At times, T20 games can be frustrating one-sided. The match between Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) at Uppal was one such. The chief reason behind the same was that the bowlers from the home team gave away too many runs while bowling first, as a result of which their batsmen were left with too much to do. And when they batted, the pressure of the massive total got to them. Batting has never been Sunrisers’ strength, and, on Wednesday against Chennai, their weaknesses stood thoroughly exposed.
It was in the first half of the match that the contest was pretty much sealed. Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina featured in a brutal partnership, an alliance which was at the crease for a major portion of Chennai’s innings, and ensured that the game was all but won for them. After Chennai lost Murali Vijay following a decent opening stand, the two in-form left-handers – Hussey and Raina – batted without a worry in the world. The most striking aspect of their partnership, but least surprising too, was that they found the boundaries, and even cleared the field, with ease.
Raina, in particular, was brilliant, not sparing any of the Sunrisers’ bowlers. After the embarrassment in Mumbai, Chennai needed someone to stand up and take charge of the team’s batting. Hussey began the job of getting the team back on track with some supreme shots at the top of the innings. As for Raina, the most significant facet of his magnificent knock was that he batted right through to the end of the innings. The only disappointing part was that he missed his second ton of the series! But, his innings was more than enough to set the cat among the pigeons in the opposition camp.
Speaking of the hosts, they have an extremely forgettable day with the ball. While Dale Steyn continued to be their best bowler, Chennai played him out smartly, not taking any risks against him. The others definitely succumbed to the pressure. Ishant Sharma and Amit Mishra, two of Sunrisers’ most successful bowlers in the tournament, were atrocious; their economy rate going into double figures. It wasn’t surprising then that the lesser-known bowlers also went for plenty. Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy, both were plundered. In Sunrisers’ defence, it can only be said that they came across an unstoppable batting line up.
Although Sunrisers were poor with the bat as well, it would be unfair to blame them for the defeat. Batting has always been their weaker point, and it came to the fore on Wednesday. Also, they were chasing such a big score that they needed something sensational to pull off an improbable win. The truth was that they just didn’t have the firepower to challenge such a massive target. Parthiv Patel was the only one who showed spark, but his knock faded in comparison to those of Raina and Hussey. The rest simply succumbed to the pressure.
Turning point of the game: The grand Raina-Hussey partnership, which doomed Sunrisers.
--By A Cricket Analyst