Gaikwad, Deshpande power CSK to clinical win over SRH

Chennai Super Kings rode on the prowess of their pacers — considered the team’s most-fancied department — to overpower the big-hitting Sunrisers Hyderabad in Chennai. The commanding 78-run win was CSK’s fifth of the season. It was also SRH’s second consecutive loss chasing. This propels CSK to the third position on the points table, while SRH drop to fourth.

Gaikwad lights up Chepauk

Once again, Chepauk witnessed the brilliance of Ruturaj Gaikwad. He showcased another captivating innings, falling two short of a second successive century. In the energy-sapping heat and humidity of Chennai, Gaikwad opted for a zero-risk approach, yet consistently found the boundary with exquisite shots.

The skipper’s recent form has provided a significant boost to the CSK batting. This was his fourth score of 50 or more in the last five innings. Partnering with Daryl Mitchell, he crafted a solid 107-run partnership, before teaming up with Shivam Dube for a 74-run stand.

Although Gaikwad began cautiously, he changed gears after the third over, recognising Mitchell’s initial struggles. Upon Dube’s arrival, Gaikwad took the back seat, allowing the left-hander to express himself.

Mitchell comes good finally

Upon reaching his first fifty of the season, Mitchell’s celebration was vibrant and animated. He thumped his chest, followed by a gesture towards the dugout, symbolising his importance to the team. This display of jubilation underscored the significance of this innings for him. Cautious during the Powerplay, Mitchell broke free by smashing Pat Cummins for a six in the ninth over.

Subsequently, he exhibited excellent pacing of the innings, carefully selecting his shots and finding boundaries consistently. Playing a complementary role to Gaikwad, Mitchell contributed significantly to their century partnership. When he was fielding, it seemed like the ball was following Mitchell as he took five catches, the most by a CSK fielder in a match.

Tushar dismantles SRH batting

Over the past year, Tushar Deshpande has cemented his position in the XI, primarily due to his ability to take wickets. While he may concede runs, his strategic approach often proves effective. With the new ball, his plan for the SRH openers was clear. Deshpande bowled short and wide to Travis Head and Abhishek Sharma, getting them out in similar fashion — caught at deep point. The fielder was positioned just for that, and credit to the bowler for executing the plan.

Previously, whenever he attempted to bowl into the stumps or at the body of the left-handed batters, he was punished. The Mumbai-based cricketer adjusted his plan, and the change worked for him and his team. The three wickets Deshpande took broke the spine of SRH’s batting, and they never recovered from the blows. In the backend, he came back to outfox Cummins to complete a four-fer.

SRH’s second innings misery

All of SRH’s record-breaking totals in IPL 2024 have been achieved batting first. Thus, it was surprising to see Cummins opt for bowling after winning the toss, given their history of struggle while chasing in the ongoing tournament.

While SRH’s aggressive approach has yielded success in some matches, it can also backfire, if they lose early wickets in the Powerplay, particularly if the target exceeds 200. This scenario has occurred thrice this season, where SRH failed to chase. The downfall typically begins when they lose their openers swiftly. With three wickets down, SRH found themselves playing catch-up, ultimately succumbing to the home team.