Winning is a habit. That’s reflected in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s victory over the Chennai Super Kings on Friday. Once Hyderabad snapped the losing streak in IPL 2020, their confidence levels have soared. It has helped the youngsters fulfill their potential.
The win at the Dubai International Stadium was a triumph of youth over Chennai’s experience. When Hyderabad were tottering at 69 for four, Priyam Garg (51 off 26 balls) and Abhishek Sharma (31 off 24) played with a maturity beyond their age. Garg is 19 and Sharma is 20. Their 77-run stand helped post 164, and it gave Hyderabad a fighting chance on a slowing pitch.
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Hyderabad bowlers have been restrictive, where Rashid Khan’s tight leg-spin spells fetched wickets for bowlers at the other end. The misfiring Chennai batting helped too. Although Ravindra Jadeja (50 off 35 balls)and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (47 off 26) seemed to be in control, the required run rate had soared. It was not an impossible task, but it required a good dose of luck to sustain an assault in the slog overs. Jadeja’s luck ran out, and an exhausted Dhoni couldn’t turn the clock back.
It was only apt that another youngster put the final touches to Hyderabad’s victory. Abdul Samad, only 18, stepped up to the challenge of sending down the last over when an injury robbed them of Bhuvaneshwar Kumar’s bowling. The occasion or Dhoni’s reputation didn’t overawe Abdul Samad. It was a victory for the young and fearless.
Hyderabad will take heart from this win. Where Jonny Bairstow, David Warner and Kane Williamson failed, the talented Garg, Sharma and Abdul Samad shone brightly. That’s a good augury for the matches ahead.
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It was only a six-run loss for Chennai. Which means a bad ball cost them the match. It also means they were only a stroke away. So in the final analysis, their batting and bowling are not up to scratch. This is not the Chennai side that always came back from the dead.
Has the Dad’s Army reached the end of the line? Critics have been carping about that over the last few years, and every time Chennai have proved them wrong. Three defeats in four matches in the UAE is indeed a cause for worry. Dwayne Bravo and Ambati Rayudu are back, but poor starts are still an issue. Bowling too is a concern, because the bowlers are leaking runs. Plenty of it. Bring on the dykes.