Chennai Super Kings (CSK) coasted to their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title on Sunday with a clinical, eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium. CSK, playing their seventh IPL final in nine editions, won the toss and elected to bowl first, and were set a target of 179 runs. Led by a superlative 57-ball 117 by Shane Watson, CSK hunted down the target with nine balls to spare.
Despite the one-sided nature of the final, both teams had their chances. Let’s take a look at some of the turning points of the match:
Kane Williamson’s dismissal
SRH’s batting has revolved around their skipper’s barely-believable run of form this season and the Kiwi star looked set for a defining innings on Sunday as well. He came in at the departure of opener Shreevats Goswami in the second over, and played his typically delightful shots on a pitch where timing the ball was not easy. He stitched a 51-run alliance with Shikhar Dhawan and added 37 runs off 22 balls with Shakib Al Hasan, but just when he looked set to up the ante, Karn Sharma got him stumped. He top-scored for SRH with a 36-ball 47, but as was proved by Watson later, it was not enough.
Williamson ended IPL 2018 with 735 runs and Orange Cap, but his run-out in the 13th over, when SRH were looking to get a move-on, proved detrimental to his team’s fortunes.
Losing Shakib, Hooda in quick succession
Middle-order woes had haunted SRH throughout the tournament and the final was no different. After Williamson’s fall, Shakib and Yusuf Pathan added 32 runs off 22 balls, but SRH lost Shakib and Deepak Hooda in a space of seven balls. Carlos Brathwaite smoked 21 runs off 11 balls, and had the tall West Indian been sent ahead of an out-of-form Hooda, things could have been different for SRH.
CSK had a task on their hands to wrest back the momentum after Pathan and Brathwaite had collected 26 runs from 17th and 18th overs. Lungi Ngidi, playing only the seventh match of his maiden IPL, bowled the 19th over for eight runs, including a six off his last ball. The last over was bowled by Shardul Thakur, who conceded just 10 runs to keep the total to 178/6. Between them, Ngidi and Thkur bowled six dot balls; that’s an entire over. Safe to suggest, CSK snatched back the momentum.
Siddarth Kaul’s forgettable night
Siddarth Kaul brightened up SRH’s march to the playoffs with a series of commendable performances in the league phase, but ever since his team entered last four, Kaul’s bowling seemed to have lost its potency. In the final, CSK targeted him from his first over that went for 16 runs. That was the seventh over of the chase, and Dhoni’s men had struggled to get going in the powerplay, scoring 35 runs in first six overs. Kaul didn’t bowl his entire quota either, and conceded 43 runs from his three overs.
Sandeep Sharma’s horror over
Sandeep Sharma’s bowling figures read 3-0-25-1 when he ran in to deliver the 13th over of the chase — not extraordinary but passable. However, Shane Watson turned the course of the match in a space of six balls with a toll of 27 runs. Two fours and three consecutive sixes flew from the Australian’s blade, and by the time the over ended, the asking rate had come down from 9.37 to 6.86 runs per over. It took CSK another 5.3 overs to lift their third IPL trophy.
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