43 needed from 18 balls. 3 wickets in hand. To chase this itself was special, to do it with 5 balls to spare, was an incredulous act. SRH, asked to bat first, couldn’t get going and lost Dhawan and Goswami early. Williamson struck a few boundaries before departing for 21.
Their vulnerable middle-order kept on losing wickets before Carlos Braithwaite ended on a quick-fire 43* off 29 balls, including 20 runs of the last over from Thakur to end on 139. 140 should have been a comfortable chase but Chennai were 3 down within no time. Dhoni didn’t promote Bhajji or Chahar over himself, unlike against Punjab. He tried to steady the ship but departed against a wrong-un bowled by Rashid. It looked all over when Bravo edged one to slip of Rashid and Jadeja chipped one back straight to the bowler.
At that moment Chennai were reeling at 62/6 from 12.3 overs, still needing 78 runs from 45 balls. It should have been easily defended by SRH but it was the other way round. Faf, who was watching all this from the other end, masterminded Chennai’s chase and ensured that they play the finals without having to travel to Kolkata and beat the winner of the eliminatior. How SRH lost the match is still a mystery but trying to decode the match-turning moments is not what I’m going to do.
Game Changing moment 1: Faf’s DRS rewiew: 48 needed off 30 balls. Rashid bowls a wrong-un to Du Plessis, who misses it and the ball hits his pad. The fielding team appeals and the umpire straightaway signals out. Faf reviews it and replays show that the wrong-un has turned a bit too much and is missing leg-stump. Du Plessis survives and in the end, he turns defeat into victory.
Game Changing moment 2: Giving the 18th over to Carlos: When 3 overs are left and a huge target is still left to chase, you should ask your strike bowler to bowl it and keep it down to 10 runs for the over. 34 runs from 12 balls would be tough, even if your best bowlers didn’t bowl it. Instead Williamson went with Brathwaite and paid its price as he conceded 20 runs of his over. 24 runs of 2 overs meant it was always CSK’s match to lose.
Game Changing moment 3: Bhajji’s run-out being a blessing in disguise: Harbhajan was not timing the ball at all and got run-out on the 107th ball of CSK’s innings. He had just made 2 runs off 9 balls. In came SN Thakur and he scored 15 off 5 balls to help CSK chase 23 off 12 balls. Maybe he edged 2 of his 3 boundaries but still those 2 edges were worth 8 runs.
So, CSK are in the grand-finale whereas SRH would have to ensure that their losing streak stops at 4 and they join CSK for the grand-finale of Vivo IPL 11. SRH may not be too disappointed as they beat KKR earlierr this season at the Eden Gardens and have beaten RR this season both home and away.