A brilliant innings from Faf du Plessis (67*) helped Chennai Super Kings beat SunRisers Hyderabad by two wickets in the first qualifier of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 at the Wankhede Stadium to enter the IPL 2018 final on Tuesday night. Needing 140 runs to win, Chennai chased down the target with five balls to spare. Du Plessis played sensibly throughout when no other batman clicked gave away their wickets cheaply. He played 42 balls and slammed five boundaries and four sixes. Hyderabad will now face the winner of the match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in Qualifier 2 on May 25 at Kolkata.
Chennai Super Kings are making a comeback in the Indian Premier League (IPL) after serving a two-year suspension. They have made their arrival special by qualifying for the playoffs for the 9th time, which is in every edition that they have played. The team core has remained intact over the years as MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo all have been part of the CSK for a long time.
When CSK management trusted the same core group in IPL 2018 auction some critics said that the team is assembling a bunch of “senior” players. While they have proven everyone wrong with their outing MS Dhoni in his post-match interview hinted that this bandwagon of players including himself might be staring at the end of their careers.
“Owners have been brilliant. We have a set of people who are close to the players. They have a history of understanding the game. That makes the job easy for the captain. Also if you don’t have a good team, it becomes difficult. We kept adding players and they kept performing,” the Indian wicket-keeper said.
“The big shift will be after two years, where most of these players won’t be there. Maybe they won’t be fit for the shortest format. Looking at ten years, it has been very good for us,” he added while hinting at his retirement as well.
On making it to the finals this time around the CSK skipper said: “There are quite a few finals where I still remember what went wrong. When the format is like this, just a couple of big hits or a run-out can change things. Everyone wants to win. They’ve done well to go into the knockout stages. The top two teams they get an extra life. What’s important is to be at your best on that particular day.”