IPL Match 57, Pre-Match Analysis: CSK vs SRH (Qualifier 1)


IPL 2018 | Match 57 | CSK vs SRH:Β It’s time for the playoffs! Chennai Super Kings and the Sunrisers Hyderabad are to be locked in a Qualifier match tonight at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai at 20:00 IST. Both are placed on top of the table with 18 points and a slight difference in net run rate.

Although both teams have maintained their position on top, it wasn’t easy. SRH spent the first half and the beginning of the second half of the season only winning matches to the point where captain Kane Williamson was asked what his secret of success was. However, once they were well beyond the other teams in terms of points which subsequently earned them a spot in the playoffs, they have faced three consecutive defeats. Thankfully, the defeats didn’t do much harm to their place on the table but we can’t say the same for their reputation.

In case of CSK, the last few matches have seen them go up and down like a sine wave. There is no specific mistake to pinpoint other than inconsistency. They will be going up against arguably the best bowling attack in the IPL and if things do not click today, they will be looking forward to an eliminator. Ambati Rayudu lost his footing in their last match against King XI Punjab. Luckily, it didn’t do much harm to their chances of winning. Dwayne Bravo also hasn’t seemed like himself in the last few games. He hasn’t been scoring much, and well, Raina didn’t even give him a chance to even come near the crease in the last match. With the biggest fan base in the tournament, the pressure will be extremely high, let’s hope they don’t succumb to it.

Wankhede Stadium is a high-scoring field so this could get very nasty. Weather forecasts predict the usual clear, humid evening so there will be no disturbance tonight.

We know their main weaknesses after following them for 14 matches each. SRH’s bowling form has gone down drastically with even Rashid Khan unable to shine. Kane Williamson seemed to be their only hope on the batting front, so against a superior batting line-up like Chennai Super Kings, they have a difficult task ahead of them. Also, the fact that their last two encounters with CSK this season went their opponent’s way will not help with their confidence tonight.

CSK has had a problem with their death-bowling and might end up giving up too many runs, changing the tide towards SRH. Also, the fact that if Dhoni falls, the rest falls with him is an issue. The team has become too dependent on Dhoni, expecting him to come in and finish the game with a six every time. He has provided mostly but in a crucial game like tonight, anything could happen and it is important for the team to have a clear head about their individual contributions to the team effort.

Chennai Super Kings changed their line-up around to mess with the KXIP spinners and pacers but tonight, they will probably be bringing back their original line-up with Shane Watson opening along with Ambati Rayudu. Dwayne Bravo may be moved down a position to keep him as the back-up as he seems to bat better when the team really needs him, to be replaced by either Sam Billings or Faf du Plessis.

To sum it up, the best batting side will be clashing with the best bowling side of the tournament.

In case of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Carlos Brathwaite did not quite make a good impression in his debut in the last game so he is likely to be removed. Shreevats Goswami, on the other hand, has a good day on the field so SRH may be keen on trying out the likes of him once more.

Both teams have clashed on the grounds eight times previously of which CSK held the upper hand in six of those matches.

Two teams on top with more weaknesses than strengths – they’ve survived this far with their points alone; now, with no safety net, will they be able to do the same? Well, one has to win and the other has to lose. Watch tonight (and keep a pacemaker handy, just in case) to find out.

IPL Match 56, Post-Match Analysis: End of the road for Kings XI Punjab


IPL 2018 | Match 56 | CSK vs KXIP:Β Chennai Super Kings ended the final knockout match with a comfortable win against the Kings XI Punjab by five wickets.

CSK is now at par with the table-toppers, Sunrisers Hyderabad, with 18 points and will be facing them in the Qualifier 1 match on May 22nd. This result helped Rajasthan Royals keep its place in the top four as they made it to the playoffs as well.

KXIP, on the other hand, finished the tournament with their eighth successive defeat at seventh place. They needed a win by at least 53 runs to make it to the playoffs but didn’t even come close to the target.

CSK won the toss and opted to field first. Placing KXIP to bat, they had a terrible start as they lost all their big-hitting batsmen, KL Rahul (7), Chris Gayle (0) and Aaron Finch (4) within the Power Play. With only 29 runs by the end of PP, Manoj Tiwary (35) and David Miller (24) added a substantial amount of runs to the score. Tiwary was dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja and Miller left soon after at the hands of a well-executed yorker by Dwayne Bravo. But it was only Karun Nair‘s brilliant knock of 54 runs off 26 balls laced with three fours and five sixes that provided any chance of KXIP winning. Axar Patel (14) attempted to support him in his ordeal but was taken out by a stunning catch by Sam Billings. After his wicket, captain Ravichandran Ashwin, Andrew Tye and Ankit Rajpoot along with Nair were taken out one by one until KXIP ended their innings at 153 – all out in 19.4 overs.

Lungi Ngidi was the star of the match as he finished with a spectacular figure of 4/10. Bravo had a good day on the field too as he eliminated two crucial KXIP batsmen but conceded 39 runs in his four overs.

CSK had a target of 154 to chase which they achieved in 19.1 overs. They ended the innings with Suresh Raina‘s unbeaten 61 runs off 48 balls laced with two sixes and four fours and MS Dhoni‘s seven ball cameo of 16 runs. He ended the match in a very Dhoni-esque way with a spectacular six. However, their start wasn’t as entertaining as the end. CSK lost Ambati Rayudu (1) in the second over to Mohit Sharma. The situation didn’t improve with two back-to-back dismissals of Faf du Plessis (14) and Sam Billings (0) by pacer Ankit Rajpoot, two overs later. Plessis was caught out by Gayle while Billings was clean-bowled for a golden duck. Ankit Rajpoot not only took down the wickets but also reduced them to 27/3 in five overs. Harbhajan Singh (19) and Suresh Raina then came in and took the team to fifty runs in nine overs. Just when they got the momentum going, Harbhajan was dismissed by captain Ravichandran Ashwin himself in the eleventh over. At that point, CSK needed 96 off 59 balls. Raina attempted to keep the run rate going but it fell uneven with no possibility of a boundary. In fact, the team had six dry overs from the ninth to the fifteenth over with no boundaries. With a target of 73 off 36 balls, Deepak Chahar hit two consecutive sixes in Ashwin’s over and Axar Patel’s over to bring the target to an easier 40 runs off 24 balls. But Ashwin came with vengeance to remove Chahar in the seventeenth over. However, his 20-ball 39 helped reduce 56 runs from the target with Raina. Then came in Dhoni and the rest was history.

This win has given CSK two chances at the final at the Qualifiers and the Eliminator and with their in-form performance, they look like they are about to give some tough competition to the Sunrisers Hyderabad. They will now be clashing with SRH for the Qualifiers 1 at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on May 22nd at 20:00 IST.

IPL 2018, Post-Match Analysis: CSK face unexpected defeat by DD


IPL 2018 | Match 52 | DD vs CSK:Β Delhi Daredevils defeated the Chennai Super Kings last night by 34 runs at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Although this win has come too late for the Delhi boys, they can live with the satisfaction of playing a fantastic game and having a hand in postponing CSK’s assured finish in the top two.

CSK won the toss and chose to bowl. They started the innings at a slow rate with openers, Prithvi Shaw (17) and Shreyas Iyer (19). DD lost Shaw cheaply to Deepak Chahar in the fifth over. They managed only 39 runs in power-play. Rishabh Pant (38) partnered with the captain for 54 runs before both were taken out in the same over by Lungi Ngidi. The two major wickets left the field right after Pant scored two sixes and a boundary resulting in 17 runs off Harbhajan Singh‘s over. Glenn Maxwell remained out-of-form as he took a ball to the stumps from Ravindra Jadeja. Vijay Shankar‘s undefeated run added 36 runs to the scoreboard. He partnered with Harshal Patel (36) to finish the last five overs with another fifty runs. The innings ended with a respectable total of 162 for five.

Harshal Patel went on to be titled “Man of the Match” for his spectacular addition to the score – a whopping 36 off 16, including four sixes and one four.

CSK seemed out of touch with the game from the first innings. Dwayne Bravo, their star player, himself was hammered for 52 runs off his four overs, including four sixes in the final over. Even veteran Harbhajan was taken to the cleaners by the DD batsmen. Jadeja, SN Thakur, and Chahar took a wicket each leaving 20 or so runs. Only Lungi Ngidi had a good run of four overs as he took two crucial wickets and conceded only 14 runs.

With a target of 163 to chase, CSK fans were confident that this will be a piece of cake for the Yellow Brigade. CSK also had a slow start as openers Shane Watson (14) and Ambati Rayudu (50) put up a mere 44 runs for power-play. But in the sixth over, the duo gained momentum as Rayudu scored three sixes and one four off of Avesh Khan’s bowling. Just when Watson was gaining his footing, he fell victim to Amit Mishra‘s bowling as Trent Boult sent him home. Rayudu continued his form and went on to score a fifty off 28 balls only to be dismissed by Harshal Patel mid-innings. Suresh Raina (15) came in to replace Watson and scored a run here and there until he was dismissed by newbie Sandeep Lamichhane. Sam Billings (1) also left the field soon enough. It soon came on Ravindra Jadeja and MS Dhoni (17) to carry the team forward to victory. However, even Dhoni with the massive fan following, who has come through always during crucial times for the team, seemed swayed by DD’s impressive fielding. An uncalculated hit in Trent Boult’s over gave Iyer the opportunity to seal his fate. With fifty runs left off of the final five overs, Jadeja’s undefeated cameo of 27 runs and Dwayne Bravo’s almost immediate dismissal did not help their case. The innings ended with a victory for the Delhi Daredevils by 34 runs.

DD showcased some impressive fielding last night as even the death-over champions found themselves trapped. Both Trent Boult and Amit Mishra finished with impressive figures of 2/20 – all four were crucial wickets at crucial times. Sandeep Lamicchane continued impressing with 1/21. Harshal Patel contributed to the bowling side as well with one wicket and conceding only 23 runs off his four overs. Glenn Maxwell (0/14) and Avesh Khan (0/28) were given two overs each.

CSK remains in second place with 16 points but with a significantly lower run rate. A win could have put them on top of the table and at a tie with the Sunrisers Hyderabad, however, their fazed performance last night prevented them from doing so. This has come as a huge disappointment for the loyal CSK fans but maybe it was required to wake the MS Dhoni-led side up before the crucial week starts. DD is already out of the tournament but the team will look to end their appearance this season with a final win.

CSK will clash with Kings XI Punjab tomorrow night for their final home game while DD will be facing the Mumbai Indians for their final game of the season tomorrow as well.

IPL Match 43, Post-Match Analysis: CSK tastes defeat in the hands of RR


IPL 2018 | Match 43 | RR vs CSK: Jos Buttler‘s spectacular performance led the desperate Rajasthan Royals to a much-needed win over the Chennai Super Kings by four wickets with only one ball left last night.

With a target of 177 runs to chase, Buttler opened and stayed till the very end to form a score of 95 runs, winning the match for the pink-jersey clad men. Misfielding from the CSK side just egged him on further as they dropped his catch twice last night. Dwayne Bravo himself was not able to crack the gem, as he was sent to reel Buttler in who used his over to finish the game instead. Buttler started the chase mercilessly with 13 runs off David Willey and 14 runs off Harbhajan Singh. The other major threats for CSK were dismissed one after the other but Buttler stood his ground and kept the run rate up. Krishnappa Gowtham‘s cameo of 13 runs off 4 balls also helped the team on their way.

CSK began batting with Suresh Raina scoring a quick 52, Combined with contributions from MS Dhoni, Sam Billings, and Shane Watson, they brought the score up to 176 for four. Jofra Archer dismissed both openers and proved his worth to the RR. Shane Watson did not make any major damage and was unable to perform on the bowling side as well.

CSK seemed to have everything under control in RR’s innings with wickets falling at regular intervals, however, Buttler’s well-timed sixes made for an easier target for RR to chase. With two runs left off of two balls, CSK failed to get over their confusion on how quickly the tide had changed and let RR take the victory.

The match ended with clumsy fielding from CSK’s side and a look of disappointment from MS Dhoni as RR ran out into the field to catch hold of the exhausted but happy Jos Buttler.

Placed second on the table, CSK has been held back from qualification to the playoffs while RR has made it up to sixth place. CSK will be playing next against the Sunrisers Hyderabad tomorrow at 16:00 IST while RR will be facing the sky-high Mumbai Indians tomorrow at 20:00 IST.