IPL 2018: Qualifier 1, SRH vs CSK, Review - Faf du Plessis' heroic knock helps Chennai storm into their seventh final

IPL 2018: Qualifier 1, SRH vs CSK, Review – Faf du Plessis’ heroic knock helps Chennai storm into their seventh final

Presenting everyone, the first finalist of IPL 2018: CHENNAI SUPER KINGS

Deepak Chahar
Deepak Chahar of Sunrisers Hyderabad celebrates the fall of Shikhar Dhawan’s wicket. (Photo by IANS)

Both Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) came into the playoffs on the back of similar campaigns in the 2018 Indian Premier League (IPL). However, there was a slender difference in their recent forms. While CSK ended the round-robin phase with a victory, the Sunrisers slumped to three consecutive defeats after they attained qualification against the Delhi Daredevils (DD) at the Kotla.

Kane Williamson’s boys had lost their previous two matches this season against the Yellow Army. Hence, even statistically, they were behind the Super Kings. On the flip side, the Sunrisers had the opportunity to defy the odds and get a stranglehold on MS Dhoni’s men. Nevertheless, they stuttered and slumped to a defeat by two wickets. Meanwhile, Chennai have been crowned as the first finalist of the event.

Carlos Brathwaite guides SRH  

During the pitch report, Sunil Gavaskar read the pitch being on the slower side and presumed for the teams to bowl first. Dhoni did exactly the same; Williamson wanted the same as well, but the toss went against him. To add to his woes, the Sunrisers got off to the worst possible start as Deepak Chahar demolished Shikhar Dhawan’s woodwork in the very first ball of the match.

The early wicket brought Williamson in and he creamed Chahar in the same over for three fours on the trot to kick-start his innings. Lungi Ngidi generated prodigious bounce which rattled Shreevats Goswami. The left-hander tried to hit out and cut Ngidi a couple of times with ferocity, but couldn’t survive the South African pacer in the fourth over.

The SRH skipper looked good and needed to churn another substantial knock. However, his stint was cut short by Shardul Thakur’s short delivery and was caught down the leg side. Their position went from bad to worse as they kept losing wickets briskly. Shakib Al Hasan crunched a couple to the boundary.

The boundaries seemed to bring SRH’s lost momentum back. To his dismay, he succumbed to a similar stroke as that of his captain as Dwayne Bravo picked up his first scalp. He also pouched a stupendous reflex-catch of his own bowling to send Yusuf Pathan back. After 15 overs, the Sunrisers only managed 88 with six wickets down.

Thereafter, Carlos Brathwaite made us ‘Remember the Name’ with a knock of 43 runs from 29 balls. Initially, he strained to find the boundary frequently enough to guide SRH to a respectable score. Nevertheless, he plundered Thakur for 20 runs in the final over to propel Sunrisers’ score to 139, which seemed a far cry at the half-way mark.

Late surge from Thakur and Faf take CSK home

The run chase wasn’t supposed to be a daunting one, bearing in mind Chennai’s batting firepower. However, the pitch wasn’t suitable for batting and it was the venue where SRH ripped apart the Mumbai Indians (MI) defending a modest target of 118. Ambati Rayudu, surprisingly, wasn’t sent to open in order to accommodate Faf du Plessis. The Proteas batsman commenced proceedings with Shane Watson.

The Australian batter seemed clueless against Bhuvneshwar Kumar and eventually succumbed to an out-swinger for a duck. Suresh Raina whacked some quick boundaries and got the scoreboard moving. Just when he seemed to get the measure of SRH’s bowling, Siddarth Kaul castled him down the leg side as Raina missed a rather loose delivery from the pacer.

In the very next ball, Rayudu played all around a full-length delivery and saw his stumps disturbed by the same bowler. Dhoni came in and was required to drag his teams out of the pits yet again. He pulled one down to fine leg but was left bamboozled by a wrong’un by Rashid Khan that cannoned into the timber beating the CSK captain’s bat and pad. Rashid nipped out Bravo with a half-tracker.

Unfortunately for Bravo, he edged it into the palms of Dhawan in the slips, who had to react quickly. Sandeep Sharma added to his wickets column with a caught and bowled dismissal of Ravindra Jadeja. Chahar became Sandeep’s second wicket as he hit the ball down the throat of Braithwaite. At the other end, du Plessis looked calm and somehow kept CSK in the hunt amidst a flurry of wickets.

He staved off the bowlers with expertise and accomplished his half-century in 37 balls. In the 18th over, he muscled 20 runs from Brathwaite to bring CSK back in contention. Rashid Khan’s sharp piece of fielding got rid of Harbhajan Singh as things went down to the wire. In the penultimate over, Thakur squeezed out three fours to get the target down to six in the last over. Though the two of them were streaky as the luck went Chennai’s way. Du Plessis finished the match with a thumping six down the ground off Bhuvi.

Brief Scores

Sunrisers Hyderabad: 139/7 in 20 overs; (Carlos Braithwaite 43*, Kane Williamson 24, Dwayne Bravo 2/25, Lungi Ngidi 1/20)

Chennai Super Kings: 140/8 in 19.1 overs; (Faf du Plessis 67*, Suresh Raina 22; Rashid Khan 2/11, Siddarth Kaul 2/32)

Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by two wickets.

Player of the Match: Faf du Plessis