Playing in the final of the eleventh edition of the Indian Premier League, Chennai Super Kings overwhelmed their opponents Sunrisers Hyderabad when Shane Watson slammed a scintillating unbeaten 117 run-kock to help the MS Dhoni-led CSK lift their third IPL title, beating the most balanced team in the edition, SRH, by eight wickets on Sunday (May 27).
Making a comeback after a break of two years, the ‘Yellow Brigade’ stood up to their reputation and proved why they were one of the strongest teams in IPL history with one of the richest legacies. Chennai Super Kings successfully hunted down a challenging 179-run target against SRH with nine balls to spare, who had one of the most lethal bowling attacks in the current season.
After winning the match, CSK captain MS Dhoni said, “In the final everybody knows their roles. It was good that we didn’t lose too many wickets in the first half. Bhuvi is equally deceptive with the new ball. With Faf back we felt it was better for Rayudu to bat in the middle order. Difficult to compare title wins. Rayudu at 33, it doesn’t matter. It’s the fitness that matters, more than the age. Captains want players who are fit and agile on the field. Age is just a number.”
CSK opener Shane Watson hammered SRH bowlers, named Man of the Match
CSK opening batsman Shane Watson was the star of the show as he played out a devastating 57-ball innings, which comprised of 11 boundaries and eight massive sixes. The former Australia great forged a 117-run partnership along with Suresh Raina to put Chennai closer to the finish line.
Chasing SRH’s total of 179, Chennai Super Kings lost their first wicket early on, in the fourth over, as opener Faf du Plessis (10) was caught and bowled by pacer Sandeep Sharma when the scoreboard showed only 13 runs.
It was at that point that Suresh Raina then joined Shane Watson on the crease, after which the duo started thrashing bowlers all over the park. As the strike rotated, it was mostly Watson who was seen facing balls, and the Aussie took fair advantage of it unfurling a run-scoring madness at the Wankhede.
The duo soon ended up taking their team past the 100-run mark in the 12th over, followed by which Shane Watson enjoyed another favorable over for CSK when he slammed Sandeep Sharma for 27 runs in his final over.
Although Watson was going berserk, in an attempt to do something similar, Raina misfired a short delivery from SRH pacer Carlos Brathwaite and nicked it into the wicketkeeper’s hands, however, not before hitting three boundaries and a six.
Raina’s return to the pavilion made way for Ambati Rayudu to hit the crease and score 16 not out. However, Rayudu, too, played it smart as he gave the strike to Watson who was in red-hot form, which resulted in the Australian to register a 51-ball century, as he took a single on Rashid Khan’s delivery.
After the win, Shane Watson said, “Special season. Good that CSK gave me the opportunity after last year with the RCB. I scored none off nine balls so I’m glad I got the opportunity to catch up.”
CSK beat SRH four times in IPL 2018, become the only team to do so
With CSK needing just 21 runs in 20 balls, the duo (Rayudu and Watson) kept on knocking the ball freely and overcame the target score with comfort, to become the only team to beat a side four times in a single season of the Indian Premier League.
As CSK won the match by 8 wickets, Sunrisers Hyderabad’s Carlos Brathwaite and Sandeep Sharma were the only ones in the orange team to take a wicket each.
Revisiting Sunrisers Hyderabad’s innings
Opener Shikhar Dhawan and Williamson had stabilised Hyderabad’s innings, putting on a 51-run partnership for the second wicket. Left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership, however, as he clean bowled Dhawan on 26 runs.
Dhoni stumps Kane Williamson
Shakib Al Hasan then took forward SRH innings along with the team captain Williamson, as the side crossed the 100-run mark in 11.5 overs. However, trying to play big came costly to Kane Williamson as the ball drifted away from him into Dhoni’s gloves only to result in the stumping of what could have been a match-winning batsman.
Williamson’s fall bought Yusuf Pathan one the crease and the right-hander, who had made his intentions clear from the very beginning, smashed a boundary in the second ball he faced. And when things looked positive for SRH, Dwayne Bravo sent Shakib al Hasan back (23 off 15) in the 16th over, leaving Sunrisers Hyderabad at 133/4.
Brathwaite, who got out on the final delivery of Hyderabad’s innings, chipped in with a crucial 11-ball 21, which didn’t come to use however, as CSK clinched their third IPL title defeating SRH in all of the IPL 2018 encounters including the Finale, and also leveled the record of Mumbai Indians for having three IPL titles in their name.