Lead image – AFP
MS Dhoni sat out for one match and Chennai Super Kings immediately lost. And in unfathomable manner at that. The IPL continues to produce drama!
After making 80 runs for the loss of one wicket in their first 10 overs, Chennai somehow managed just 52 off the next 10. That would have still been totally understandable had the team been bowled out. But Chennai lost just four more wickets.
It gave them a paltry 132 runs to defend. David Warner and Jonny Bairstow then showed the power of their Unbreakable Bond™ to shave off half of those runs well inside the Powerplay. It helped Sunrisers Hyderabad snap a three-match losing streak.
As for Chennai, they remained on top, because their defeats are so rare.
Leggies born across generations, @ImranTahirSA and @rashidkhan_19 talk about each other's celebrations after the @SunRisers win; a reunion in Chennai!
🗣️Watch on as Rashid divulges an insider secret! Interview by @28anand. #SRHvCSK
— IndianPremierLeague (@IPL) April 18, 2019
Rashid Khan. By his lofty standards, the Hyderabad leg-spinner has had a quiet season so far. He has gone at under six an over, which is more than what you can ask for from a spinner in a season as long as the IPL. But the wickets column hasn’t been overflowing, like it usually is. In fact, Rashid has been overshadowed in that regard by Afghanistan team-mate Mohammad Nabi, who has averaged a good 10 runs per wicket less than he has.
But on Wednesday, April 17, Rashid played an integral part in Chennai’s death-overs slowdown. He struck twice in the 14th over, dismissing Suresh Raina and Kedar Jadhav, and it sent CSK into a tailspin from which they never recovered. A one-run 17th over that ended with Ambati Rayudu surviving a review was a thing of beauty as Rashid finished his spell with 2/17 in four overs and CSK ended with a sub-par total.
— Chennai Super Kings (@ChennaiIPL) April 18, 2019
Ravindra Jadeja. On Sunday, Jadeja played as fine a knock to finish off an innings as he has in recent memory, making a 17-ball 31* to help CSK run down 162 against Kolkata Knight Riders. His knock on Thursday was the exact opposite of that.
Jadeja came in with more than five overs remaining, ate up a bulk of those balls – 20, to be precise – and made 10 runs. He routinely struggled, against changes of pace, and against the spinners’ variations. He tried to come down the ground, to stay back in the crease, and to play across the line. But overwhelmingly, his efforts ended in big misses, and an inability to pick the gaps.
With three overs left in the innings, Jadeja was struggling on 3 off 12 balls. He managed just seven off his next eight. By the time he was done, sixty percent of his innings had been taken up by dots.
What they said
“Me and Jonny have been mixing and matching quite well.”
– David Warner, definitely not talking about the duo’s clothes selection
What they didn’t say
“And they say I can’t finish well anymore.”
– MS Dhoni, watching CSK’s horrific death-overs crawl from the dugout
Back home and aiming to keep the winning run going! 💪
Dilliwalon, name the XI Tigers you would want to see in #DCvMI tonight! 🐯
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) April 18, 2019
Delhi Capitals face Mumbai Indians at the Kotla. At the unveiling of the new team name, Capitals actually said that “Delhi Capitals” is like “Mumbai Indians”, when asked what the new name means. Here’s hoping the cricket between the two produces something more inspiring than that.