Mumbai: South African skipper Faf du Plessis on Tuesday guided CSK to their seventh IPL final with a two-wicket victory over SRH. Chasing a modest target of 140, CSK were down in dumps at 92 for 7 before Du Plessis (67 off 42 balls) engineered a stunning comeback and fittingly finished the match with a straight six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
With 43 needing off last three overs, Du Plessis, who opened the batting, launched into Carlos Brathwaite's 18th over smashing him for 20 runs which included two sixes and two fours. Siddarth Kaul bowling the 19th over, paid for his inexperience in a crunch game, as 17 runs came off that over as no 10 Shardul Thakur (15 off 5 balls) got three boundaries including a streaky one. Then it was Du Plessis, who finished the match having hit five fours and four maximums.
However, SRH bowlers do deserve credit for making a match of a small total but this time their luck ran out in the end. Shane Watson (0) edged one off Bhuvneshwar Kumar while Kaul (2/32) castled Suresh Raina (22 off 13 balls) and in-form Ambati Rayudu (0) off successive deliveries. MS Dhoni failed to read a googly from Rashid Khan while Dwayne Bravo was done in by extra bounce edging one to Shikhar Dhawan at slips. Du Plessis waged a lone battle as wickets fell in a heap at the other end with Sandeep Sharma getting rid of Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar.
Earlier, CSK bowlers utilised the lively conditions to the fullest restricting SRH to a modest 139 for 7 after being put into bat. Effective seam bowling in Powerplay overs swung the game towards two-time champions early on in the innings and they never let it slacken except towards the end when Carlos Brathwaite (43 off 29 balls) laid into Shardul Thakur. Skipper Kane Willamson (24), Yusuf Pathan (24) and Brathwaite (43 in 29 balls) were the useful contributors for SRH on a track that offered good bounce.
Chennai: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Faf Du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh, Dwayne Bravo, Shane Watson, Ambati Rayadu, Deepak Chahar, K M Asif, Kanish Seth, Lungi Ngidi, Dhruv Shorey, Murali Vijay, Sam Billings, Mark Wood, Kshtiz Sharma, Monu Kumar, Chaitanya Bishnoi, Imran Tahir, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Nagadeesan, David Willy.
Hyderabad: Kane Williamson (C ), Shikhar Dhawan, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Wriddhiman Saha, Siddharth Kaul, Deepak Hooda, Khaleel Ahmed, Sandeep Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Shreevats Goswami, Ricky Bhui, Basil Thampi, T Natarajan, Sachin Baby, Bipul Sharma, Mehdi Hasan, Tanmay Agarwal, Alex Hales, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Shakib Al Hasan, Mohammad Nabi and Chris Jordan.
(With inputs from PTI)