IPL 2018, Final, CSK vs SRH, Review: Magnificent Watto helps the Super Kings clinch their third title
The Sunrisers were unfortunate on the day as Watson just ripped apart their bowling and took the game away from them.
Updated - May 27, 2018 11:12 pm
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) completed their dream comeback to the fray of the Indian Premier League (IPL) as they won the coveted title for the third time. Shane Watson was absolutely magnificent in the chase as he ripped apart the bowling line-up of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and smacked a century when it mattered the most. His unbeaten knock of 117 runs off 57 deliveries won the game for the Men in Yellow comprehensively in the 19th over. The celebrations started in the CSK camp as soon as Ambati Rayudu creamed the third ball of the penultimate over for four.
Kane Williamson failed to call it correctly when the coin was flipped in the air and SRH were invited to bat first as they made a couple of changes again. Sandeep Sharma and Shreevats Goswami were brought in at the expense of the injured Wriddhiman Saha and Khaleel Ahmed who leaked runs in the second qualifier. The Men in Yellow also made an important call of dropping the veteran Harbhajan Singh to slot in the leggie Karn Sharma.
Kane and Shikhar shepherd the innings
The punt of sending Goswami to open the innings failed once again for the Orange Army as he misjudged a second run in the second over. The ball was tucked towards the back square leg by him as the batsmen ran the first one quickly and the left-hander called Shikhar Dhawan for a second but Karn was quick enough as he fired in a perfect throw and it was easy peasy for MS Dhoni. The wicket brought in the skipper Kane to the crease as CSK bowled beautifully in the powerplay conceding only 42 runs.
But then Dhawan shifted gears a bit to take the attack which lasted only for a short while though. He was castled by Ravindra Jadeja in his very first over after going for a whack across the line. However, Shakib came and suddenly the Sunrisers gained the much-needed momentum. Even Williamson got himself going after struggling early on. He took on one o the best death bowlers of CSK, Dwayne Bravo, by creaming him through covers and then waiting on the backfoot anticipating a slower delivery to whack it through the mid-wicket region.
Meanwhile, Shakib took the liking to Jadeja to kickstart his innings and the Sunrisers went past the 100-run mark in the 12th over. Just when the things were going smoothly for them, the Kiwi batsman premeditatedly stepped out to Karn Sharma and he bowled a wide delivery to give Dhoni an easy stumping.
Yusuf stands up in the crunch game
The big players often step up in crunch games which is what Yusuf Pathan did tonight. He was promoted to number 5 in the line-up and the attacking intent in him was visible from the very first delivery. He is normally expected to hit the big shots but he began his run-scoring with a cheeky late cut off the leggie which ran away through the turf for four. Yusuf had hit the straps and was determined to make the most of the faith showed in him by the team. Pathan brought his power into the game when Karn tried to tease him with a floated delivery outside the off-stump.
Soon he was joined by Carlos Brathwaite as the Orange Army looked set to post a total of around 190. But Lungi Ngidi came to the fore at the death and bowled two excellent overs foxing the bowlers with his variations and the pace. Even Shardul Thakur bowled a decent last over and conceded only 10 runs despite being the set men at the crease. The Sunrisers finished the innings on 178 runs after their 20 overs and the stage was set for a worthy of a final at the Wankhede Stadium.
Bhuvi ties up CSK in the powerplay
The SRH got off to a perfect start while defending the total as their ace swing bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a maiden to Shane Watson. Sandeep Sharma shared the new ball from the other end and made things more difficult for the Men in Yellow. No wonder the pressure was built on the openers as Faf du Plessis ended up lobbing one in the air in the fourth over and the hero of the last match was back into the hut early in the final. Meanwhile, Watson took a massive 11 balls to get off the mark as he drilled the full pitch delivery down the ground ferociously.
The shot got him going as he smacked a few quick runs by hitting his favourite pull shot over the mid-wicket even as CSK added 30 runs in the two over off Sandeep and Siddarth Kaul to get past the 50-run mark in the seventh over. The latter was taken away for 16 runs thanks to his length down the leg side which helped Suresh Raina score runs freely.
Watto-Raina duo pile on
Watson more than made up for his slow start by bringing his ‘A’ game to the fore when it mattered the most for his team. He ripped apart the other bowlers comprehensively while the duo of him and Raina played out the ever so wily Rashid carefully. It seemed that the pressure of the final got to Kaul as he was taken for 16 more runs in his second over. The game was set up for a brilliant finish with 75 runs needed from 48 balls.
But Watson killed the game completely in the 13th over by damaging the confidence of Sandeep. He was literally pummelled by the former Australian who scored three sixes and a couple of fours in the over. The first of the hat-trick of sixes was absolutely special as Watson somehow managed to reach the slower ball and muscled it over long-on. The fact that he connected looked extremely strange and to top it off it went for a 78-meter maximum.
It was all Watson in the match-winning stand between him and Raina as they added 117 runs in less than 10 overs. To bring sanity to the proceedings, Carlos Brathwaite sent back the latter with a well directed short delivery. But the flow of runs from the other end continued with Watson breaking loose like a hell over the SRH bowlers. The 36-year-old literally went berserk after reaching his half-century off 33 balls and the next 50 runs came off next 18 balls only.
The century of 51 balls was really special from the champion given the fact that it took him 11 balls to get off the mark. It was an easy 8-wicket victory in the end for CSK as they won their third title courtesy of an exceptional knock in the end. Watson remained unbeaten on 117 off just 57 deliveries and his teammates absolutely surrounded him with joy.
However, the Sunrisers came second on the day but had to be credited for the brilliant show they put on until the final. It took a special inning from Watson to beat them in the end and even their performance was full of worth in the title clash.
Sunrisers Hyderabad 178/6 after 20 overs (K Williamson 47 (36), Y Pathan 45* (25)); (L Ngidi 1/26, K Sharma 1/25)
Chennai Super Kings 181/2 after 18.3 overs (S Watson 117* (57), S Raina 32 (24)); (C Brathwaite 1/27)
Result: Chennai Super Kings won by 8 wickets
Man of the Match: Shane Watson