Chennai, Rajasthan win cliffhangers in IPL
HYDERABAD, India (AP) — Chennai Super Kings survived an onslaught from Kane Williamson and Yusuf Pathan to beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by four runs on Sunday in an Indian Premier League thriller.
Defending champion Mumbai Indians lost its fourth match in the last over after No. 8 batsman Krishnappa Gowtham’s unbeaten 33 off 11 balls led Rajasthan Royals to a three-wicket victory in another dramatic finish at Jaipur.
Williamson scored a classy 84 off 51 balls and Yusuf coped with a bad back to hit a rapid 45 off 27 before Hyderabad was restricted to 178-6 in reply to Chennai’s 182-3.
Rashid Khan nearly pulled off victory for Hyderabad, smashing 17 off just four deliveries, including a six and a four off Dwayne Bravo in the last over.
With six required off the last ball, Bravo bowled a perfect yorker to Rashid and conceded only a single. The win took Chennai to the top of the table with eight points from five matches.
“I think the wickets have become better compared to the first few years of the IPL,” Chennai captain MS Dhoni said.
“But as we progress toward the knockouts, you will see the bowlers come up with new plans, and getting the big scores won’t be so easy.”
Earlier, Ambati Rayudu (79 off 37) and Suresh Raina (54 not out off 43) lifted Chennai’s total after being put into bat.
Hyderabad restricted Chennai to 54-2 by the halfway mark, but conceded 95 runs in the last seven overs against some clean hitting by No. 4 batsman Rayudu.
Rashid did well with the bat but, as a legspinner, he again proved expensive (1-49) despite getting Faf du Plessis (11) stumped off his first ball.
Hyderabad missed injured Shekhar Dhawan in the top order and slumped to 22-3 inside the batting powerplay with medium fast Deepak Chahar (3-15) claiming three wickets in his first three overs.
But Williamson and Yusuf took charge in the latter half of the innings with a 79-run stand off 45 balls before both fell in successive overs.
Williamson, who hit six fours and five sixes, was outfoxed by Bravo off a slower delivery in the 18th over and Ravindra Jadeja plucked a brilliant two-handed diving catch in the deep.
Yusuf followed Williamson when he skied a catch off medium fast Shardul Thakur before Rashid’s little cameo couldn’t take Hyderabad all the way.
In the second game Sunday, Mumbai won the toss and opted to bat but wasted a strong start.
Suryakumar Yadav (72 off 47) and Ishan Kishan (58 off 42) shared a century stand for the second wicket before Mumbai was held to 167-7.
After the second wicket produced 129 off 82 balls, Mumbai could score only another 37 runs in almost six overs.
Jofra Archer (3-22), playing his first IPL game, got all his three wickets in his last over and missed out on a hard return catch of Kieron Pollard in the same over.
Rajasthan was in control after Sanju Samson (52 off 39) and Ben Stokes (40 off 27) shared a 72-run third wicket stand before Mumbai came back hard through its seamers and claimed three wickets with the score staying on 125.
But Gowtham hit four boundaries and two sixes to guide Rajasthan to 168-7 with two balls to spare and left even his captain Ajinkya Rahane in disbelief.
“Still can’t believe what happened, the way KG (Krishnappa Gowtham) and Sanju batted, wow!” Rajasthan captain Ajinkya Rahane said.
“I thought Mumbai would make 180-190, but still KG’s knock was unbelievable.”
Mumbai is at the bottom of the table with just one win from five games.
“Not easy to lose close games, and that’s why I’ve not been too critical of our bowlers,” Mumbai captain Rohit Sharma said. “They have pulled things back often, but our batting wasn’t good. Twenty more runs would’ve been enough.”