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Sports


Watson's heroics carry CSK to play offs, as home team wins against SRH

Watson's heroics carry CSK to play offs, as home team wins against SRH

Chenai, Apr 23 (UNI) Age is mere numbers. It was proved once

again by defending champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK) as

power hitting by opener Shane Watson (aged 37) carried the

home team to a dominant seven wicket victory over Sun Risers

Hyderabad (SRK) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium here on

Tuesday night.

Chasing SRH's 175 for three, in a surprisingly batting

friendly wicket, Watson feasted on the bowlers, before

falling short by four runs for his second century of this

edition, but ensured the home team seal its berth in the

play offs.

CSK romped home scoring 176 for four in 19.5 overs.

It was incredible batting, as Watson struck nine fours and

six sixers in his 53-ball knock of 96 runs, that put the CSk

on its course for its fifth win on the trot at home and seal

a berth in the play-offs.

His two useful partnerships helped CSK to take revenge for

its earlier loss in Hyderabad few days back.

Watson, mixing caution with aggression, first added 77 with

southpaw Raina in 7.3 overs and then another 80 with Ambati

Rayudu in a mere 7.1 overs, that was punctuated with his

power hitting, to ease the pressure as CSK romped home with

consummate ease, amid a bit of anxiety in the last over,

in which Ambati Rayudu (21, 25 balls, 1x4) fell, before

skipper M S Dhoni gave the finishing touches to win by a

comprehensive six wickets.

Watson was all set to score his second hundred of this edition,

before he top edged a slow bouncer off Bhunavesh Kumar to the

keeper in th 19th over, triggering a close finish, especially

after Rayudu's exit.

But Dhoni gave the finishing touches, ensuring CSK's fifth win

on the trot at home and sealing a place in the play off.

Like the SRH start, the chase was not that rosy as CSK lost

Faf Du Plessis early, but Shane Watson and Suresh Raina

combined well to add 73 runs for the second wicket in 9.3 overs,

as the duo overcame early blues to take a calculated risk against

the bowlers.

It was Raina 38 (24 balls, 6x4, 1x6). who dominated

the stand, before he was flummoxed by Rashid Khan's

googly, but he put the attack in ins place with hils

attacking instincts.

Combining caution with aggression, he took the aerial

route, before just slipping out of the crease against

Rashid going for a drive and paid the penalty.

But his stand with Watson, who in the process drove

and pulled to reach his half century and also crossed

8,000 runs in T-20 matches, consolidated the innings,

to put CSK on course for a victory as he carted Rashid

for two fours and a six in the game changing 14th over,

pummeled Bhuvanesh Kumar to a pair of boundaries in the

next to add pressure on the SRK bowlers, as the target

narrowed down to 41 in the last five overs, before CSK

won with consummate ease.

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