Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson’s fifties propel consistent Super Kings to the eighth final

Defending champions Chennai Super Kings produced a clinical performance to beat Delhi Capitals by six wickets. Then enter their eighth final of the Indian Premier League (IPL) on Friday. CSK dished out disciplined bowling and fielding effort to first restrict DC to 147 for nine. Then chased down the target with ease, reaching 151 or four in 19 overs. Dwayne Bravo (2/19), Ravindra Jadeja (2/23), Deepak Chahar (2/28) and Harbhajan Singh (2/31) shared eight wickets between them to keep DC in check after opting to bowl.

CSK will play Mumbai Indians in the final of the ongoing IPL in Hyderabad on Sunday. While CSK won the final battle in 2010, Mumbai Indians finished on the victorious side in 2013 and 2015. Chasing the modest total, Faf du Plessis (50 off 39 balls; 7x4s, 1×60 and Shane Watson (50 off 32; 3x4s, 4x6s) got CSK off to a flier, stitching 81 runs in 10.2 overs. The duo started cautiously before opening up to not allow any DC bowler to settle down.

Du Plessis was the aggressor among the duo, scoring 50 off 39 balls with the help of seven boundaries and one six while Watson played the second fiddle initially. After Du Plessis’ dismissal, Watson took the centre stage and struck Paul for one four and three sixes to pile up 25 runs off the 12th over and also registered his half-century off 31 balls in the process.

Watson looked in a hurry to finish off the chase and that eventually led to his downfall, caught by Boult off Amit Mishra (1/21) in the second ball of the next over. Suresh Raina (11) and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni (9) got out cheaply. But Ambati Rayudu (2 not out) remained at the crease to ensure a comfortable win for the three-time champions.

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