Rayudu blazes ton as Chennai Super Kings ease to victory

Rayudu blazes ton as Chennai Super Kings ease to victory

The real damage, arguably, was done by Super Kings bowlers: a returning-from-injury Deepak Chahar at the start of the match to force a slow start on Sunrisers, and then Dwayne Bravo at the end of the innings to convert what looked like a chase of 200 into 180. The Kane Williamson-led side are on a six-match winning streak - their best-ever - and will look to extend it further, according to an official press release. However, the 36-year-old skipper struggled while running between the wickets and felt his back in pain after some big hits. On the Maharashtra Cricket Stadium in Pune, CSK took on the table toppers SunRisers Hyderabad (179-4).

Royal Challengers Banalore's win over Delhi Daredevils on Saturday night has made things tough for KKR, KXIP, MI and RR as except Delhi Daredevils (which was "officially" knocked out of the tournament after it lost to RCB), all these five teams have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the play-off stage. He would come in to bat only after a session of back massage, football and surprisingly, even after bowling a lengthy spell. They fell off successive balls, when they had just gone hit-all. Against an opposition that has everything going for them, Dhoni will be hoping his bowlers can stand up to the challenge in the Pune heat. However, Alex Hales and Manish Pandey need to shoulder the responsibility in case Williamson fails to deliver.

It was a long overdue innings and Ambati Rayudu, the man who has taken the eleventh season of Indian Premier League by storm, finally notched up his maiden ton in IPL against the team decorated with a formidable bowling line-up.

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For RCB, this is a must-win game as they would be shown the exit gate if they lose another game. With Rajasthan Royals beating Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings became the second team to confirm a spot in the play-offs.

The SRH bowling attack has made the headlines for all the right reasons recently. That backof-the-length was a hard one to hit. We want to stick to our plans and post a good score. It is not the planning but the execution that goes haywire. This has been a par score or some par plus score.

If they do manage that then the chances are it will be the Sunrisers they are nearly certain to face in the first qualifier. While they are technically in a comfortable zone, another win will confirm their place in the last four. After gaining a feel for the conditions - the ball was't swinging and was sliding on instead in the evening - Rayudu shimmied out against Sunrisers' best bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and launched him inside-out over extra-cover for six.

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