Mumbai: Lady luck smiled on Chennai Super Kings as they edged out Sunrisers Hyderabad in a keenly-contested Qualifier 1, winning the pulsating match by two wickets at the Wankhede Stadium here on Tuesday.
Chasing a modest target of 140, the Super Kings needed 42 runs from the last three overs, which they hauled down with 5 balls to spare to make their seventh final in nine seasons in the cash-rich IPL.
Faf du Plessis (67 off 42) played probably his most memorable innings for the IPL franchise, pulling back things for Dhoni’s men in final three overs of the contest.
The men in yellow, found an unlikely hero in Mumbai boy Shardul Thakur, who smacked three vital boundaries in the penultimate over of the chase, bowled by Siddharth Kaul.
As for Sunrisers Hyderabad it was a bitter pill to swallow, where they looked like having CSK on the backfoot, only to relinquish their advantage in the last four overs. They will have another crack as they travel to Kolkata to play eliminator 2 on Friday.
Rashid Khan (2-11) and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-14) were brilliant on the day, and were tad unlucky to have ended on the losing side. Earlier, the Super Kings gave Sunrisers barely any scope to open their arms as they restricted the league-stage table-toppers to 139 for 7 in 20 overs in Qualifier 1.
CSK win crucial toss
With a 7 pm start, the toss was going to be more important than the league matches, and it was evident that either side would have opted to chase at Wankhede. MS Dhoni called right and invited SRH to bat.
SRH were straightaway on back foot when Shikhar Dhawan chopped the first ball of the match from Deepak Chahar on to the stumps.
Kane Williamson continued his brilliant form and struck three fours in the over. He, along with Shreevats Goswami, began a counter attack and added 34 runs inside four overs before the latter hit Lungi Ngidi back to him.
Williamson’s prized scalp
Three balls later, Williamson, who had just regained the Orange Cap, perished to a short ball outside leg from Shardul Thakur, for a 15-ball 24.
Inside the Powerplay, SRH had lost Dhawan and Williamson—the men who contributed to over 49 per cent of the team’s runs this season.
Shakib Al Hasan looked good during his brief stay, striking two fours before falling to a short ball from Dwayne Bravo, getting a faint edge to Dhoni.
Manish Pandey and Yusuf Pathan found it tough to keep the scoreboard moving, especially against Jadeja. They added 19 in 29 balls before Pandey lobbed one straight back to Jadeja.
Pandey’s dismal run this season continued as he fell for eight off 16 balls. Brathwaite, picked ahead of Alex Hales, then survived a run out scare in the second ball.
Brathwaite takes initiative
Just when it seemed Yusuf would open up, he was spectacularly caught by Bravo off his own bowling. Yusuf hit the ball hard, low, and straight, but Bravo bent down, caught the ball, and rolled over in one fluid movement to provide a spectacle only a West Indian could have. Brathwaite and Bhuvneshwar Kumar (7 in 11) added 51 for the seventh wicket. However, SRH missed a trick by not sending in power-hitter Rashid Khan ahead of Bhuvneshwar.
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan b Deepak Chahar 0 (1b), Shreevats Goswami c & b Lungi Ngidi 12 (9b, 2x4), Kane Williamson c MS Dhoni b Shardul Thakur 24 (15b, 4x4), Manish Pandey c & b Ravindra Jadeja 8 (16b), Shakib Al Hasan c MS Dhoni b Dwayne Bravo 12 (10b, 2x4), Yusuf Pathan c & b Dwayne Bravo 24 (29b, 3x4), Carlos Brathwaite (not out) 43 (29b, 1x4, 4x6), Bhuvneshwar Kumar (run out) (MS Dhoni) 7 (11b).
Extras: (nb-0, w-9) 9.
Total: (7 wickets; 20 overs) 139.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-34, 3-36, 4-50, 5-69, 6-88, 7-139.
Bowling: Deepak Chahar 4-0-31-1, Lungi Ngidi 4-0-20-1, Shardul Thakur 4-0-50-1, Dwayne Bravo 4-0-25-2, Ravindra Jadeja 4-0-13-1.
Chennai Super Kings: Shane Watson c Shreevats Goswami b Bhuvneshwar Kumar 0 (5b), Faf du Plessis (Not out) 67 (42b, 5x4, 4x4), Suresh Raina b Siddarth Kaul 22 (13b, 4x4), Ambati Rayudu b Siddarth Kaul 0 (1b), MS Dhoni b Rashid Khan 9 (18b, 1x4), Dwayne Bravo c Shikhar Dhawan b Rashid Khan 7(11b), Ravindra Jadeja c & b Sandeep Sharma 3 (5b), Deepak Chahar c Carlos Brathwaite b Sandeep Sharma 10 (6b, 1x4), Harbhajan Singh (run out) (Rashid Khan) 2 (9b), Shardul Thakur (not out) 15 (5b, 3x4).
Extras: (w-3, lb-2) 5.
Total: (8 wickets; 19.1 overs) 140.
Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-24, 3-24, 4-39, 5-57, 6-62, 7-92.
Bowling: Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3.1-0-14-1, Sandeep Sharma 3-0-30-2, Siddarth Kaul 4-0-32-2, Carlos Brathwaite 3-0-31-0, Rashid Khan 4-0-11-2, Shakib Al Hasan 2-0-20-0.