Priyam Garg on Friday night played a match-winning knock for Sunrisers Hyderabad against Chennai Super Kings after his refusal to respond to Kane Williamson’s call for a single cost the New Zealander his wicket. Unfazed by Williamson’s run-out, Garg went on to play the innings of his life and scored the much-needed 51 off just 26 balls including six boundaries and one six.
Abhishek Sharma too made a quickfire 31 in 24 balls, helping the team from Hyderabad pile up 164-5 in 20 overs. This was a huge recovery after Sunrisers Hyderabad were reduced to 69-4 in 11 overs.
Hyderabad’s start was disastrous as they lost Jonny Bairstow when the team’s total was zero. Deepak Chahar’s inswinging yorker deceived him, dislodging his stumps.
In reply, Chennai Super Kings looked tentative right from the beginning as they struggled to negotiate the bowlers from Hyderabad. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, in particular, was unplayable as he conceded just four runs in his first two overs, taking the important wicket of Shane Watson. T Natarajan took two wickets, while Abdul Samad scalped one wicket. Rashid Khan conceded just 12 runs in his four overs.
The SRH suffered a minor scare in the 19th over when their star bowler, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, pulled a hamstring. Chennai needed 24 runs in two overs. He had to leave the ground in pain, prompting Warner to ask Khaleel Ahmed to complete the remaining five balls of his over.
Ravindra Jadeja and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni began to up the ante towards the end of their innings. Jadeja completed his half-century in 34 balls, but he failed to misread the delivery from T Natarajan and got out for 50.
The highlight of tonight’s match once again was another unbelievable catch by Faf du Plessis at the boundary, which led to the dismissal of David Warner. du Plessis caught the ball right next to the boundary rope. Realising that he may end up touching the rope, he threw the ball in the air before crossing the boundary rope, only to return inside the playing area to catch the ball again. He had taken a similar catch against Mumbai Indians last month.
Defending his decision to give the ball to Ahmed after Kumar sustain injuries, Warner said, “I backed him. I had no option. With Khaleel there, with five balls to bowl, we tried to kill the game there. Could have given it to Abhishek, but I felt with his height and how he bowled, I’d go with him. This wicket was a little bit bad as compared to the last one we played here. You don’t really get that length to pull. It was good to see a bit of swing early on. It was nice to see our guys back themselves – that was my message to these youngsters. I said it in my press conference – when these guys don’t get opportunity to bat time, it’s going to be difficult for them. I asked them what they thought was a good total, they said 150, we got 160-170. These guys work really hard, 20 minutes at the start is these guys executing yorkers, length and slower balls. We work on that, executing those skills when we need to.”
Dhoni, for his part, said, “I was not able to middle a lot of deliveries, maybe trying to hit the ball too hard. Looking at the outfield, it was subconscious. I’m alright, the throat starts to get dry in these sort of conditions. Long time back, we may or may not have lost three in a row. We have to get a lot of things right. It’s the professionalism – dropping catches, bowling no-balls. We’re making the same mistakes again. After the 16th over, we had two bad overs. Overall we could have been slightly better. Nobody wants to drop catches, but at this level you have to draw a line that these catches have to be taken. Catches like these can really hamper your knockout stage games. What if this was a knockout game? There are plenty of positives in this game. A few areas to improve and we’ll come back stronger.”
Priyam Garg was adjudged the Man Of The Match.