T20 2018: Ambati Rayudu's maiden century helps Chennai rule toppers Hyderabad
Opener's unbeaten ton helps Chennai hand table-toppers Hyderabad an eight-wicket defeat to virtually seal play-off spot
Chennai opener Ambati Rayudu en route his unbeaten 100 against Hyderabad at Pune yesterday. Pics/AFP
Opener Ambati Raydu smashed his maiden century in the T20 as Chennai coasted to an easy eight-wicket win over Hyderabad to virtually seal a play-offs berth here yesterday. Rayudu, who has been in great touch this season, remained not out on exactly 100 which he made from 62 balls with the help of seven fours and seven sixes as Chennaichased down the target of 180 with one over to spare.
Rayudu, 32, stitched a 134-run stand with senior partner Shane Watson (57) for the opening wicket to lay the foundation of the comprehensive win. Watson, also one of the centurions of this IPL, hit five fours and three sixes during his 35-ball knock. Captain MS Dhoni remained not out on 20 from 14 balls as Chennaireached 180 for 2 from 19 overs. Rayudu carried his bat through the innings as he crossed 500 runs this season. He is on third spot among top run getters with 535, behind Sunrisers captain Kane Williamson (544) and Kings XI Punjab's Lokesh Rahul (537).
Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 79 for Hyderabad
The win by former champions Chennai also snapped Sunrisers six-match winning streak this season. The Sunrisers, who have already qualified for the playoffs, remained on top of the table with 18 points from 12 matches while Chennai are at second spot with 16 points from the same number of matches.
Rayudu and Watson gave scant respect to the Sunrisers bowlers, touted as the best in this season, as they were rarely troubled by the bowling attack which had the likes of India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and highly-rated Afghan leg-spinner Rashid Khan.
Earlier, opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan and captain Kane Williamson continued their top form this season as the two batsmen struck fluent half-centuries to take Sunrisers to 179 for 4 after being sent in to bat. Dhawan and Williamson continued from what they had left in their last match in Delhi as the duo yet again scored the bulk of Sunrisers runs with a 123-run stand for the second wicket.
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