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CLT20: Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad

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The Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad square off against each other in Ranchi on Thursday in a match that will see the winners take hold of top position in Group B. Both teams have won their opening encounters in the tournament, with Chennai defeating the Titans in a closely-contested match at the same venue and the Sunrisers getting the better of Trinidad & Tobago in Mohali.

The two teams met twice in the IPL  earlier this year, with the Super Kings emerging victorious on both the occasions.

Chennai Super Kings:

Chennai’s much-famed batting line-up came to the rescue after their bowlers had taken quite a hammering in the last match against Titans. Michael Hussey and Suresh Raina got them off to a flying start and Dwayne Bravo finished off with a cameo to take them over the finishing line. MS Dhoni failed to make it into double figures in that match and he wouldn’t want to disappoint his home crowd again. Ravindra Jadeja also couldn’t make much of an impact with either the bat or the ball and would be hoping to produce a match-winning performance in this match.

Chennai relies heavily on their spin attack to pick up crucial wickets and it is expected to be no different against Sunrisers. So a lot will be expected from R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Sunil Narine’s 4 wicket haul for just 9 runs in the match between Sunrisers and Trinidad will give them a lot of confidence of bowling at the Sunrisers batsmen. The pace battery, consisting of Mohit Sharma, Jason Holder, Albie Morkel and Dwayne Bravo will also have their work cut out against the likes of Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy in the death overs. The bowlers who would bowl in the initial stages of the innings will also need to be wary of the threat that is Shikhar Dhawan and should try to send him back to the pavilion as soon as possible.

Sunrisers Hyderabad:

Sunrisers come into this match on the back of a narrow win against Trinidad & Tobago, courtesy of a 32-ball-54 blinder from Thisara Perera. The other batsmen also got starts but couldn’t go on to see their team to the winning line. Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel continued their good run at the top, and a lot of expectations will be from them to get them off to a good start against a formidable side like Chennai. All-rounders Thisara Perera, who is quickly gaining a reputation of being the side’s firing cannon and Darren Sammy can really let loose at the end and get those extra 15-20 runs that is so important if the match comes down to the wire. The middle order seems to be a bit of a concern for the Sunrisers as barring JP Duminy, no other batsman has really been able to get going in the tournament.

Among the bowlers, the emphasis will surely be on Amit Mishra, as his performances so far in the tournament have not justified the reputation he has built. He has been taken for runs and has not been able to pick up regular wickets that would be expected from a player who has 3 IPL hat-tricks to his name. Even Dale Steyn and Ishant Sharma have gone for runs, with a not-so pretty wicket to runs ratio. All rounders Thisara Perera and Darren Sammy picked up 4 wickets for 47 runs in the 8 overs between them against Trinidad, and need to give their all against a formidable Chennai batting line-up.

Possible line-ups:

Chennai Super Kings: Murali Vijay, Michael Hussey, Suresh Raina, S Badrinath, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Albie Morkel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jason Holder, Mohit Sharma

Sunrisers Hyderabad: Parthiv Patel (wk), Shikhar Dhawan (c), Jean Paul Duminy, Biplab Samantray/Hanuma Vihari, Thisara Perera, Darren Sammy, A Ashish reddy/Anand Rajan, Dale Steyn, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Karan Sharma

Players to watch:

Michael Hussey: Michael Hussey continued where he left off in the IPL with a quickfire 47 at the top of the order to get Chennai off to a flying start in pursuit of 187 runs against Titans. He has been in tremendous form and his performances seem to be getting better with every match.

Thisara Perera: He absolutely bludgeoned the Trinidad & Tobago bowlers with a 32-ball-54 at a crucial stage of the match to bring Sunrisers back into the run chase after chances of a win looked pretty bleak at 95-4 in 13 overs. He also picked up 2 wickets, including the important wicket of Denesh Ramdin. Sunrisers will be heavily relying on this man to help them get the better of the Super Kings.

Prediction: Sunrisers’ vulnerability to spin was exposed in the match against Trinidad & Tobago and with a very good spin attack, Chennai Super Kings are the favourites to win this match.