Chennai Super Kings moved to six points in the IPL 2020 points table with a convincing win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday. Batting first for the first time in the tournament, the MS Dhoni-led CSK team piled on a competitive total of 167, which proved 20 runs too many for the SRH team.
Here are the talking points from the game.
Sam Curran opens the batting
MS Dhoni spoke about showing intent after CSK’s previous defeat, and the side began on an aggressive note as they pushed Englishman Sam Curran to open the innings. The middle order player had scored 68 runs in 31 balls in the previous seven games, and was asked to open just for the second time in his T20 career. While it might appear that the move backfired as he was batting on 10 off 15 at one point, the fourth over saw him hit two fours and two sixes, which took his score to 31 off 20. He was bowled by Sandeep Sharma eventually, but he had done his job at the top of the order.
The move to have Curran at the top allowed the other batters to play their natural game after a solid start had been set.
Dhoni “bullies” the umpire
25 were required off the last 11 balls of the SRH innings, when bowler Shardul Thakur sprayed a wide delivery that batsman Rashid Khan could not reach. The on-field umpire Paul Reiffel immeditaley extended his hands and gave it as a wide. The next delivery was a carbon copy as well, and the umpire was halfway through calling it a wide before an angry Dhoni protested. Reiffel stopped from calling it a wide, a move that was heavily criticized.
The former Indian skipper was accused of “bullying” the umpire into giving a decision in his favour, and though the move did not influence the result, Dhoni’s reaction left a bitter aftertaste.
Is Rashid Khan losing his venom?
Afghan spinner Rashid Khan started IPL 2020 with a bang, picking up eight wickets in the first six games at an economy rate of less than 5. However, the figures have gone for a toss in the last two games as he has conceded 55 runs in eight overs for just 2 wickets. Teams are eager to take him on of late – a huge change from the trend of playing him out. Rahul Tewatia of Rajasthan Royals had smashed him for three fours when the two sides met last, and against CSK, Shane Watson and Ambati Rayudu hit him for a six each in the last over that he bowled.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar ruled out due to injury, the pressure of leading the attack is on Rashid, and it will be crucial that he gets back to his rhythm.
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