IPL: Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad to reach play-offs

Chennai Super Kings' Faf du Plessis
Chennai Super Kings opener Faf du Plessis has now scored 435 runs in this year’s competition – the third most in the tournament
Indian Premier League, Sharjah
Sunrisers Hyderabad 134-7 (20 overs): Saha 44 (46); Hazlewood 3-24, Bravo 2-17
Chennai Super Kings 139-4 (19.4 overs): Gaikwad 45 (38), Du Plessis 41 (36); Holder 3-27
Chennai Super Kings won by six wickets
Scorecard; Table

Three-time winners Chennai Super Kings became the first team to reach this season’s Indian Premier League play-offs with a six-wicket win over bottom side Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Chasing 135, Chennai’s Faf du Plessis (41) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (45) put on 75, before they slipped to 108-4.

Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni then added 31 as CSK won with two balls remaining.

Sunrisers made 134-7, with Wriddhiman Saha making 44, and Josh Hazlewood taking IPL-best figures of 3-24.

One more win from Chennai’s final three games would now guarantee a place in the qualifier on Sunday, 10 October – and a chance to reach the final on 15 October.

If they lose that game they will have another chance in the second qualifier on 13 October.

Sunrisers, who are coached by England’s 50-over World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss, remain bottom of the table and have now just picked up two wins from their 11 games.

Hazlewood continues T20 rise

Twenty20 cricket has not always been Hazlewood’s forte, with his main traits being accuracy and movement, meaning comparisons have been drawn to Australia great Glenn McGrath.

It is a format he has barely played, having figured in 30 games across international and domestic cricket between 2009 and 2019. But since the start of 2020, he has played 22 games, taking 24 wickets, including six in this debut IPL campaign.

Thursday’s three wickets came from clever bowling. His first saw him pick up the crucial powerplay breakthrough after banging the ball into the pitch to the charging Jason Roy and the ball kept a little low to draw the bottom edge.

His second and third came in his final over, after he had been hit for six. They were reward for him executing his yorkers – both on the stumps and wide outside off-stump – as Abhishek Sharma holed out to long-on and Abdul Samad sliced to point.

Speaking in the interval, Hazlewood was asked about his T20 improvement and said: “It is just about bowling the right ball, at the right time, with the right field.

“It is probably just about trying to stay one step ahead of the batter and trying to get a feel for what he’s going to do next and getting one step ahead of that.”

Josh Hazlewood's record in international T20 Cricket: 2013 - two matches and three wickets; 2014 - two matches and four wickets; 2015 - no matches or wickets; 2016 - three wickets and one wicket; 2017, 2018 and 2019 - no matches and no wickets; 2020 - two matches and one wicket and 2021 - eight matches and 12 wickets.
Josh Hazlewood has become a regular in Australia’s Twenty20 side in the last two years and is expected to play a key role in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October

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