IPL 2021, CSK vs SRH: Ruturaj Gaikwad, Faf du Plessis star in Chennai’s comfortable win | Cricket News

CHENNAI: A common factor in Chennai Super Kings’ victories in IPL-14 has been the performance of their openers — Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The duo took a few games to make an impact but once they found their mojo – the pair has been unstoppable. Against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Arun Jaitley Stadium in New Delhi on Wednesday, du Plessis (56, 6×4, 1×6) and Gaikwad’s (75, 12×4) 129-run opening wicket stand saw the side cruise to a seven-wicket victory in 18.3 overs chasing 172.
The start of the Delhi leg of the tournament hasn’t altered the fortunes of the two sides. While CSK notched up their fifth win in a row to regain the top position in the points table with 10 points, SRH continued to languish at the bottom with just 2 points from 6 outings.

In pursuit of 172 on a slow track, du Plessis and Gaikwad got the side off to the best possible start. The duo’s 78-ball stand laid the foundation for CSK’s chase. The duo looked untroubled from the beginning and raised the 50-run stand in the Powerplay overs. The pair kept pace with the asking rate with their big hits and smart running between the wickets. The CSK openers were watchful against leggie Rashid Khan (3-36), but were severe against left-arm spinner J Suchith who was smashed for 45 runs in his three overs.

While du Plessis showed his aggressive intent from the word go, Gaikwad opened up as the innings progressed. By the halfway mark, CSK were just 81 away from the target. Du Plessis raised his 19th IPL fifty in 32 deliveries in the 11th over. In the very next over, it was the turn of Gaikwad to bring up his fifty — his fifth in the competition. Gaikwad was cleaned bowled by Rashid Khan in the 13th over but not before the 24-year-old Maharashtra batsman had all but sealed the clash in his side’s favour. Rashid Khan then accounted for du Plessis and Moeen Ali (15) but the experienced Suresh Raina (17 n.o) and Ravindra Jadeja (7 n.o) saw CSK home with 9 balls to spare.

The first half of play belonged to Manish Pandey. Dropped for the last two games this season, Pandey announced his return to the SRH playing XI with a 46-ball 61 that helped SRH score 171 for 3. In the company of skipper David Warner (57, 3×4, 2×6), Pandey added 106 runs for the second wicket before cameos from Kane Williamson (10-ball 26*) and Kedar Jadhav (12* from 4) saw them finish on a high. Arriving at the fall of Jonny Bairstow (7) in the 4th over, Pandey got off the blocks with a boundary over cover-point region in the second ball he faced from Deepak Chahar. While Warner was not getting his timing right for the majority of his innings, Pandey — at the other end — made up for it with those timely hits to the fence. Pandey raised his 50 in 35 deliveries in the 14th over. Warner registered his 50th half-century in the competition two overs later.

Lungi Ngidi (2-35), who bowled the 18th over, got rid of both Warner and Pandey. Ngidi first had Warner caught by Ravindra Jadeja at sweeper cover region in the first ball of the 18th over. Ngidi then cut short Pandey’s stay at the crease thanks to Faf du Plessis’ splendid catch at widish long-on region. Williamson and Jadhav then added a quickfire 37 runs from 13 deliveries in the end but it proved to be short against a rampaging CSK.

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