Shane Watson the hero as CSK claim third IPL crown

Shane Watson muscles Sunrisers’ attack to slam an unbeaten 57-ball 117 after starting off with 10 dot balls.

With the pressure of a big final weighing on their shoulders and the opposition pacemen in good form, both teams had a slow start before the second-wicket partnerships picked the pace up in the Vivo IPL at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday.

While Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson couldn’t really continue the momentum for Sunrisers Hyderabad, Shane Watson and Suresh Raina demolished the famed Sunrisers bowling line-up to set up a crushing eight-wicket win for the Chennai Super Kings.

The victory, achieved with nine balls to spare, ensured CSK’s return to the Indian Premier League culminated in the most ideal manner — with its third title.

The star of the evening for Super Kings was veteran Australia all-rounder Shane Watson. The player-of-the-series of the inaugural edition 10 years ago, Watson started Super Kings’ chase of 179 by playing out a maiden to Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

But once he put his foot on the pedal in the sixth over, Watson literally toyed with the Sunrisers bowlers to finish unbeaten on 117 off 57 balls, his second hundred of the season.

Super Kings were tottering at 20 for one in five overs, with the star of Tuesday’s qualifier Faf du Plessis mistiming a hit off Sandeep Sharma to offer the mediumpacer a return catch. The next five overs, including two by Rashid Khan in which he conceded 12, saw Watson and Raina, the knockout specialist, plunder 60 runs to get the chase on track.

Wilting under pressure

After Bhuvneshwar and Sandeep shared the six PowerPlay overs, Watson and Raina targeted Siddarth Kaul and the pacer wilted under the pressure. With Kaul erring in line and length, the left and right-hand combination slammed 32 runs off his two overs, while not taking any chance against Rashid at the other end.

Watson welcomed Shakib Al Hasan with a first-ball heave over deep-backward square for six and Raina finished the over with a lofted hit over long-on.

The 13th over literally killed the contest with Watson cutting loose against Sandeep. He started off with a dot but followed up with a cover-driven four, a hat-trick of sixes and ended with a steer through third-man.

By the time Raina fell to a Carlos Brathwaite short delivery, the game was all but over and Watson on the cusp of becoming a second century maker in an IPL final. Along with Rayudu, Watson completed the formalities, with the former finishing it off with a boundary through covers off Brathwaite.

Earlier in the evening, Lungisani Ngidi kept it tight, bowling his second over as a maiden to Williamson. From 17 for one in four overs, Williamson and Dhawan scored 45 runs off the next four.

However, Dhawan’s slog off Jadeja immediately after the time-out proved to be his undoing.

Three overs later, leggie Karn Sharma bowled a wide for Dhoni to whip the bails and earn the prize catch of Williamson to get Super Kings back in the game.

Had it not been for Yusuf Pathan’s cameo, Sunrisers would have found it difficult to put on a respectable total. However, in the end, that was far from enough.


Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shreevats Goswami run out 5 (5b), Shikhar Dhawan b Jadeja 26 (25b, 2×4, 1×6), Kane Williamson st. Dhoni b Karn 47 (36b, 5×4, 2×6), Shakib Al Hasan c Raina b Bravo 23 (15b, 2×4, 1×6), Yusuf Pathan (not out) 45 (25b, 4×4, 2×6), Deepak Hooda c sub b Ngidi 3 (4b), Carlos Brathwaite c Rayudu b Thakur 21 (11b, 3×6); Extras (lb-1, nb-1, w-6): 8; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 178.

Fall of wickets: 1-13 (Goswami, 1.5 overs), 2-64 (Dhawan, 8.3), 3-101 (Williamson, 12.1), 4-133 (Shakib, 15.5), 5-144 (Hooda, 16.6), 6-178 (Brathwaite, 19.6).

Chennai Super Kings bowling: Chahar 4-0-25-0, Ngidi 4-1-26-1, Thakur 3-0-31-1, Karn 3-0-25-1, Bravo 4-0-46-1, Jadeja 2-0-24-1.

Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson (not out) 117 (57b, 11×4, 8×6), Faf du Plessis c & b Sandeep 10 (11b, 1×4), Suresh Raina c Goswami b Brathwaite 32 (24b, 3×4, 1×6), Ambati Rayudu (not out) 17 (19b, 1×4, 1×6); Extras (lb-2, w-3): 5; Total (for two wkts. in 18.3 overs): 181.

Fall of wickets: 1-16 (du Plessis, 3.6), 2-133 (Raina, 13.3).

Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling: Bhuvneshwar 4-1-17-0, Sandeep 4-0-52-1, Kaul 3-0-43-0, Rashid 4-0-25-0, Shakib 1-0-15-0, Brathwaite 2.3-0-27-1.

Toss: Chennai Super Kings.

Man-of-the-Match: Watson.

Super Kings won by eight wickets with nine deliveries to spare to emerge IPL-11 champion.


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