A ‘Faf’ulous knock by Faf Du Plessis sends the Chennai Super Kings the finals by ensuring a two-wicket victory over the rivals Sunrisers Hyderabad. No one would have anticipated Faf Du Plessis’s inclusion in the squad at the final moment and to be promoted up the order in place of Rayudu to finish off the game for CSK.
Chasing 140 against one of the strongest bowling attacks of the IPL wasn’t an easy task for CSK as well. CSK somehow managed to get an upper hand against SRH, courtesy Faf Du Plessis and Shardul Thakur for having played some scintillating shots throughout the game.
SRH would have decimated way before reaching the 140 run mark without Brathwaite’s lone warrior knock of 29 balls 43.
Chennai crumbled in the initial stages and lost wickets, in the process adding up pressure on Faf Du Plessis. But the South African superstar managed to survive till the end and led his side to victory with 5 balls to spare. Not to forget, Shardul Thakur’s blistering cameo of 5 balls 15 runs which included 3 fours take took CSK away from the clutches of defeat. His crucial 15 runs made up for his highly dismal piece of bowling where he took 1 wicket at the expense of 50 runs in 4 overs.
While the Super Kings are sent straightaway to the finals, Sunrisers Hyderabad will now have to play a Qualifier-2 match against the team who emerges victorious in the Eliminator between KKR and RR.
Chennai Super Kings off to a steady start
The Chennai based franchise had been successful in beating SRH even at the group stages and they played with that same confidence in the battle for the finale. Dhawan being dismissed by Deepak Chahar on the very first ball of the match gave the SRH a mighty blow at the start itself.
Skipper Kane Williamson arrived onto the scene with the intent of holding up the innings from one end. He was looking comfortable on the crease and if he had stayed for few more overs, then SRH would have succeeded in putting up a defending total.
Also, their T20 specialist Dwayne Bravo looked in great touch with the ball as he ended his spell by conceding 25 runs and taking up 2 vital wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Yusuf Pathan. Jadeja was on a completely different level. He probably would have given his best playoffs performance till date in yesterday’s game against SRH as he
Faf Du Plessis to the rescue
SRH still somehow managed to crawl their way upto 139 runs in 20 overs after losing 7 wickets thanks to Shardul Thakur’s spell of 50 runs and a wicket. The batting unit of CSK collapsed since the start of the game. Shane Watson was caught by Shreevats Goswami followed by the wickets of Suresh Raina(22) and Ambati Rayudu (0 ) in succession.
Dhoni did little back on the crease as he scored mere 9 runs of 18 balls putting the pressure back on CSK. Even Bravo failed to put up a partnership. The score was 62-6 by the time Jadeja got dismissed for paltry 3 runs. Luckily Faf Du Plessis and Shardul Thakur took up the mantle and smacked a series of boundaries thereby taking the attack on to the opposition.
Dhoni’s decision of sending in Du Plessis in place of in-form Ambati Rayudu proved to be a game changer for CSK. Du Plessis did a Dhoni back there by finishing off the game in style and taking CSK to the finals for the 7th consecutive time.