So we have already witnessed the first reverse fixture of the season. The first reverse fixture is the game you feel saddest watching. Because it makes you realize that the tournament is half gone, and it will be over pretty soon. But this depressing day wasn’t as grim for CSK fans because their team has finally ended their run of poor form and gotten their revenge on the Orange Army.
Sam Curran The Opener
This game was the first where CSK batted first. Their position on the points table may have something to do with that too, as teams winning when batting first has been the norm in this IPL. With a new challenge came a new strategy. Alongside Faf Du Plessis, came Sam Curran to open the batting! There were calls to open with Curran ever since that dreaded run of 4 losses, and they finally did it today. Looking at Watson’s record against SRH, he may not have been the right man to demote. But it all worked out in the end, so fair play to them.
My Fantasy Captain Gets A Duck (Btw join my fantasy league if you’re playing, I need some competition because I’m in the Top 7,000 amongst 6 lakh players, ok I’ll stop flexing)
Sam Curran did what he was sent in for, and got them off to a good start. That was negated however, by the wicket of Faf Du Plessis, who didn’t face a single delivery till the 3rd over, and ended up losing his wicket on his very first delivery. He had carried the CSK batting so far, and they looked set for a thin total. This was further fuelled by Sam Curran’s wicket being uprooted by Sandeep Sharma, who definitely deserves a special mention for getting both CSK’s openers out, and easily being the best bowler in today’s game.
But then came the partnership. Shane Watson, who scored that century against SRH that won them the IPL, and Ambati Rayudu, who is from Hyderabad and has a bit of a ‘rebel with a cause’ thing going on against the Hyderabad Cricket Association, which definitely would motivate him to play well against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. And so they begun their partnership. It was a difficult wicket, and they played quite slowly, but eventually raised the pace. They rescued CSK from a tough position, and got them to a respectable position before losing their wickets in quick succession.
Sam Curran The Opener – Part 2
After a mini-Dhoni assault, and a fast-paced Jadeja masterclass, CSK reached a total of 167. It was still anybody’s game, and CSK would have to bowl very well to contain SRH. The most dangerous part of the SRH batting lineup is their opening duo. Against SRH, well begun is definitely half done. And CSK definitely did that. Sam Curran helped them start well with the ball too, grabbing the requisite wicket of David Warner.And right after that, it was Dwayne Bravo who came up with an excellent fielding sequence to run out Manish Pandey, who has been in-form lately.
After fending off the pacers, an awkward Jonny Bairstow finally fell to the man of the evening, Ravindra Jadeja. And after that, it was just a steady decline for SRH, and a fighting half-century from Kane Williamson didn’t do much to help the cause. It did become a little close toward the end when Rashid Khan started blitzing out shots, but some inspired death bowling from Shardul Thakur was enough to shut him up and secure the game.
Paul Reiffel’s Brain Fade and Dhoni’s dominance
A very important moment in the game was the 2nd delivery of the 19th over. Shardul Thakur was bowling to Rashid Khan. The game was very much in CSK’s bag already, but it’s a game of tiny margins, and SRH could’ve mounted a comeback from there. And so, Shardul bowled a clear wide ball. Rashid did hack at it, but he didn’t make any contact. The umpire Paul Reiffel had already turned around to signal a wide, when Shardul literally jumped on him and along with Dhoni, started shouting aggressively. The result? The umpire let himself get influenced by that, and didn’t give a very obvious wide.
I think MS Dhoni has been using his stature to get decisions in his favour for this whole tournament. I distinctly remember their game against RR, where Dhoni claimed a bump catch off Tom Curran! Which wasn’t even a catch in the first place since Tom hadn’t even edged it! Yet, the umpire got influenced by Dhoni celebrating and called the wicket. On second thought, the umpires did review it and made the right call. Even after using technology to arrive to the correct decision, Dhoni was still trying to get the wicket and kept arguing with the umpires. Not very ‘Captain Cool’-esque.
How It Affects The Points Table
Anyway, this does change the dynamics on the points table a bit. CSK and SRH are both riding in the same boat now, and if RR loses tomorrow too, they will join the pity party too. This gives KKR a bit of an edge, because if they can win their next game, they will leap 4 points ahead of their closest competition (if RR loses, that is). Let’s see how the tournament unfolds, this will be more interesting than I expected it to…