So that is the end of a good first game of the double-header. MUM and RAJ are waiting to entertain us at the Wankhede. Hop tabs to catch all the action. See you there!
Ambati Rayudu (Man of the Match): "It's a good position to bat (opening) in T20s. I am enjoying it right now. There's no secret. We are backing ourselves and communicating very well (about batting with Watson). He has been of great help to me. I was ready to open. If you are good at 4-day cricket, you can bat at any position. I am really happy to be back in the Indian team, hopefully I will do well there."
MS Dhoni: "I thought the ball will swing more in the second half than what it did for us. The swing was not there, that was a surprise. We got off to a good start. Watson and Rayudu hit boundaries whenever there was an opportunity. Otherwisee 180 against HYD would have been a tough chase. Even before T20 League started I had to make space for Rayudu, because he is somebody I rate very highly. He can play both the fast bowlers and spinners very well. Most teams look to exploit the opener with spin bowling. He is someone who doesn't look like a big hitter but almost clears the field every time he plays the big shot. My plan was to make Rayudu open and if Kedar was fit, he will bat at 4 or 5. We keep the number of overs remaining as the mark and we decide the No. 4 batsman based on that. Unfortunately we played one game in Chennai, but the response we got from Pune was very good. The fans watch the game despite the stadium being quite far."
HYD bowlers looked ineffective for once in the tournament. They had no answers to the assault from Rayudu and Watson. The ball wasn't swinging much, unlike the first half, they would say, but credit to the CHN openers for a grand show. The HYD bowlers were never allowed to settle. Rayudu in particular was audacious with the way he moved around at the crease and toyed with the bowlers. A good toss to win for CHN. The new ball bowlers got them off to a brilliant start, they leaked runs in the middle overs, but managed to keep the score under 180. Batting is their strength and they didn't disappointment. HYD may have lost, but they may be quietly happy with the fact that the bowlers came under the pump. They would want to cover all bases before the play-offs.
Hundreds against HYD:128* R Pant, Delhi, 2018104* C Gayle, Mohali, 2018100* B McCullum, Chennai, 2015100* A RAYUDU, Pune, 2018-- Three of them this season (out of the four scored in T20 League 2018).
The field is up on the off-side
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [3.0-0-30-0] is back into the attack
Siddarth Kaul [2.0-0-29-0] is back into the attack
Rashid Khan [3.0-0-21-0] is back into the attack
Highest scores for Rayudu in T20 League:83*v HYD, Pune, 201882 v BLR, Bengaluru, 201881*v BLR, Bengaluru, 201279 v HYD, Hyderabad, 201868 v HYD, Hyderabad, 2014
Time-out time. Just 37 needed from 30 now. HYD need a couple of miracle overs. Sensible batting should see CHN home
MS Dhoni, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Sandeep Sharma to Raina, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Sandeep Sharma [3.0-0-30-0] is back into the attack
Interestingly, Jadeja and Willey are padded up. 43 needed 36. This is CHN's game to lose.
Suresh Raina, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Shakib to Rayudu, THAT'S OUT!! Run Out!!
Shakib Al Hasan [2.0-0-18-0] is back into the attack
MS Dhoni is not even padded up. That tells you the story!
Bhuvneshwar Kumar [2.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
HYD's key man in the middle overs, Rashid, has figures of 3-0-21-0. CHN have negated him very well. 66 from 48 is very doable. Can HYD pull off something dramatic? They badly need to get Rayudu because he's just not allowing the bowlers to settle into a line
Rashid Khan [2.0-0-13-0] is back into the attack
Second 100+ stand vs HYD for any wicket this season after 112 by Raina & Rayudu in Hyderabad.
Siddarth Kaul [1.0-0-16-0] is back into the attack
Gayle & Rahul scored 53 & 55 in the two games against HYD. No other pair crossed 25 against them this T20 League before Watson & Rayudu today.
Sandeep Sharma [2.0-0-20-0] is back into the attack
It's time for the strategic time-out. CHN going swimmingly in pursuit of 180. Rayudu and Watson both blazing away and HYD need to break this stand as early as possible or else, the game could slip away from them.
83 is the highest opening stand vs HYD this season
Rashid Khan [1.0-0-7-0] is back into the attack
So, just the one over for Rashid. Kaul introduced.
Right spin from both ends. Shakib summoned.
Look who's here - Rashid brought into the attack very early in the innings.
Third man brought inside the circle
One slip in for Bhuvi
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, right-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Watson and Rayudu are at the crease. Watson is on strike. Sandeep Sharma will open the attack