Hyderabad v Chennai, IPL 2013, Hyderabad May 8, 2013

The red herring in a Super Kings assault

Plays of the day from the IPL match between Sunrisers Hyderabad and Chennai Super Kings

The flick
Chennai Super Kings had already had two fruitful overs before Ishant Sharma delivered the fifth. Murali Vijay's trio of consecutive sixes heralded his side's charge in earnest and, of the legside strokes, the third was the prettiest. Having savagely pulled Ishant into the stands, then heaved him over midwicket next ball, Vijay relied on timing to carry the third over the ropes. Ishant strayed onto the pads again, though this time slightly fuller, and instead of swinging hard, as he had done previously, Vijay brought his bat down in a languid arc, connecting the ball with his bat's sweet spot and launching it into the distance with a flick of the wrists.

The drop
Suresh Raina had already begun strongly, having put a fifty-run stand alongside Michael Hussey, but in the 12th over, he offered a chance that would turn out to be a crucial moment in the match. Amit Mishra pitched one slightly shorter and, although the length was right for the cut shot that Raina played, the ball was too close to his body. He hit it at shin-height to Karan Sharma at point. Karan got his hands to the ball but couldn't hold on, and Raina would hit 73 from the next 34 balls, to take the match away from Sunrisers Hyderabad.

The red herring
The highest first innings total in five previous matches in Hyderabad this season had been 130 and, after the first over of the match, there was little to suggest this match would end the streak of low-scorers at the venue. Dale Steyn steamed in to deliver Sunrisers' best over of the innings and his tight, swinging length deliveries did not concede a single run as Michael Hussey failed to beat the infield. That was as good as it got for the hosts in the entire game though, as the bowlers' discipline deteriorated dramatically, with even Steyn finishing poorly in the final overs.

The fielding position
It was difficult to fault MS Dhoni's captaincy as Super Kings strode towards a playoff berth, but his field placement for Parthiv Patel, as R Ashwin bowled to him inside the Powerplay, was innovative to the point of being experimental. Dhoni essentially doubled down at mid-on, placing two men no more than a couple of metres away from each other there. What was more remarkable was Suresh Raina's stance, as the straighter of the two fielders. Instead of walking in with the rest of the field, Raina turned side-on looking towards point and crouched slightly, ready to tear after the ball if Patel struck Ashwin down the ground.

Andrew Fidel Fernando is ESPNcricinfo's Sri Lanka correspondent. He tweets here

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