14 Oct 2020

Lions bounce back in an all round performance!

By cricinsane

Just past the halfway mark in the Dream11 IPL 2020, the wounded lions locked horns with Sunrisers for the second time in the tournament in a mouth watering affair. The CSK team was under intense scrutiny after their array of bad performances and repeated mistakes to see them lingering in the 7th position while the SRH team had a stop start performance winning 3 out of their 7 matches and battling out for a position in the top 4. CSK had been below par with bat as they did not manage to cross the victory margin in their previous outings which forced the captain to don his thinking hats and bring about changes in the batting order. Jagadeesan, who played a handy knock on his debut game against RCB, was forced to donate his place for Piyush Chawla. SRH, on the other hand had only 4 front line bowlers and roped in Shabaaz Nadeem in place of Abhishek Sharma.

The Super Kings won the toss and opted to bat first. To everyone’s surprise Sam Curran was promoted to open the innings alongside Faf Du Plessis with an intention of maximising the score during the powerplay. However, Sandeep removed Faf for a golden duck leaving the first dent in the CSK batting order. With Faf being the experienced and in form batsman, it was always advisable to take the first ball and get off the muk to gain the confidence. But, he had been on the non striker’s end for 12 balls which increased his urge to get the hit the ball and nicked one to the keeper. Watson joined Curran to steer through the powerplay steadily while Curran was lashing out to score 31 of 21 balls before perishing to a beautiful inswinger from Sandeep. The most awaited duo of Watson and Rayudu were the masters of the knock as they went past from overs 5 to 15 collecting 70 runs amongst them. That was the momentum that CSK needed for the last 5 overs to get their hero MSD and his subordinate Jadeja to score quick fire 21 and 25 respectively. With a competitive score of 167 on the board, CSK left the field contently having their openers, middle order and finishers reaching sublime form.

Dubai International Stadium has uneven dimensions and it was very difficult to clear the longer boundaries. Hence it was always for the chasing team to get going from the word go to see through such a difficult chase. Warner and Bairstow had a humongous task ahead of them as they positively stroked a couple of boundaries before Warner fell victim to an unfortunate inside edge off Sam Curran’s delivery. Following him, Pandey ran himself to a mindless run and a bullet throw from Bravo which left more worries for SRH. Kane was fighting a lone battle although the resistance from Bairstow and Garg proved inefficient. Little blows from Vijay Shankar, Williamson and Rashid Khan brought back hopes for the orange army before Thakur and Bravo bowled an excellent spell in the death overs to seal the much needed victory. Overall it was a complete performance as their spinners Jadeja, Karn and Piyush controlled the run mania during the middle overs and Bravo took up the task of handling at the death. With this right balance and positive mindset, a rejuvenated Super King would strongly push for the 3rd and 4th position in the points table.

The game had many moments of geniusness which are elucidated below:

  1. Powerplayer Curran : To answer CSK’s woes in both batting and bowling powerplay, Sam Curran took the onus on himself and fired from the front. His swashbuckling 35 set up the right mood for the batsmen to follow. Also he scalped the priced wicket of Warner. Indeed he is a dynamic player who could fit in at any slot.
But how??
  1. 7 does a 7: Captain cool Dhoni came up with a completely different game plan for this encounter. He roped in an extra bowler in place of a batsman which allowed him to play 7 different bowlers. While the opening spell was controlled by Chahar and Sam, the middle overs were taken by spinners Jaddu, Karn and Chawla before Chahar and Bravo wound up the tail. This provided CSK with a lot of dynamics.
  1. SRH always one short : Either in terms of batting or bowling, SRH always find themselves one player short and that is highly because of the inexperienced Indian lineup. With the top order flooded with overseas players and an ever important Rashid Khan, there is no room to experiment all rounders like Holder or Nabi to strengthen their pace or spin options. Also the middle order looked patchy with Garg and Sharma firing randomly and Shankar not making any impact.
  1. Table opens up : With almost all teams playing 7 matches, top 3 teams sit comfortably with 10 points while teams from 5th to 7th position are with 6 points each. This leads to 5 teams batting out for the 4th position. As captain cool said, process is important and the table takes care of itself!

5. Umpire reviews : Thakur bowled a full length wide delivery close to the tramline and umpire Paul Reiffel was about to call it a wide delivery before he changed his decision looking at Dhoni.

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