After a lapse of concentration in the first Qualifier, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK)have come storming back with a fabulous 6-wicket win in the Qualifier 2 over the Delhi Capitals (DC) in Visakhapatnam on Friday. The CSK bowlers displayed sensational combined efforts to limit the Delhi batsmen, however, they still somehow managed to put forward a respectable first innings total on the board.
However, then in the second innings, the two CSK openers, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson, struck sublime form and stole the show with remarkable knocks, which brought the CSK team towards the victory doorsteps. Then Ambati Rayudu finished off the formalities to power CSK to their eight IPL finals. The MS Dhoni-led team will now defend their title against Mumbai Indians (MI) in the Grand Finale on May 12, Sunday in Hyderabad.
Our strength is getting those partnerships
In the second innings, the two CSK openers, Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson started off things on a tentative note, managing just 16 runs in the first four overs. However, after getting set on the crease, du Plessis started playing his shots, smashing Ishant Sharma for three crisp boundaries in the final over of the powerplay. He looked in a dazzling mood, notching up a superb half-century off 37 balls to help CSK claim a solid position in the run-chase. But then he mistimed a pull-shot and got caught by Keemo Paul at deep square leg region.
After du Plessis’ wicket, suddenly Watson also picked up a blazing pace, racking up his second fifty of the tournament off just 31 balls. Both Watson and du Plessis proved their tag of big match campaigners very much correct.
“We spoke about it before the game – didn’t have the best run in the last 5-6 games. We have a lot of confidence as a team to win a lot of big games – so we draw confidence from that. We also know the strength of ours is getting those partnerships – even if we go 3-4 overs without runs, we have a great lower and middle order to bring us back,” quoted Faf du Plessis during the post-match press conference.
Grateful for the faith
CSK team management have showed immense backing for a struggling Shane Watson, who has managed to score just two half-centuries this season. After the match yesterday, Watson thanked the team for showing the faith in him. “Very grateful for the faith CSK have shown in not just me, but all the players are grateful. Faf batted beautifully. Thanks to Faf for helping me through that stage,” said Shane Watson.
Watson further made special mentions of skipper MS Dhoni and head coach Stephen Fleming for their experience. “There are huge positives about age and experience. We have played well from the top with MS (Dhoni) and Fleming. When you have experienced players, you have an understanding of what to do. We are making the most of the experience we have had and we are going to make the most out of it on Sunday,” Watson added.