IPL 2018 | Match 57 | SRH vs CSK: Chennai Super Kings made it to the IPL finals for the seventh time last night with their win over Sunrisers Hyderabad by 2 wickets at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. The match was no less than a thriller as CSK finished it in a very CSK-esque fashion, taking it all the way to the last over.

CSK won the toss and as always, chose to stick to chasing. SRH’s innings started with opener Shikhar Dhawan suffering a duck-out in the hands of Deepak Chahar in the very first delivery of the match.

Captain Kane Williamson (24) then came in to contribute 24 runs, of which three boundaries were hit in the same over. While Shreevats Goswami (12) was sent home packing by Lungi Ngidi.

Kane then fashioned a catch off Shardul Thakur by MS Dhoni in the very next over. By the end of the powerplay, the team had lost both their openers and Kane Williamson while only 47 runs were on the board.

Manish Pandey (8) and Shakib Al Hasan (12) came to the crease. SRH suffered another blow as CSK took Shakib soon after power-play with another catch by Dhoni off Dwayne Bravo.

By mid-innings, the score was 64/4. Yusuf Pathan‘s cameo of 24 runs laced with three boundaries pushed the score up significantly. Manish Pandey was dismissed in the eleventh over by Ravindra Jadeja. Carlos Brathwaite‘s brilliant knock laced with four sixes and one four in the death overs ended the innings at 139/7.

With 140 as a target, Faf du Plessis completed the chase with five balls to spare. Plessis’ undefeated 67 included four sixes and five fours as he ended up being CSK’s only hope towards the end. In the last two overs, he turned the tide around with Shardul Thakur (15) to end the game on an adrenaline-rushing note.

At the beginning of the innings, SRH returned the favor by removing Shane Watson off the field in the very first over for no runs.

Suresh Raina (22) came in with a vengeance as he smacked Sandeep Sharma for three boundaries in the first three balls of his over. But then Siddharth Kaul came in the fourth over to clean-bowl the ambitious Raina and his replacement, Ambati Rayudu in two successive balls. CSK had an equally bad, if not worse, power-play with 33 runs and three wickets off the table.

Things weren’t looking good for the yellow brigade as their reliable captain MS Dhoni was also caught in the clean-bowling frenzy by Rashid Khan in the eighth over. Dwayne Bravo (7) came in with fans hoping that he’d save them all but even he couldn’t escape Rashid Khan’s bowling.

Sandeep dismissed Ravindra Jadeja (3) in the next over and Deepak Chahar (10) in the over after that. Chahar surprised everyone with a boundary, however, and managed to keep the run rate from getting out of hand.

Faf du Plessis then sealed his ninth IPL fifty and changed the target to 23 off 12 balls. Shardul Thakur did one better and scored three boundaries off Siddharth Kaul taking 17 from the nineteenth over, making six the target off the final over. With 6 off 6, Plessis ended the innings in the first ball of the last over with a spectacular six.

Although SRH did not win this one, they proved that their bowling squad was back in form. CSK almost lost all hope as their opponents took them out one-by-one. Rashid Khan’s spectacular bowling spree put everyone on edge as he finished with a figure of 2/11. SRH also did a very good job restricting CSK and making it anything but easy for their opponents.

Faf du Plessis stood his ground while he watched his partners leave in every other over. He went on to win the title of “Man of the Match” and he truly deserved it. Even Shardul Thakur deserves to be mentioned – his short partnership with Plessis changed the face of the game. The fact that he managed to stay calm and come through for CSK  in terms of batting, even though he is primarily a bowler, is commendable.

CSK will now kick back in Mumbai while they wait for the remaining three teams to clash among themselves, to decide who will join them in the finals on Sunday. SRH, on the other hand, will be traveling to Kolkata to meet with the winner of today’s Eliminator match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals on Friday.

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