It was the southern derby at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad where SRH hosted CSK. CSK were without their favorite son, 'Thala' MS Dhoni for this fixture, who sat out as a precaution for back spasms. It was the first game MSD missed for CSK due to injury in nine years.
SRH were seeking consistency after three consecutive defeats and they left out Abhishek Sharma and Ricky Bhui and got in Shahbaz Nadeem and Yusuf Pathan to balance their team. CSK bought in Sam Billings to keep wickets in place of the injured MSD and also picked leg-spinner Karn Sharma.
On a pitch that gripped and offered a lot for the spinners, SRH as a bowling unit came together and showed what they are truly capable of. Rashid Khan was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4.0.17 .2. He was in his element and caused lot of troubles for CSK's batsmen.
After Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson got CSK off to a reasonable start, the dismissal of Shane Watson put the breaks on CSK's scoring. Suresh Raina looked completely out of sorts and succumbed to Rashid Khan, who also snaffled Kedhar Jadhav.
Post that, CSK lost complete momentum and scraped their way to a total of 132 runs. All the bowlers from Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Shabaz Nadeem, Rashid Khan and even Vijay Shankar were on the mark.
With their backs against the wall and without their regular skipper MSD playing, CSK looked lost and lacked the intensity one is used to seeing. Any chance or semblance of CSK making the target look tougher vanished after Jonny Bairstow and David Warner dominated the power play.
The masterful opening partnership tore apart CSK's opening bowlers Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir. SRH notched up 68/1 in the power play with David Warner blasting a 50 of 24 balls with ten boundaries.
It was just a matter of formality post that with Bairstow ensuring SRH didn't collapse yet again. SRH lost eight wickets for fifteen runs against DC, so it was critical that Jonny Bairstow batted till the end and played out the threat Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja would pose.
In the end, Bairstow remained not out on 61 ensuring SRH beat CSK to get their campaign back on track. CSK clearly missed the presence and aura that MSD carries on the field. They looked listless and were up against a strong, formidable SRH.
SRH won with six wickets in hand and 3.2 overs to spare. It was an one sided contest with the table toppers having been given a rude awakener.