Rayudu blazes ton as Chennai Super Kings ease to victory
May 14 2018 by Dustin Murphy
Hyderabad, which has already qualified for the playoffs with 18 points, relied on half-centuries by Shikhar Dhawan (79) and captain Kane Williamson (51), who lost the toss and was put in to bat. In reply, Ambati Rayudu and Shane Watson pulped SRH - undoubtedly the best attack of the tournament - and walked away with a comprehensive win.
Rayudu's showing has also led to a recall to India's One-Day International side for their series against England in July, and the batsman was naturally pleased with how things have gone for him. Rayudu capped a remarkable turnaround of a season with his maiden T20 hundred, and Watson fell for 57 off 35.
Talking about his comeback into the Indian team, Rayudu said, "I am really happy to be back in the Indian team, hopefully I will do well there". The pitch had nothing on offer after some movement for the first 10 overs of the SRH innings. Both batsmen looked in their elements and pounced on anything short. Straightway in the first ball of the 17th over, Shardul Thakur sent back the visiting skipper, which left Hyderabad at 141/3. Besides Bhuvneshwar, Siddharth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma, leg-spinner Rashid Khan (13 wickets) and Shakib (12 wickets) are also doing well. "He is someone who doesn't look like a big hitter but nearly clears the field every time he plays the big shot", Dhoni said after his side beat Sunrisers by eight wickets.
Watson gave him strong company at the other end of the crease as he hit five boundaries and three sixes in the knock. With three matches remaining, CSK will need one convincing win to make it to the top four. "We could not get the ball moving, perhaps it was just the change in conditions but they played extremely well, so they deserved to win today", he added. And, Sunrisers struck again in four balls, dismissing Suresh Raina, when he went for a big stroke. However, MS Dhoni's team will heart from the fact that they defeated SRH the last time they met in Hyderabad.
Outgunned by the swashbuckling century from Ambati Rayudu, Kane Williamson conceded that the Hyderabad were outplayed by southern rivals Chennai. With this, CSK remains on number 2 of the IPL 2018Points Table despite an 8 wicket victory.
However, SRH would consider themselves unfortunate that as soon as they came out to bowl, the swing that their batters had to cope up with early on was nowhere to be found. His 134-run opening partnership with Watson in Sunday's clash against Sunrisers was the first 100-run stand against an effective SRH in this season.