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Classy CSK ride through Faf du Plessis to qualify for IPL 2018 final

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Sunrisers Hyderabad’s art of defending low scores was blown away by Chennai Super Kings in Qualifier 1 at the Wankhede in Mumbai. The pulsating match saw classy CSK ride through Faf du Plessis to qualify for IPL 2018 final. The Orange Army was unable to defend 139 runs against CSK, whose return to IPL has gone off in a supreme manner.
CSK’s 2-wicket victory saw them complete the treble over SRH in IPL 2018 and their route of domination has gained weight. Faf made the difference in a low-scoring thriller with a 42-ball 67* that saw them eke out a stellar victory. In the previous match Suresh Raina stayed till the end to get CSK home, and now senior man Faf applied the same formula.
SRH were rocked by CSK bowlers from the very beginning and could only manage 139/7 in 20 overs. If not for Carlos Brathwaite’s unbeaten 43 runs, the total would have been far lower. While chasing, CSK too felt the heat with Siddarth Kaul and Rashid Khan bowling superbly, but Faf’s brilliance was something they could keep at bay.

Here is the match in numbers:

  1. Rashid Khan raced to 18 wickets this season.
  2. He has the 2nd most dot balls in IPL 2018 (146).
  3. Siddarth Kaul is SRH’s top wicket-taker with 19 in his bag.
  4. SRH hit a total of four sixes in the innings. They now have 72 maximums.
  5. CSK are still the side with maximum sixes in IPL 2018. (134)
  6. CSK qualified for their seventh final in nine seasons.
  7. They also won their third match against SRH this season.
  8. This was the 9th overall meeting between the two teams and CSK now have a 7-2 advantage.
  9. Dwayne Bravo went past Harbhajan Singh to become the 4th highest wicket-taker in IPL history (135).
  10. Suresh Raina (22) overtook Virat Kohli as the highest run-getter in IPL. He has 4953 runs.
  11. Kane Williamson (24) overtook Rishabh Pant to be the current Orange Cap holder (685) runs.

Faf repeats a Raina

In their final league game of the campaign, Raina stole the show with an unbeaten 61 runs. He stayed throughout the innings, picking one and twos before launching in the end. Raina had come right in the beginning with CSK at 3/1. Now Faf played a similar inning. After opening for CSK, he battled hard. It wasn’t easy seeing wickets fall at the other end in a consistent manner.
Faf’s 42-ball 67 was laced with five fours and four sixes and he took over the charge in the end. The key moment was the 18th over when he plundered Carlos Brathwaite for 18 runs, hitting three fours and a six. Such was the value of the innings that it helped MS Dhoni-led side build on the consistency once again.

SRH bowlers were top notch again

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Time and time again SRH bowlers have taken the responsibility in defending totals. This time too they almost had the game in their pocket, but the application, in the end, wasn’t up to the mark. But credit should be given to them for making a match out of this low-scoring affair.
Siddarth’s double blow to make Raina and Ambati Rayudu depart off successive balls was a delight. Then came in Rashid Khan, who once again controlled the middle overs. His spell read 2/11 in four overs as the youngster continued his march in the season. The wrong one to get MS Dhoni castled was the ball of the innings. The Afghan’s 6.91 economy in IPL 2018 tells a story about how much he has enjoyed his time here.

Brathwaite helps SRH get to a decent total

SRH were rocked by CSK right in the first ball of the innings when Deepak Chahar removed Shikhar Dhawan. The mood in the SRH camp was further damaged when CSK bowlers ran through their middle-order. The long-standing issue for SRH have been their failure of the batsmen coming after Kane Williamson. At Wankhede too, a similar story was repeated.
Dwayne Bravo, Lungi Ngidi and Ravindra Jadeja were top class as they inflicted the wounds on SRH. It could have been a disaster for SRH in the batting, but credit to Brathwaite for standing tall. The West Indian gave a glimpse once again of why he is such a dynamite in this format.
He muscled his way through at the death and some of the shots in his books were pure power. That got the side to 139 runs.

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