IPL 2018: Super Kings wins a humdinger

MS Dhoni during IPL 2018

Mumbai (Maharashtra), May 23: Reacting to Sunrisers Hyderabad's (SRH) loss to Chennai Super Kings by two wickets in the first Qualifier on Tuesday, skipper Kane Williamson maintained a defensive stance for his bowlers and indicated that 15-20 extra runs could have booked their spot in the finals.

"Right from the first game we've used different bowlers in different ways to find out who is the best bowler at the end..."

On the very first ball, du Plessis smashed a straight drive over the bowler's head directly into the sightscreens as he ushered Chennai Super Kings into their seventh IPL final.

"Can't explain (the art of great escape), the game has its ups and downs, but we have had a season where we have won from unwinnable positions, this (win against SRH) has been one of those", said Fleming. MS (Dhoni) is the usual culprit, but a player today who hasn't played that much came out on the biggest stage of the tournament. Shardul Thakur came in for tap - he conceded 17 runs in the 18thover & 20 runs in the 20th over - and finished figures of 4-0-50-1.

The way Hyderabad fought back was symbolic of the character they have shown through the season, having built a reputation of successfully defending low totals.

Captain Kane Williamson (24) also departed as he gloved Thakur's short pitched delivery to Dhoni behind the wickets in the fifth over.

Afghanistan legspinner Rashid Khan (2-11) brilliantly mixed up his googlies and sharp leg breaks in his four overs as he dismissed Dhoni (9) and Dwayne Bravo (7).

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Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, once had just three wins in hand and were placed at the bottom of the table following their ninth IPL match.

Yusuf Pathan contributed 24, but Carlos Brathwaite's 43 not out from 29 balls helped Hyderabad post 139-7, although it was not enough in the end. "Unfortunately, that's the game we play that when you are under pressure, sometimes life gets a little bit tough", Williamson said.

"We certainly backed Carlos with his death bowling". "Credit to the way Faf batted".

"To be fair, the way I look at it, that's not where we want to correct ourselves".

While the likes of 37-year-old Harbhajan Singh and Shane Watson, a year his junior, had forgettable outings, du Plessis' blistering counter-attack more than made up for their failures. He was part of Chennai's scheme of things till 2015 when the side faced a two-year suspension.

With Deepak Chahar proving his innings against Punjab was no fluke, the equations started to get slightly skewed in Chennai's favour but a hugely-disputed catch from Brathwaite off Sharma's bowling saw Chennai tottering at 92/7 after 15 overs.

"And if atmosphere is not good, then players go to different directions".

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