IPL 2018: Ton-up Shane Watson delivers third title for Chennai Super Kings

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Shane Watson scored an unbeaten century as CSK won their third IPL trophy
  • Sunrisers Hyderabad posted a competitive 178/6 at the Wankhede
  • Chennai Super Kings overhauled the target in 18.3 overs

Chennai Super Kings completed their fairytale return to the IPL by winning the crown for a third time (PTI image)

IPL 2018: Ton-up Shane Watson delivers third title for Chennai Super Kings

MUMBAI: “Teams win games, but finals are won by individuals,” MS Dhoni had quipped on the eve of the IPL final between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad. His words proved prophetic as Shane Watson smashed the highest-ever score in an IPL final to seal the 2018 crown for CSK.

ALSO READ: Fitness matters more than age: Dhoni after IPL triumph

Watson pulverized the Sunrisers bowlers during his breathtaking, unbeaten 117 (57b, 11×4, 8×6) to turn the summit clash into a ridiculously one-sided affair at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday night. The Aussie’s blazing century, his second of the tournament, completed a fairytale return to the IPL for CSK, who clinched their third title after being banned for two years.

ALSO READ: We won the IPL defying all odds: Dwayne Bravo

When he took 10 balls to get off the mark, little did one realize that Wason would explode in such a fashion that CSK would gallop home with as many as nine balls and eight wickets still intact. Chasing 179, the 37-year-old chose to be cautious at the start as he played out Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s first over for a maiden.

After taking his time to get his eye in, Watson tore into one of the best attacks of the tournament with his devastating blade.

watson-graphic

Sandep Sharma won’t forget the mauling that he received in the 13th over from Watson in a hurry. Ball after ball, the young medium-pacer ran in, trying the slower, knuckle delivery outside off stump, which normally ties up a batsman in knots in T20 cricket. However, on Sunday night, those deliveries landed deep into the stands behind long on, thrice in succession.

Between this six-hitting spree, Watson carted the youngster, who was consoled by his captain Kane Williamson, for two fours too, in an over which cost the Sunrisers 27 runs, and reduced the remaining part of the chase to a canter. To add to the Sunrisers’ woes, pacer Siddharth Kaul endured a horrible night as well, going for 43 for three overs, even as the experienced Watson negated the Rashid threat too.

Watson found an able ally in Suresh Raina (32), as the pair added 117 in 57 balls for the second wicket, after Faf du Plessis was dismissed early.

Earlier, Sunrisers picked up pace in the second half of their innings to post a competitive 178 for six. Put in by Dhoni, the Sunrisers were initially pegged back by good spells from seamers Lungi Ngidi and Deepak Chahar. Ngidi even bowled a maiden in his first spell.

SRH suffered an initial setback when ‘keeper-bat Shreevats Goswami, who replaced an injured Wriddhiman Saha, was run out by Karn Sharma while going for a needless second run.

That blow meant skipper Kane Williamson was in the middle by the second over. Together with Shikhar Dhawan (26, 25b, 2×4, 1×6), Williamson (47, 36b, 5×4, 2×6) stablized the innings. After Dhawan was castled by Ravindra Jadeja, middle-order batsmen Shakib Al Hasan (23, Yusuf Pathan (45 not out) and Carlos Brathwaite (21) all chipped in as SRH collected 105 from the last 10 overs.

The trio’s effort helped SRH get over the setback of losing Williamson, who was stumped while giving the charge to a Karn delivery which spun away far outside the off stump. Though he couldn’t complete what would’ve been his ninth fifty in the 2018 IPL, Williamson joined a rare club of batsmen who’ve completed 700 runs in a season.

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