The beast is truly back. Their fifth and sixth bowlers however couldn't back up their good work, and it resulted in CSK's terrific heist. In the first qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), which CSK won by two wickets, Bravo failed with the bat.
Du Plessis completed the run chase with a six as CSK chased down the 140-run target in 19.1 overs. Chennai suffered early setbacks during their chase.
Sunrisers could still reach the final when they play the victor of Wednesday's eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals on Friday. Rashid and Bhuvneshwar had one over each left, while Kaul had two. The sound of the timber was music for Kaul. Rayudu was bowled out on his very first ball which was a yorker.
In-form Afghan spinner Rashid Khan (2-11) deceived Dhoni (nine) with a googly and dismissed Dwayne Bravo for seven to further peg back Chennai. By the time Khan came into the attack, Dhoni had been tied down by Kumar, Kaul and Carlos Brathwaite.
Du Plessis survived an lbw call off Rashid after a successful review and helped bring down the equation to 43 off 18 balls. At 62-6 in the 13th over, it appeared to all over for CSK.
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A late flurry from West Indian Brathwaite, who slammed Thakur for four huge sixes and a four in death overs, boosted the total significantly. He slammed three fours and one six to sway the match CSK's way, nearly like a bully rudely snatching away ice cream from the innocent kid that had done everything until then to keep it safe.
Wary of the dew factor later in the evening, Dhoni had earlier opted to field against 2016 champions Hyderabad and paceman Deepak Chahar gave Chennai a flawless start by dismissing opener Shikhar Dhawan for a first ball duck. They are backed by a well-oiled bowing line-up. With Lungi Ngidi providing him an option, Dhoni has now started using Bravo more in a role that gives him some leeway.
Dhawan, the second-highest scorer for Sunrisers with 437 runs, was played on off Deepak Chahar of the first delivery of the match. His off-stump line was just about tempting for Shikhar Dhawan to deploy his bat in a horizontal manner and he under-edged the cut shot on to his stumps. He hit Chahar for a cover-driven boundary off the fourth ball of the over and followed it up with a boundary past mid-wicket and one clipped through the fine-leg region. He got some great support from Thakur there under pressure. He thanked his captain with figures of 2 for 25 by the end of the 17th over, but now Dhoni had to bowl others. The bowler this time was Dwayne Bravo. But both continued with their poor show.
"Me, personally, in that situation, I felt that I needed to take all the risk against Carlos".
If Sunrisers bowlers were brilliant in the defence, Super Kings had bowled to a plan - that to not give away many drives at the unforgiving Wankhede Stadium - to keep Sunrisers down to 139.