane Watson has announced his return to form and CSK have once again went up at the top.
@ChennaiIPL back on track. Good to see Shane Watson in beast mode tonight. That was vintage.— ian bishop (@irbishi) April 23, 2019
Wicket! Ambati Rayudu mistimes the ball and Vijay Shankar takes a simple catch. CSK - 175/4 in 19.4 overs. 1 needed from 2 balls. This team has a habit of making it a nail-biting finish.
Scores level! 1 needed from 3 balls.
SIX! Kedar Jadhav hit Sandeep for a maximum. 2 needed from 4 balls. Brilliant fielding effort from Manish in the deep.
0,1,1,1L,1,0! 4 came from that over bowled by Khaleel. CSK - 167/3 after 19 overs. They need 9 from last 6 deliveries.
W,0,1,1L,1,0! 3 runs and the big wicket of Shane Watson came from that over bowled by Bhuvneshwar. CSK - 163/3 after 18 overs. 13 needed from 12 balls. Rayudu and Jadhav are present into the middle.
Wicket! Shane Watson (96) misses a well-deserved to. He misses his fifth IPL ton as Jonny Bairstow takes a stunning catch to bring an end to stunning innings. It would have been a wide had he not attempted a shot. Bhuvneshwar strikes. CSK - 160/3 after 17.1 overs. 16 needed from 17 balls.
1,6,1,0,0,2! 10 runs came from that over bowled by Khaleel. CSK - 160/2 after 18 overs. 16 needed from 18 balls.
SIX!! Shane Watson pulls Khaleel for another maximum. He moves on to 95.
Four! Watson sweeps Rashid and gets a boundary. 15 runs came from that over bowled by Rashid and he finishes with 4-0-44-1. How often do you see Rashid ending up with such figures? CSK - 150/2 after 16 overs. 26 needed from 24.
SIX!! Shane Watson dispatches Rashid for a maximum. It was googly from Rashid and brilliantly hit.
Four, Four! Back-to-back boundaries from Watson off Bhuvneshwar. The first one was brilliantly played towards the third man while the second one just took a leading edge and raced towards slip cordon for a boundary.
4,1,4,6,0,1! 16 runs came from that over bowled by Rashid. CSK - 125/2 after 14 overs. 51 needed from 36. Bhuvneshwar brings himself into the attack in the 15th over.
SIX!! Shane Watson pulls Rashid for a maximum. 15 runs from his 4 deliveries so far in this over.
Four! Shane Watson sweeps Rashid and gets a boundary. Good effort in deep by Sandeep but in vain.
Four! Rashid Khan has been brought into the attack and Rayudu gets a boundary on the first delivery. It was timed to perfection and in gap.
1,1,0,1,1,1! 5 runs came from the final over of Shakib's spell. Superb over from the left-arm spinner. CSK - 109/2 after 13 overs. 67 needed from 42 balls.
Four! Shane Watson hits Sandeep Sharma towards mid-on boundary. Powerfully hit and the ball bisected the fielders in the deep.
CSK are 80/2 after 10 overs.
Wicket! Suresh Raina (38) has been stumped by Bairstow. It was a googly and the batsman failed to read it. Brilliant bowling from Rashid and he gets the wicket they were looking for. The 77-run stand between him and Watson comes to an end.
Rashid Khan bowls the 10th over for Sunrisers. CSK - 73/1 after 9 overs
Dropped! Thick edge from Shane Watson's bat off Sandeep and Bairstow makes a full dive towards his right. It would have been a stunning catch and Watson would have departed for 33.
CSK - 68/1 after 8 overs. Some heated exchange of words between Watson and Rashid into the middle. Who will win this battle?
Four! Suresh Raina cuts Rashid towards third man boundary. The ball sailed towards the first slip and raced towards the boundary.
Four! Brilliant shot down the ground by Watson against Rashid Khan. That was powerfully struck.
9 runs came from that over from bowled by Shakib. Some recovery for the hosts after poor start. CSK - 58/1 after 7 overs.
SIX!! Shane Watson pulls Shakib and gets a maximum. With that shot came 50-run partnership between him and Raina.
SIX!! Raina pulls Sandeep for a maximum on the final delivery. 4,0,4,4,4,6! Brilliant over from CSK's perspective. 22 runs came from that over. CSK - 49/1 after 6 overs.
Raina has swung momentum CSK’s way with some lusty hitting off Sandeep Sharma. Not all strokes were well-timed, but 22 runs in the over was just the boost his team needed— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 23, 2019
Four! Three boundaries in a row and fourth overall from this over bowled by Sandeep Sharma.
Four, Four! Raina gets a boundary off Sandeep towards fine leg boundary. The southpaw now hits him towards third man boundary.
Four! Sandeep Sharma is brought into the attack and Suresh Raina gets a boundary towards mid-wicket boundary. CSK - 31/1 after 5.1 overs.
Four! Shane Watson gets a boundary over extra-covers. Vijay Shankar made a brilliant effort near the boundary but couldn't prevent it. 10 runs for Watson off two deliveries against Khaleel.
SIX!! Shane Watson pulls the short-pitched delivery from Khaleel Ahmed for a maximum.
8 runs came from the first over bowled by Shakib. Good comeback by the left-arm spinner after getting hit for a boundary on the very first ball. CSK - 16/1 after 4 overs.
Four! Shakib has been introduced in the attack and Watson gets a boundary. Brilliant shot from the opener.
6 runs and the big wicket of Faf du Plessis came from that over bowled by SRH skipper Bhuvneshwar Kumar. CSK - 8/1 after 3 overs.
Four! Suresh Raina drives Bhuvneshwar down the ground for a brilliant boundary on the first ball he faced.
Direct Hit!! Umpires go upstairs to check if Faf du Plessis has made it to the crease Brilliant throw from Hooda. The Third Umpire takes his time and rules in favour of SRH as it was a close call. Du Plessis is run out for 1. CSK - 3/1 after 2.3 overs.
Slow start for CSK as they've scored just 2 runs from 2 overs as they chase 176.
Single on 11th delivery! SunRisers pacers couldn't have wished for a better start with the new ball.
0,0,0,0,0,0! Brilliant start with the new ball. Bhuvneshwar Kumar starts with a maiden over. Shane Watson let all those six deliveries go through him. CSK - 0/0 after 1st over.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar to open the attack for SunRisers Hyderabad.
2nd innings! Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis to open innings for CSK as they are chasing 176.
1,0,2,2,1,2! 8 runs came from that over bowled by Dwayne Bravo and Sunisers Hyderabad post a respectable 175/3 in 20 overs. Manish Pandey - 83* plays a brilliant knock. But CSK bowlers recovered well in the end.
That was a good recovery from @ChennaiIPL. At one stage, it looked as if 190+ was on the cards for Sunrisers, but they pulled it back. Deepak Chahar was instrumental in this - shots against him had a Timing Rating of just 78, the lowest of any bowler. Tough to get away. #CSKvSRH— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) April 23, 2019
Four & Wicket!! Vijay Shankar (26) gets a boundary off Deepak Chahar and attempts a big hit over mid-on and Jadeja takes simple catch in the deep. SRH - 167/3 after 19 overs.
Tad risky maybe, but Hyderabad’s tactic of taking the attack to Chennai’s bowlers has paid off. Daunting score on this pitch already— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) April 23, 2019
Dropped! Suresh Raina puts down a catch and Manish Pandey gets a reprieve. Nothing has gone right for the hosts tonight.
1,1,1,4,1,1! 9 runs came from over no. 18 for Sunrisers. SRH - 160/2 after 18.
Four! Brilliant shot from Vijay Shankar over covers. Wide yorker from Bravo but the batsman read it well and got the dividends.
Sunrisers Hyderabad reach 151/2 after 17 overs. 13 conceded by Tahir from his final over. He remains wicketless tonight and conceded too many runs from his standards.
SIX!! Manish Pandey pulls Imran Tahir for a maximum over mid-wicket. Tahir has been ineffective tonight.
0,2,0,0,1,1! 4 runs came from that over bowled by Jadeja. SRH - 138/2 after 16 overs. Both Vijay Shankar (13*) and Manish Pandey (65*) should be looking to go all guns blazing in the death overs and carry the momentum in their dugout at the end of the innings. They have dominated CSK bowlers brilliantly so far.
1,6,0,0,1,2! 10 runs came from the third over bowled by Tahir. He has been wicketless so far. SRH - 134/2 after 15 overs. They should look for 175-180 from this stage.
SIX!! Vijay Shankar hits Imran Tahir over long-on for a maximum. Brilliant shot from the local boy who has played a lot of cricket at Chepauk.
Wicket! Sharp catch and quick stumping from MS Dhoni (out both ways) and that brings David Warner's innings to an end for 57. Harbhajan gets the second wicket in his final over. SRH - 120/2 after 13.3 overs.
4,1,1,1,1,0! 8 runs came from that over bowled by Jadeja. SRH - 116/1 after 13 overs. They are cruising and CSK are looking clueless as how to break this partnership.
Very interested in seeing how Dhoni plays this situation. He normally controls the game here in Chennai with spin but the batsmen have attacked his spinners.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 23, 2019
This partnership is worth 110 off 67 deliveries.
Fifty! 5th consecutive half-century from David Warner. Mr Consistent has been in sensational form this season. This is his 43rd fifty of IPL.
Four & Fifty!! Manish Pandey makes most of the opportunity tonight as he hits first half-century of the season. This is his 13th IPL fifty. SRH - 103/1 after 11 overs.
Delighted that Manish Pandey has got the right batting position. He was losing himself down the order, even when he was captain of Karnataka. He is a clean striker and he has put on a show today.— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) April 23, 2019
Halfway stage: Sunrisers are cruising as they reach 91/1 after 10 overs. Warner - 48* & Pandey - 41*. These two have attacked Chennai bowlers and how?
SIXXXX! Manish Pandey dispatches Imran Tahir over mid-on for a maximum. He's played positively so far.
SIX!! David Warner hits Jadeja over mid-wicket for a maximum. Nothing is working for CSK spinners tonight. 12 runs came from that Jadeja over. SRH - 81/1 after 9 overs.
6 runs came from the first over bowled by Bravo. SRH - 69/1 after 8 overs. They are going at a healthy run rate of 8.63 per over. CSK spinners have been ineffective after Harbhajan's first over.
9 runs came from that over bowled by Ravindra Jadeja. Runs are coming in easily for Sunrisers. Chennai desperately need a wicket now else Warner and Pandey will make things difficult for the hosts. SRH - 63/1 after 7 overs.
50-run partnership between Warner and Manish off just 29 deliveries.
Another productive over for SRH as 11 came from the final over of the powerplay. Sunrisers have reached 54/1 after 6 overs.
Four! Manish Pandey opens the face of the bat and guides the ball towards fine leg boundary off Harbhajan.
4,1,4,3,0,1! 13 runs came from that over bowled by Deepak Chahar. #SRH - 43/1 after 5 overs. They have recovered well after Bairstow's early dismissal.
4,1,4! David Warner started Deepak Chahar's over with a boundary and Manish Pandey hits a four now. These two are looking in sublime touch.
SIX!! Manish Pandey hits second maximum of the over. Warner started the proceedings against Harbhajan with a six and Manish ended with a six. He's looking in fine touch.SRH - 30/1 after 4 overs.
SIX!! David Warner hits Harbhajan Singh down the ground for a maximum.
Four! Short-pitched length ball from Chahar and Warner pulls him towards mid-wicket boundary.
Sunrisers Hyderabad are 9/1 after 2 overs. Superb first over by Harbhajan.
Four! Manish Pandey walks into the middle at one down and he opens his account on the very first ball he faces. Hits Harbhajan down the ground.
Wicket! Harbhajan strikes again in his first over at Chepauk! Jonny Bairstow (0) edges and MS Dhoni takes a simple catch. SRH - 5/1 after 1.3 overs.
0,Wd,0,2,0,0,1! Tight first over from Deepak Chahar against David Warner on a pitch that isn't offering too much to the pacers. SRH - 4/0 after 1st over.
1st innings! SRH openers David Warner and Jonny Bairstow walk into the middle. Super Kings step into the field. Deepak Chahar to start with the new ball for CSK.
SRH (Playing XI): David Warner, Jonny Bairstow(w), Manish Pandey, Vijay Shankar, Shakib Al Hasan, Yusuf Pathan, Deepak Hooda, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar(c), Sandeep Sharma, K Khaleel Ahmed
CSK (Playing XI): Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni(w/c), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: We would have bowled first too. We will miss Williamson but Warner and Bairstow have been brilliant for us. Not really worried about the middle-order, they have not got much chance in the middle. But we all know they are talented. Manish Pandey comes in place of Nadeem.
MS Dhoni: We will bowl first. It is good to be back home. We will be here for the next 10 days. When you are not travelling it brings down the fatigue. We have made one change, Harbhajan comes in place of Shardul Thakur. our top-order needs to be consistent. All the batters have been batting well but they need to take care of their shot selection.
CSK: Harbhajan Singh IN, Shardul Thakur OUT. SRH: Manish, Shakib IN for Kane and Nadeem.
Kane Williamson will be missing this game tonight as he's flown back to NZ due to his grandmother's demise.
Pitch Report by Darren Ganga: More than 50% of the wickets have been taken by spinners on this wicket. So, spinners obviously will play an important role. This pitch is even-looking, there is no grass on this wicket and there is a little bit more moisture. The skill of the batsmen to score against the spinners might just be the difference in this encounter.