Faf du Plessis and Shardul Thakur’s unexpected blitzkrieg in the end breathed life into the half-dead Chennai Super Kings innings towards the end of the match and took their team to a record seventh Indian Premier League final. No team in the league has been this consistent. And, perhaps no other team in the league would have had such exciting finishes.
The way the Super Kings finished the match was emblematic of the team and especially, its leader, Mahendra Singh Dhoni. For he’s someone who takes the game till the end and the death, when the nerves jangle and a lot is at stake, he, more often than not, takes his team home with a cool head.
On Tuesday night, however, against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, he was dismissed by a superb Rashid Khan googly. But when he fell, there was someone else at the other end who seemed inconspicuous right from the start of the innings. Du Plessis, before this match, had played only four games in the IPL and had scores of 11, 33, 27, 14. So, against a Sunrisers attack that looked at its best, there wasn’t probably a lot of bets placed on him to take the Super Kings home. But he did, on a season when his team, soon after it was picked at the auction, was being mocked as a squad of old veterans.
The wonderful win for the men in yellow, set Twitter abuzz with du Plessis coming in for plenty of praise:
But these, perhaps, summed up the game best.