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How Chennai Super Kings got out of trouble in tight matches through IPL 2018 to reach final

In the IPL 2018 Qualifier 1 against Sunrisers Hyderabad, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) were once again down in the dumps , before Faf du Plessis stepped up onto the plate and guided them into the final.

cricket Updated: May 23, 2018 09:29 IST
Rajesh Pansare
Rajesh Pansare
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
IPL 2018,Chennai Super Kings,CSK
Chennai Super Kings (CSK) players celebrate thier victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in Qualifier 1 of the Indian Premier League (IPL 2018) in Mumbai on Tuesday. (PTI)

Back after a two-year hiatus, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are up and running in style, making it to their seventh final. Their run to this year’s summit clash has been nothing short of extraordinary, having pulled off numerous Houdini acts. (CSK vs SRH Qualifier 1 highlights)

On Tuesday, they were once again down in the dumps against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1, on their way to Qualifier 2 in Kolkata. But Faf du Plessis had other plans, and his 42-ball 67guided CSK to Sunday’s final at the Wankhede Stadium. (CSK vs SRH Qualifier 1 scorecard)

They started their comeback season with a thrilling one-wicket win in the tournament opener against the Mumbai Indians with Dwayne Bravo’s 30-ball 68 being the game changer.

Their second match too went down the wire with Sam Billings’ 23-ball 56 helping them chase down Kolkata Knight Riders’ total of 202, once again with a ball to spare.

READ MORE | Kane Williamson becomes leading run-scorer in IPL 2018

Skipper MS Dhoni, who almost mounted a miraculous escape against Kings XI Punjab before falling short by four runs, scored a 34-ball 70 to guide the Super Kings past Royal Challengers Bangalore’s total of 205.

Coach Stephen Fleming pointed to the fact that different players have put their hands up to drag the team out of trouble when he quizzed about Super Kings winning from impossible positions.

“The game obviously has its ups and downs but we have had a season where we have won from unwinnable positions. Today (Tuesday) was one of those. It’s been individual players who have got us out of trouble and different players all the time,” said the New Zealander after Super Kings recorded a two-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Fleming praised du Plessis for his match-winning knock. “The player today (who put his hand up) hasn’t played that much came out on a bigger stage of the tournament and for Faf to do that is testament to his skills set and his mindset as well. Sometimes it’s dumb luck…you just pick the guys at the right time and they just play and innings for the team that means so much and we saw one of those today,” he said.

READ MORE | IPL 2018: Young Kolkata Knight Riders aim to eliminate Rajasthan Royals

Fleming admitted that the luck favoured them today especially with the dismissals down leg-side of Kane Williamson and Shakib Al Hasan. “We had some good dismissals down the leg side, so very much feels like we had the rub of the green today. We certainly acknowledge that.”

He also applauded the impact Lungi Ngidi has had and which has taken pressure off the bowlers who follow as he takes crucial wickets in the powerplays. “He has provided a spearhead for MS and it’s improved the first six overs. So we’re getting wickets in the front, Deepak Chahar is also swinging the ball. And that’s allowed our other bowlers to come into the game a bit more, so he’s been quite instrumental, certainly reducing the scores we’re chasing. At one stage we were chasing 200 in like every game. So we’ve really worked hard with this group, and we have been reasonably consistent.”

First Published: May 23, 2018 09:20 IST