Abhishek’s maiden fifty helps SRH to open account

Mumbai, April 9 : Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) opened their account in this year’s IPL by convincingly defeating Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the DY Patil Stadium on Saturday. Riding high on Abhishek Sharma’s 75 off 50 balls, Hyderabad relegated Chennai by clinically chasing down the 155-run target in 17.4 balls. Abhishek belted five boundaries and three sixes. Hyderabad openers got off to a sedate start and scored 24 runs in the first five overs. They raised the tempo in the final over of the powerplay with Abhishek hitting a four and maximum off Maheesh Theekshana. While Abhishek cut loose thereafter, captain Kane Williamson (32 off 40 balls) struggled at the other end. Soon the captain walked back after Abhishek registered his maiden half-century, but it only worsened for Chennai as Rahul Tripathi (39 not out off 15 balls) took guard. Tripathi, from word go, pounced on Chennai bowlers as he timed the ball with elegance. The duo stitched a match-winning half-century partnership for the second wicket. Soon after Abhishek perished, Tripathi smashed winning runs as Hyderabad chased down the target with 14 balls to spare. Earlier, Washington Sundar and T Natarajan’s two-wicket hauls each helped Hyderabad to restrict Chennai to 154/7. Hyderabad bowlers were too good for Chennai batters as they did not allow them to get into their rhythm. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Robin Uthappa looked good but could not go further. Ambati Rayudu looked ungainly. Shivam Dube and MS Dhoni fell cheaply. Moeen Ali found some touch and scored a strong 35-ball off 48 when others failed to impress. Captain Ravindra Jadeja tried to make quick runs towards the end, but Hyderabad bowlers were too good in the death overs. Uthappa (15 off 11 balls) fell immediately once Hyderabad employed Washington in the powerplay. He fell for a bait that floated nicely outside the off stump. The opener tried to hit it over long on, but mistimed it to get caught by Aiden Markram. Gaikwad (16 off 13 balls), who has had a very dismal outing so far in this IPL, fetched his first boundary. But the orange cap winner of 2021 season was sent back by Natarajan’s inswinging stunner breaching his defence. At the halfway stage, Chennai were 68 for 2. Rayudu and Moeen tried to up the ante but could not as the track was on the slower side. Chennai recovered pretty well between 10 and 13 overs. They added 29 runs to build some momentum, but they needed to carry it forward to have a strong finish. They were 97 for 2 and had seven overs left. But Washington broke a 62-run partnership between Rayudu and Moeen for the third wicket. Rayudu looked to take him on, but failed to clear Aiden Markram. In a great bowling change, Williamson brought Markram in the 15th over which was always a risky move, but the South African repaid the faith by getting rid of Moeen. He did smash a six earlier, but fell while trying to replicate it. He fell for 48 and Chennai had two new batters at the crease with five overs left. Hyderabad clawed their way back as they lost three wickets in three overs. Shivam Dube made a long walk back after he guided Natarajan to Umran Malik at short third man. Dhoni pulled a short ball from Marco Jansen but did not connect it well. Umran Malik at the fine leg boundary took the catch. Jadeja made 23 off 15 balls before falling victim to Bhuvaneshwar Kumar. BDN

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