After two successive defeats, Chennai Super Kings returned to winning ways against Sunrisers Hyderabad at Chepauk. Not just that, a comprehensive 7-wicket win took Dhoni’s men to the top of the points table once again, replacing Delhi Capitals.
Set a 176-run target, it was two of the most experienced players in the Chennai camp who got the job done.
Shane Watson’s 53-ball 96 and an equally-attacking 24-ball 38 by Suresh Raina laid the perfect platform for the hosts to record their 8th win of the season.
But, more than the win, Chennai will be happy that Watson has hit form with the knock-out stage round the corner.
Before this knock, Watson had not scored a single fifty in the whole season. His highest was a 44 scored against Delhi Capitals on March 26. The problem with Watson was that he was getting starts but not converting them into big scores.
“I was due runs, that’s for sure. I can’t thank Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni enough to have kept faith in me. In any other team, I may have been dropped sooner. Happy to repay that faith. I knew I was in good nick, just needed to get my head right, get my technique right, had a bit of luck by playing and missing in the beginning,” said an elated Watson after his match-winning knock.
Against Hyderabad, all that changed and though the Australian was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved hundred, he and the whole of Chennai will not complain one bit.
“I think you can give individuals a few games. Watson has been a match winner for us so we need to back him and he has been batting well in the nets. If Watson gets going, you know what’s on the plate. It started last year and it’s good to see different individuals come good,” is how CSK captain MS Dhoni summed up Watson’s much-awaited knock.
There are still games to be played and some more knocks of this magnitude from the burly Aussie definitely augurs well for the Super Kings. Beware opponents, Watson has smelled runs.