The first match of the IPL 2018 playoffs was played at the iconic Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai between Sunrisers Hyderabad, who finished at the top of the points table and Chennai Super Kings, who was number two in the points table.
The best bowling side of SRH led by one of the top scorers of the tournament, Kane Williamson was asked to bat first, by the winner of the toss MS Dhoni, captain of CSK, who made it to their 9th playoff in 9 attempts.
CSK got the start they were hoping for as Shikhar Dhawan chopped the first ball of the match by Deepak Chahar on his stumps. Shreevats Goswami scored 12 before giving a catch to Ngidi off his own bowling. Kane Williamson followed him for 24 off 15 balls with 3 fours and Manish Pandey made 8 in 16 balls before Jadeja got him caught and bowled.
Shakib scored 12 and Yusuf made 24 as both fell to Dwayne Bravo. SRH were dangling at 88/6 and hoping for Carlos Brathwaite to come good on the big occasion and he did. Brathwaite scored 43* off 29 balls with 4 sixes and 1 four and took SRH to 139/7.
Dwayne Bravo took 2/25, while Jadeja took 1/13; while Shardul Thakur went for 50 runs in his fours overs for 1 wicket.
Chennai Super Kings were hoping for a better start from their batting and they changed their openers to Watson and Du Plessis. But Bhuvneshwar got Watson with a peach of a delivery for a duck. Raina hit 4 fours in his 23 but was bowled by Kaul, as he moved across his stumps. On the next delivery, a swinging full ball by Kaul, clean bowled Ambati Rayudu for a duck and left CSK 24/3.
CSK’s biggest hope captain MS Dhoni was cleaned up by Rashid Khan for 9. Rashid Khan also managed to remove Dwayne Bravo for 7 and Sandeep Sharma removed Jadeja for 3.
Faf du Plessis (67* off 42 balls; 5x4s, 4x6s) played a lone innings picking speed in the end as the run rate climbed up. He took some calibrated risks in his brilliant innings, but some good fielding and bowling from SRH kept them ahead.
With 23 needed off last 12 balls, Shardul Thakur (15* off 5; 3x4s) took Kaul for three boundaries in the penultimate over to ease the pressure on Du Plessis. In the last over, Du Plessis sealed an amazing win by hitting Bhuvneshwar for a six first ball.
CSK reached the IPL 11 finals by beating SRH by 2 wickets, who had the match in their grasp till the 18th over.
SRH 139/7 (C BRATHWAITE 43*; D BRAVO 2/25) lost to CSK 140/8 (F DU PLESSIS 67*; R KHAN 2/11) by 2 wkts