Young Ruturaj leads the way as good old CSK top the IPL table

Updated on Apr 28, 2021 11:24 PM IST

Gaikwad was calmness personified as he tore apart the Sunrisers attack during his 75 off 44 balls after Du Plessis (56 off 38 balls) launched the initial assault, making a target of 172 looking easier than it actually was.

CSK beat SRH by 7 wickets(IPL)
CSK beat SRH by 7 wickets(IPL)
By, Mumbai

Powered by a 129-run opening stand between Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad, the Chennai Super Kings juggernaut rolled on in the Indian Premier League, returning to the top of the standings with a seven-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad in New Delhi on Wednesday.

On a wicket where SRH had huffed and puffed to score 171/3, the CSK openers made short work of the target with sparkling knocks for the team’s fifth straight win. Gaikwad scored a scintillating 44-ball 75 with 12 fours, and Du Plessis made 56 off 38 balls (6x4, 1x6).

At the Arun Jaitley Stadium, the South African set the early pace racing to 32 off 19 balls in the powerplay period. The young Indian opener went berserk after reaching his half-century off 36 balls. Half of Ruturaj’s 12 fours came in a nine-ball period in the 12th and 13th overs when he smashed left-arm spinner Jagadeesha Suchith and ace leg-spinner Rashid Khan for three boundaries each.

With both the franchises owned by Chennai-based business houses, the CSK versus SRH battle is seen as a south India derby. But CSK hold total domination over their rivals. It was their 11th meeting, CSK have won seven and SRH 4.

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Pacer Sandeep Sharma has taken the most wickets in powerplay overs in IPL but on Tuesday he couldn’t provide the breakthrough SRH desperately needed; this despite bowling three overs. Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad focused on playing him out to be 50 for no loss after six overs. Sharma was tidy but Khaleel Ahmed (2-0-22-0) and Siddarth Kaul (1-0-12-0) were expensive.

With CSK off to a roaring start, the onus was on Rashid Khan to come and produce his magic. The leg-spinner started with a four-run over, but with SRH leaking runs from the other end, he couldn’t build any pressure.

Having picked up runs at a decent pace early, Du Plessis, the orange cap holder for most runs in this IPL, and Gaikwad could afford to play out Rashid’s overs. The leg-spinner picked three wickets—Ruturaj, Du Plessis and Moeen Ali—but SRH didn’t have the runs on board to put the pressure back on CSK.

It was the first game in Delhi, and the two teams had had contrasting fortunes coming into it—CSK having won four of their five matches and SRH having lost four of their first five. In a bid to reverse their fortunes, SRH decided at the toss that they would bat. In all their five games played at Chennai, they were chasing.

Skipper David Warner made it his sixth 50-plus score against CSK in nine innings but couldn’t get the runs at a strike rate he would have liked. Despite a scratchy innings, Warner touched a number of milestones. It was his 50th IPL fifty, and during the knock he also completed 10,000 T20 runs and 200 sixes. “I take full responsibility for the way I batted. I batted slow and hit to the fielders,” said a disappointed Warner.

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Manish Pandey marked his return to the team with 61 off 46 balls, with five fours and one six.

It was left to Kane Williamson to come in and straight away do the hitting in the slog overs. The New Zealander came to his team’s rescue by picking up 20 runs in the 19th over and Kedar Jadhav smashed 10 runs off the last two balls of the innings to help SRH finish on 171.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text.
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