IPL Highlights | Match 60 | CSK vs SRH: Last night saw the crowning of the Chennai Super Kings as the winner of the Indian Premier League Season 11. And win they did, with style, finesse and without a single doubt in anyone’s mind that they deserved it. CSK has officially won its third IPL title in the seven times they’ve made it to the finals.

Sunrisers Hyderabad was not bad either. With their performance last night and throughout the season, they have made their mark and will be back next season to blow everyone away once more.

CSK won the toss and opted to bowl, as expected – their strength being in chasing and SRH in defending.

Shikhar Dhawan (26) had a go with Shreevats Goswami (5) as the opener, who was run out by Karn Sharma in the second over. They started at slowly but the pace caught up before the second wicket. Lungi Ngidi kept it tight as he bowled a maiden over in his second over. From 17 to one in the first four overs, Williamson and Dhawan scored 45 runs off the next four.

Kane Williamson (47) and Dhawan couldn’t take it all the way to the end and found themselves dismissed by the thirteenth over. Shakib Al Hasan (23), Yusuf Pathan (45) and Carlos Brathwaite (21) also added a substantial amount of runs and added 77 runs to the board in the last seven overs. A good score overall, SRH ended its innings at 178 for six.

With 179 as the target to chase, CSK also had a slow start with a maiden first over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Shane Watson (117) who went on to become the star player of the last night, looked visibly frustrated as he found himself unable to score even a single run in the first few overs. His partner, Faf du Plessis, however, had initiated the chase with a boundary and a few singles.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar who conceded only 17 runs in his four overs almost dashed all hopes of CSK winning as he refused to let the batsmen move out of the crease. A misfielding mistake in his over, however, gave way for Watson to initiate his power batting. He stood undefeated with a score of 117 laced with eleven fours and eight sixes.

Sandeep Sharma alternated with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and had the opposite results on the field. He ended up conceding singles in the first overs and eventually 52 runs in four overs. By the end of the powerplay, CSK only had 35 runs on the board and Faf du Plessis found himself taken out by Sandeep Sharma.

Suresh Raina (32) then came in to take Siddharth Kaul to the cleaners along with Watson, taking 32 runs in his two overs while they remained silent in Rashid Khan‘s overs. The thirteenth oversaw Watson start Sandeep’s over with a dot ball, followed by a four, a hat-trick of sixes and ended with a wide and another four – this made a massive difference in their run rate and reduced their target to 48 off 42 balls.

Raina then fell to Carlos Brathwaite in the fourteenth over as Shane Watson made his fourth IPL century an over later. Along with Ambati Rayudu (16), Watson put up a target of 2 runs off ten balls as their fellow team members prepared to run onto the field to celebrate their victory. Rayudu finished the game with four and nine balls to spare as CSK took down SRH by eight wickets to take the trophy.

Most CSK fans wanted Dhoni to finish the game with a six but Shane Watson was sufficient to take their opponents down. Even though Dhoni did not end up coming to the crease last night, the stadium was full of cheers for him for leading his team to victory. It was a beautiful moment as the Yellow Brigade ran in to ruffle Watson’s hair and hug him and Rayudu for a spectacular inning.

Kane Williamson and team, on the other hand, looked forlorn for losing after making it this far. It almost looked like they had the better chance at the beginning of the innings but with a few mistakes from some of their bowlers, CSK turned the tide towards them in no time. SRH deserved to lift the trophy and were worthy opponents last night.

As always, the evening promised to be an entertaining, heart-filling match and the IPL 2018 ended on a great note. This season had many ups and downs and saw the rise and fall of not only teams but also players. It was a season of under-19 players showing their maturity and old players showing their experience. Bowlers got a lot more appreciation for their skill than batsmen. This was a season that rejuvenated hope in cricket and as it ends, we all wait to move on with our lives with a feeling of nostalgia and pride as we await the next season.


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