Shane Watson returned to form and played one of the best knocks of Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 at Chennai Super Kings’ (CSK) home ground, against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) on Tuesday. 

MS Dhoni won the toss and invited SRH to bat first. The visitors got off to a poor start as Harbhajan Singh dismissed their in-form opener Jonny Bairstow for a duck in the third ball of the innings. But Manish Pandey, who has been in horrid form, came in to bat at No 3 and formed a very good partnership of 115 runs with David Warner. 

Pandey batted with a lot of aggression and took CSK bowlers on without wasting too much time. He scored 83 runs off 49 balls, including seven boundaries and three sixes. Warner, on the other hand, carried on his good form and scored 57 runs off 45 balls. 

However, after the fall of Warner’s wicket, Vijay Shankar, who is one of the most talked-about cricketers in India after his selection in the World Cup 2019 squad, couldn’t score quick runs and added just 26 runs off 20 balls. 

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Eventually, Sunrisers Hyderabad ended their innings on 175/3.

In reply, CSK didn't start well either as Faf du Plessis got run out in the third over of the match for just one run. But Watson, who has been going through a lean patch, decided it was a good night to score and formed a strong partnership with Raina, who scored 38 runs off 24 balls. They added 77 runs for the second wicket.  

After Raina was dismissed by Rashid Khan in the 10th over of the CSK innings, Ambati Rayudu joined Watson and played the role of a spectator from the other end. Watson was all set for a big one and he took every SRH bowler on one by one and smashed sixes and boundaries all around the park. 

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The best contest of the match was when Rashid challenged Watson and a few words were exchanged in the middle. Rashid is one of the best T20 bowlers in the world but he chose the wrong day to mess with Watson. The veteran Australian all-rounder smashed the Afghan leg-spinner for two sixes and two fours in his last two overs and won the battle convincingly. Rashid ended his spell with the figures of one for 44, which is very expensive when compared to his IPL 2019 economy of 6.55. 

Let's see what mistakes SRH did that cost them the match.

1. Watson given a life

Watson was dropped on 33 by SRH wicketkeeper Bairstow off Sandeep Sharma. This catch turned out to be very costly as Watson scored 63 runs off 27 balls at a strike rate of 233 after that. 

It was the turning point in the game because had that catch been taken, CSK would have lost two wickets in two overs, and with 96 runs required off the last 10 overs, they would've got a better chance to win the game with new CSK batsmen at the crease. 

In the end, it was a spectacular win for CSK and they have once again reclaimed the No 1 spot on the points table. 

2. Rashid Khan held back for too long 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar held back Rashid for too long and didn't unleash him against Watson after the first three-four overs when both Watson and Raina were struggling to get going. Watson is known to be more vulnerable against spin as compared to fast bowling early on in his innings, and facing Rashid might have troubled him more. 

Rashid came in to bowl in the eighth over and he was taken apart by Watson who was set and in a destructive mood by then. We all know how dangerous and unstoppable he becomes after getting his eye in and he can take the match away single-handedly on his day. 

In T20 cricket, it is very important to attack the opposition’s best batsmen with your best bowlers, and this is where SRH’s inexperienced skipper Bhuvneshwar missed the trick. Many would argue that Watson destroyed Rashid in the match, but his vulnerability against spin at the start of the innings can't be ignored and Rashid is a very good bowler even with the new ball.