Chennai once again showed why they are the ‘Super Kings’ of the IPL as the men in yellow put up a stunning performance to reach their 7th final, as they defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad by 2 wickets in a thriller at Wankhede on Tuesday.
Faf du Plessis starred with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 67 off just 42 balls as Chennai made heavy weather of a small chase. Set 140 to win, Chennai kept losing wickets at regular intervals, starting with Shane Watson who was dismissed for 0 in the first over.
Raina counter-attacked, hitting 4 boundaries in his innings of 22 before Sidharth Kaul removed him and Ambati Rayudu (0) off successive deliveries.
Then, Rashid Khan came into his own as he dismissed MS Dhoni (7) off a wrong’un and then removed Bravo as well for just 3.
du Plessis saw all this from the other end, but he kept on fighting and finally it was left to Shardul Thakur to play the supporting role, as he also compensated for his poor day with the ball by hitting three boundaries right at the death, to steal victory for Chennai. 6 runs were required off the final over and du Plessis deposited the first ball right over Bhuvneshwar’s head and into the boundary as the crowd erupted to celebrate another special Chennai victory.
Earlier, it was Ravindra Jadeja (1/13) who led a combined effort of Chennai bowlers as they restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to just 139/7 after asking them to bat first.
Shikhar Dhawan saw his stumps rattled off the first ball as Deepak Chahar continued to repay the trust shown in him by MS Dhoni.
Williamson then got a flurry of boundaries as the Sunrisers skipper looked to take the attack to Chennai bowlers. He put on 34 runs for the second wicket with Shreevats Goswami but then both of them departed in the space of three deliveries.
Goswami (12) hit one straight back to Ngidi while Williamson (24) gloved one to Dhoni down the leg-side off Thakur.
Shakib and Manish Pandey tried to stitch a partnership, but again Shakib (12) gloved one down the leg-side, departing in a way similar to Williamson.
Manish Pandey’s poor run continued as Ravindra Jadeja dismissed him for 8 off 16 balls.
After that, Brathwaite showed why he was in the team, as he first stitched an important partnership with Yusuf Pathan, who played well for his 24 and needed an absolutely stunning catch from Bravo to be dismissed.
Brathwaite then upped the ante, as he took a liking to Shardul Thakur, hitting him for four sixes towards the end.
Thakur ended with figures of 1/50 in his 4 overs, while Brathwaite finished unbeaten on 43 off just 29 balls, which helped Hyderabad post a respectable total.