Siddharth Kaul comes into to bowl his third over. Sunrisers had lost talismanic batsman and captain David Warner to the ball-tampering scandal while the Super Kings were returning to the tournament after a two-year suspension. And Dhoni has relied nearly exclusively on the strength of his forearms to muscle 28 sixes in the tournament. Watson got to his fifty off 31 balls, so did Rayudu and by the time the duo was separated on 134, CSK were well and truly in the driver's seat.
Shakib Al Hasan bowls his last.
Rayudu meanwhile, also slammed his maiden IPL ton facing 62 deliveries, smashing seven fours and as many hits into the stands. KM Asif can also come back ahead of Karn Sharma who failed to impress in the previous game. Out of desperation, Raina makes a poor shot selection and captain Kane Williamson takes a stunning catch at the mid-off. However, once Watson (57) fell, Raina (2) followed shortly. It looked like Dhoni would miss the next couple of matches at CSK's new home ground, Pune's Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium. At the powerplay stage itself, Watson and Rayudu had nearly doubled the score that SRH had got, CSK's 53/0 in comparison to SRH's 29/1. The bowlers were instructed what to bowl: back of a length. 14 runs off the over. On Sunday, it was the repeat of the same: 29 for 1 in the Powerplay, 41 for 2 at the death, with the 101 off the nine middle overs. 52 runs required from 42 balls.
The visitors reverted to their former opening pairing of Ambati Rayudu (12) and Shane Watson (39). SRH successfully chased a mighty total of 187 set by DD and that too with 9 wickets in hand. 66 runs required from 48 balls. 13 runs off the over.
There are two big games in the IPL today starting with a top-of-the-table clash between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad in Pune before play-off chasers Mumbai Indians host Rajasthan Royals in the late game.
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For RCB, this is a must-win game as they would be shown the exit gate if they lose another game.
The visitors' bowling let them down again, however, resulting in their second loss in three matches.
The match is full of trivia.
With eight still needed from the final three balls, the England wicketkeeper hit a huge six and then ran two from the penultimate delivery to get the Royals over the line in dramatic style. Also, Dwayne Bravo needs 4 more wickets to surpass Ravichandran Ashwin's tally of 90 wickets and become the Chennai Super Kings' highest wicket-taker in the IPL.
Rayudu and Watson gave scant respect to the Sunrisers bowlers, touted as the best in this IPL, as they were rarely troubled by the bowling attack which had the likes of India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and highly-rated Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.