IPL 2018 | MS Dhoni credits Chennai team spirit for success

Dwayne Bravo dances for MS Dhoni in CSK dressing room

Two-time champions Chennai Super Kings marched into the final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) after Faf du Plessis smashed a blistering 67 not out to fashion their thrilling two-wicket victory against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Wednesday. He walked out to bat in the 12th over when his team had lost five wickets with just 69 runs on the board, and took his time to settle down. Starting then, the rub of the green went against SRH on several occasions; Kane Williamson (24) and Shakib al Hasan gloved the ball to be caught down the leg-side, while Shreevats Goswami and Yusuf Pathan (24) were at the receiving end of sensational return catches.

SRH bowlers picked up wickets in regular intervals, with Sandeep Sharma, Siddhart Kaul, Rashid Khan managing two wickets each, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also picking up one to thwart partnerships from building up.

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Du Plessis, who opened the batting with Shane Watson (0), put on a crucial 27-run unbeaten stand with tailender Shardul Thakur, who made 15 off five balls. However, the all-rounder had a good time in the field with the ball. "He bowled terribly tonight, but boy he batted like a demon and helped get his team over the line", Smith told Star Sports after CSK's win on Tuesday. As the tournament has gone on and pitches have become progressively slower, Jadeja has bowled his entire quota in five of his last six games.

While Chennai Super Kings' batting has won them matches easily, Sunrisers bowling lineup has blown away opposition teams, even while defending a low total. "Plus, they have a mystery bowler (Rashid)". "Unfortunately, that's the game we play that when you are under pressure, sometimes life gets a little bit tough", Williamson said.

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"To be fair, the way I look at it, that's not where we want to correct ourselves. We have been on the right side a number of those results throughout this league and today wasn't to be", he added.

Hyderabad's batting had an off day, with Shikhar Dhawan chopping Deepak Chahar on off the first ball of the match.

A late flurry from West Indian Brathwaite, who slammed Thakur for four huge sixes and a four in death overs, boosted the total significantly.

However, Sunrisers fell in the IPL preliminary final after they lost the match by two wickets. The left-arm spinner generally darted the ball, had an excellent grouping on ball pitch, and seldom gave batsmen any room or length for them to swing their willow. Though SRH's Rashid Khan exhibited a stellar form during bowling as he gave only 11 runs between the two wickets he took, CSK's Plessis kept CSK going in the game, thus leading them to attain the 140-runs target. And most of his runs came off the bowling of Thakur. "If atmosphere is not great, it becomes hard to perform", he added.

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