IPL 2018: MS Dhoni reveals secret behind CSK's seventh appearance in final

Kelley Robertson
May 23, 2018

The beast is truly back.

Mumbai: Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper Kane Williamson has defended his decision to use Carlos Brathwaite at the death overs and praised his bowlers after a two-wicket defeat to Chennai Super Kings in the first qualifier of Indian Premier League.

Chennai Super Kings showed their mettle again by winning the qualifier 1 match against Sunrisers Hyderabad on May 22 (Tuesday). It was definitely not a 140 wicket. However, it was South African Faf du Plessis who bailed his side out of the trouble with an unbeaten 67. Chennai suffered early setbacks during their chase. Medium-pace bowler Sandeep Sharma also got two wickets.

CSK will now play the final on May 27 while SRH will play the victor of the Eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on May 25. But he was bowled by pacer Kaul in the fourth over when he shuffled across and exposed his leg-stump. The sound of the timber was music for Kaul. They bowled very well, and there was a bit in it for the fast bowlers. And all it took Khan to crack the Dhoni code was three balls.

Dhoni has been a big hit in this year's competition. After 10 overs, the score was a modest 64 for 4. Their hope now was on Jadeja and Bravo.

The ball: Although on the losing side, Rashid Khan (2-11) did everything he could to drag his team back into the contest, including the near impossible task of removing MS Dhoni. At 62-6 in the 13th over, it appeared to all over for CSK. With wickets falling rapidly and the equation at 43 runs required from the final three overs, he deposited Carlos Brathwaite (0-31) for four boundaries in an over and then sealed an unlikely victory with a six.

Harbhajan played four balls off the 17th over bowled by Kaul and the required rate now shot up to 14.33. Then it was Du Plessis, who finished the match with a six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the first ball of the 20th over.

Du Plessis hit five fours and four sixes to propel Chennai, who returned this season after a two-year corruption ban along with Rajasthan Royals, into the final. Their march this far had been due to these two, 661 and 437 runs respectively. They bat a long way down and they kept us under pressure. Williamson came out as if he was having practice at the nets. But Shardul came in and hit some boundaries, and everything went our way. Williamson can consider himself unlucky as he was dismissed off a nothing ball - it was short and wide but the Hyderabad captain gloved it to Dhoni. "We could have taken a few smarter options to get a few more runs on the board but the way we fought back with the ball - it's obviously a tough pill to swallow because we back our death bowling to see us through but today it wasn't to be". And most of his runs came off the bowling of Thakur. He in turn, promptly dispatched the ball over the sightscreen in the first ball of the over, to seal the game in CSK's favour and taking them into the finals. But Brathwaite's effort was neutralised by du Plessis's classic knock.

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