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Watson's century helps CSK lift IPL 2018 trophy, beat SRH by 8 wickets

This is the third IPL trophy for the Chennai Super Kings and also for MS Dhoni. Watson becomes 2nd batsman to hit century in IPL final after Wriddhiman Saha

BS Web Team 

Shane Watson, IPL 2018, CSK vs SRH final
Chennai Super Kings batsman Shane Watson celebrates his century against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 final match, in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Chennai Super Kings beat Sunrisers Hyderabad by 8 wickets to win the VIVO (IPL 2018). Shane Watson single-handedly won it for CSK by hitting a magnificent century in the biggest game of the season. He made 117 runs. He had scored a century in the earlier stage of the tournament. Ambati Rayudu hit the winning runs. Coming back from a two-year suspension due to spot-fixing scandal, CSK showed utter dominance over SRH as they beat them in all the four encounters they had in this year's edition. SRH bowlers looked out of form. Barring Bhuvneshwar and Raashid, all the others leaked runs heavily. With this win, CSK lift the IPL trophy for the third time in the seven finals they have played.

Earlier, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was back in the attack and gave just 8 runs. His figures were 4-1-17-0. Rashid came back to bowl his last and Shane Watson completed his 2nd century of the season. Rashid gave 12 runs in his last over. He ended with the figures of 4-1-24-0. CSK needed 13 from 18. Kaul came to bowl the 18th over and Watson showed no mercy.

FINAL SCOREBOARD



Chennai Super Kings innings update: Over by over


Chennai Super Kings playing 11 for today's match: Shane Watson, Faf du Plessis, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Dwayne Bravo, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Karn Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Lungi Ngidi. Change: Karn Sharma replaces Harbhajan Singh.

IPL 2018 final, Chennai Super Kings, CSK


Over 1: Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson on the crease. Buvneshwar Kumar came to bowl and bowled a perfect maiden over. CSK: 0-0, Shane Watson: 0(6b), Faf du Plessis: 0(0b)

Over 2: Sandeep Sharma in the attack, missed the length by a fraction and it goes for four. Single taken by Faf to bring Watson on strike. Two dot balls to Watson. Just five from the over. CSK: 5-0, Shane Watson: 0(8b), Faf du Plessis: 5(4b)

Over 3: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Faf du Plessis, no run. Another DOT ball. Squared du Plessis for no run. Another defensive shot another DOT ball, 10 DOT balls on the trot by Bhuvi. A quick single taken and four overthrow runs. DOT ball to end the over. CSK: 10/0, Shane Watson: 0(9b), Faf du Plessis: 10(9b)

Over 4: Sandeep Sharma to Faf du Plessis, one leg bye taken. DOT ball followed by a four off the 3rd ball. DOT ball. Shane Watson took a single off the 5th ball. Faf du Plessis miss hit went straight into the night sky Sandeep took the catch to gave SRH first breakthrough. CSK: 16/1, Faf du Plessis c & b Sandeep Sharma 10 (11b 1x4 0x6)

Over 5: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Suresh Raina, one run taken. Watson took a single off the 2nd ball. DOT ball. Another DOT ball. Raina heaved the 5th ball in the legside for a single. Watson took a single off the last ball to keep the strike. CSK: 20/1, Suresh Raina: 2(4b), Shane Watson: 7(15b)

Over 6: Sandeep Sharma to Shane Watson, WIDE. Watson muscled the first ball in the mid-wicket region for only one run. Raina took a single off the 2nd ball. Shane Watson smashed the 3rd ball for six followed by a four straight down the ground. A quick single taken as Raina dive to save his wicket. Another single taken by Raina to keep the strike. CSK: 34/1, Suresh Raina: 4(6b), Shane Watson: 19(19b)

Over 7: Siddharth Kaul to Suresh Raina, played down to long-on for one run. Watson flicked the 2nd ball for a six in the mid-wicket region. A top edge falls in no man land for a single. Short ball down the leg side, Raina helped it to the deep fine leg boundary for four. DOT ball. Raina hit the last ball for four to end the over. CSK: 51/1, Suresh Raina: 13(10b), Shane Watson: 26(21b)

Over 8: Rashid Khan to Shane Watson, no run taken. Watson took a single off the next ball. A single taken by Raina. Another single taken by Watson. Raina took a single off the 5th ball. Watson took a single off the last ball to keep the strike. CSK: 56/1, Shane Watson: 28(25b), Suresh Raina: 15(12b)

Over 9: Siddharth to Shane Watson, chipped over the bowler for a single. Raina flicked the 2nd ball for one run. Watson smashed the 3rd ball for six. Ball in the air fell short of Rashid Khan, two runs taken. Slower delivery hit over the mid-off fielder for four. Watson took a double to end the over. CSK: 72/1, Shane Watson: 43(30b), Suresh Raina: 16(13b)

Over 10: Rashid Khan to Raina, one run taken. Watson took a single off the next ball. DOT ball. Another single taken by Raina. Watson took a single off the 5th ball. Raina hit a four to end the over. CSK: 80/1, Shane Watson: 45(32b), Suresh Raina: 22(17b)

Over 11: Shakib Al Hasan to Shane Watson, dispatched into the crowd to complete his fifty followed by a single. DOT ball. Raina took a single off the 4th ball. Another single taken by Watson. Raina walloped the last ball for six. CSK: 95/1, Shane Watson: 53(35b), Suresh Raina: 29(20b)

Over 12: Carlos Braithwaite to Shane Watson, ane run taken. A single taken by Raina. Overthrow resulted in a single. Raina took a single off the 4th ball. Watson smashed the 5th ball for four followed by a single. CSK: 104/1, Shane Watson: 60(39b), Suresh Raina: 31(22b)

Over 13: Sandeep Sharma to Shane Watson, DOT ball followed by 4, 6, 6, 6, WIDE, 4. CSK: 131/1, Shane Watson: 86 (45b), Suresh Raina: 31 (22b)

Over 14: Carlos Braithwaite to Suresh Raina, one run taken. Watson took a single off the 2nd ball. Raina OUT, as the short ball just kissed the clove. Rayudu took a single off the first ball he faced. Watson glides the 4th ball for four in the third-man region. WIDE. Watson smashed the last ball for six as he reached to 97 runs. CSK: 145/2, Suresh Raina c Goswami b Brathwaite 32 (24b 3x4 1x6)

Over 15: Rasheed Khan to Ambati Rayudu, 4 consecutive DOT balls. A defensive shot, DRS taken for LBW, Review Lost. Rayudu took a single to end the over. CSK: 146/2, Shane Watson: 97(48b), Ambati Rayudu: 2(7b)

Over 16: Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Rayudu, two DOT balls followed by a six. Another DOT ball. Rayudu cut the 5th ball for a single. Watson took a single to keep the strike. CSK: 154/2, Shane Watson: 98(49b), Ambati Rayudu: 9(12b)

Over 17: Rashid Khan to Watson, played down the long-on boundary for a single. Rayudu took a single off the 2nd ball. Watson took a single to complete his century. Rayudu took a single off the next ball. Watson hit two consecutive fours to bring the deficit down to 13 runs. CSK: 166/2, Shane Watson: 108(53b), Ambati Rayudu: 11(14b)

Over 18: Siddharth Kaul to Rayudu, pulled away for a single. Watson took a single off the next ball. Another single taken by Rayudu. Watson smashed the 4th ball straight down the ground for four, same shot same result. DOT ball to end the over. CSK: 177/2, Shane Watson: 117(57b), Ambati Rayudu: 13(16b)

Over 19: Carlos Braithwaite to Rayudu, DOT ball, hit the second ball straight to fielder for no run. Rayudu played a classic cover drive to win the trophy for Chennai Super Kings.

Chennai Super Kings players celebrate their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 final cricket match, in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Chennai Super Kings players celebrate their win against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final cricket match, in Photo: PTI

Chennai Super Kings innings analysis after 19 overs

Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson opened the innings for CSK while Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled the first over. CSK were off to a slow start as SRH bowlers kept it tight for the batsmen to score any runs in the first three overs. Watson was struggling and it took him 11 balls to get off the mark. Du Plessis wasn't doing great either and scored at a strike rate of 100. SRH bowlers weren't allowing any loose opportunities and looked in control of the innings. Pressure was mounting and Du Plessis fell victim to slower delivery by Sandeep Sharma in the 4th over. Williamson looked to build the pressure further and brought in Bhuvneshwar for his third over. Bhuvneshwar continued the attack and conceded just 4 runs. Williamson went for longer spells for both of his key bowlers and continued with Sandeep Sharma. Sharp fielding was making it even more difficult for CSK to score runs. Watson finally got some breath of fresh air as he hit Sharma for a six and a four in the sixth over. CSK somewhat moving toward recovery from the initial hiccups and stood at 35/1 after 6 overs.

Siddharth Kaul was introduced into the attack. Watson was slowly gaining the rhythm and so did CSK. Kaul was struggling with his line and conceded 16 runs in a comparatively expensive over. Williamson brought in Rashid Khan in a bid to contain the flow of runs and look for a breakthrough for SRH. Rashid bowled a tight over conceding just 4 runs in it. Kaul continued from the other end and Watson continued with his assault on him. Kaul again conceded 16 runs. CSK looked to be cruising towards the target with Watson playing a crucial inning. CSK were 72/1 after 9 overs.

Rashid returned to bowl the 10th over. Both the batsmen were avoiding any risky shots against him which made sense as runs were coming in quite easily off other bowlers. Watson was showing his firepower and reached his fifty in the 11th over requiring just 33 balls to do so. Even after a wonderful start from Sandeep and Bhuvneshwar, no bowler was able to contain the flow of runs apart from Rashid Khan. Both Kaul and Shakib were proving to be expensive and SRH was in a desperate need of wickets. Williamson did another bowling change and brought in Brathwaite in the 12th over. But Watson was in no mood to spare anyone. CSK stood at 104 /1 after 12 overs.

Williamson had to bring Sandeep back in the 13th over but Watson had other thoughts on his mind. Watson was driving in the top gear and had reached a point where it didn't matter who the bowler was. He looked to finish the game early and went all-out for consecutive sixes against Sharma. Sharma conceded 27 runs and the asking rate came spiralling down to just over run-a-ball. Brathwaite was back into the attack who got a much-needed breakthrough and dismissed Raina. Ambati Rayudu was the new man in. But Watson was still on the crease and hit Brathwaite for a four and a maximum in the same over. Watson was fast approaching his second hundred of the season. Rashid Khan was back into the attack. CSK were playing intelligent cricket and didn't go after Rashid. CSK stood at 146/2 after 15 overs needing just 33 runs in the last 30 balls.

SRH needed either some quick wickets or a whole lot of dot deliveries and therefore Williamson brought back Bhuvneshwar Kumar to bowl the 16th over. Kumar bowled a decent 8 run over but it wasn't enough to give SRH any real chance in the game. Rashid came in to bowl his last of the match. CSK were taking it easy and dealt in singles. Watson completed his century in just 51 balls, out of which he had played 10 dot balls at the start of his innings. Once he reached the milestone Watson went even after Rashid and hit him for consecutive boundaries to end the over. CSK just needed 13 runs in the last 18 balls and Sidharth Kaul came in to bowl the 18th over. Watson looked to finish the game and hit Kaul for couple of boundaries. CSK needed just 2 runs to win the game in 12 balls. Brathwaite returned to bowl the penultimate over. He started off with consecutive dot balls but Rayudu finished the match on the third one with a cover drive boundary.

Watson did a one-man show and proved to be too much for SRH to conquer. CSK and especially Watson played smart cricket after a bad start and marked their bowlers according to their strengths due to which SRH failed to pose any difficulty in the run chase apart from a tight power play. CSK sailed past the finishing line with 9 balls to spare and won the trophy quite comfortably.

Chennai Super Kings batsman Shane Watson celebrates his century against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL 2018 final cricket match, in Mumbai. Photo: PTI

Chennai Super Kings batsman Shane Watson celebrates his century against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the cricket match, in Photo: PTI


Sunrisers Hyderabad innings: Over by over

Sunrisers for today's match: Shikhar Dhawan, Shreevats Goswami(w), Kane Williamson(c), Shakib Al Hasan, Deepak Hooda, Yusuf Pathan, Carlos Brathwaite, Rashid Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Sandeep Sharma. Change: Sandeep Sharma and Shreevats Goswami replace Saha and Khaleel.

Over 1: Deepak Chahar to Sreevats Goswami, no ball over the waist height and a single taken. Dhawan hit the FREE HIT ball straight to long-on for a single. Goswami took a single off the 2nd ball. Dhawan played the third ball straight to backward point, no run taken. Dhawan dabbed the next ball for a quick single. Goswami dabbed the ball in the third-man region for a single. DOT ball to end the over. SRH: 6/0, Shikhar Dhawan: 2(4b), Sreevats Goswami: 3(3b)

Over 2: Lungi Ngidi to Sreevats Goswami, one run taken. Dhawan played the 2nd ball fine for four runs. Dhawan left the ball to the keeper followed by a single. Goswami dabbed the ball in the leg side and a suicidal run out as Goswami wanted to take a double. Kane Williamson came to crease and defended the last ball for a single. SRH: 14/1, Sreevats Goswami run out (Karn Sharma/Dhoni) 5 (5b 0x4 0x6)

Over 3: Deepak Chahar to Kane Williamson, pulled the ball straight to short mid wicket followed by a single. DOT ball. Dhawan whipped the ball from the pad in the legside for a single. Williamson dabbed the 5th ball for a quick single. DOT ball to end the over. SRH: 17/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 8(10b), Kane Williamson: 3(4b)

Over 4: Lungi Ngidi to Kane Williamson, defensive shot for no run. DOT ball. Another DOT ball. Inside edge, no run taken. Ball outside off Williamson failed to make a connection. Drive the last ball straight to cover, DOT ball. MAIDEN OVER. SRH: 17/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 8(10b), Kane Williamson: 3(10b)

Over 5: Deepak Chahar to Shikhar Dhawan, inside onto the pad, one run taken. Top edge of Williamson's bat sailed over the deep fine leg fielder for a SIX. Williamson danced down the pitch and played defensive shot for no run, Slower ball a bit short pulled away for four. Short ball too high, WIDE ball called. Missed the pull shot for no run. A single taken to end the over. SRH: 30/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 9(11b), Kane Williamson: 14(15b)

Over 6: Shardul Thakur to Kane Williamson, ball down the leg side, WIDE. Williamson dabbed the 1st ball for a single. A classic cover drive by Dhawan for no run as ball went straight to cover field. Dhawan cobbled the next ball for six over mid-on fielder followed by double. A single taken off the 5th ball. Williamson dabbed the last ball to third man region for a single. SRH: 42/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 18(15b), Kane Williamson: 16(17b)

Over 7: Karn Sharma to Kane Williamson, one run taken. Dhawan cut the 2nd ball for a single. A single taken thanks to miss field by Raina in short cover. WIDE, DOT ball. Dhawan swept the 5th ball for four in deep square leg region followed by a single. SRH: 51/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 24(19b), Kane Williamson: 18(19b)

Over 8: Dwayne Bravo to Shikhar Dhawan, slower delivery hit straight to cover fielder. Yorker for no run. Short ball, Dhawan tried to pull, failed a loud appeal, no said by the umpire. Dhawan took a single off the next ball. Williamson hit the 5th ball over the cover fielder for four followed by a six. SRH: 62/1, Shikhar Dhawan: 25(21b), Kane Williamson: 28(21b)

Over 9: Ravindra Jadeja to Shikhar Dhawan, played straight down the ground for a single. Williamson chipped the 2nd ball to long-off for a single. Dhawan BOWLED as Dhawan tried to play a sweep shot perished. Shakib Al Hasan cut the first ball as he faced for four followed by a single. Williamson took a single off the last ball to keep the strike. SRH: 70/2, Shikhar Dhawan b Jadeja 26 (25b 2x4 1x6)

Over 10: Deepak Chahar to Kane Williamson, no run taken followed by a single off the next ball. Shakib cut the 3rd ball straight to point for no run followed by a single. DOT ball. Williamson took a single off the last ball of the over. SRH: 73/2, Shakib Al Hasan: 6(4b), Kane Williamson: 32(27b)

Over 11: Ravindra Jadeja to Kane Williamson, one run taken. Shakib Al Hasan took a single off the 2nd ball. Outside edge, just fall short of the third man fielder and ball went for four. A leg bye taken. Shakib hit the 5th ball for six followed by a four. SRH: 90/2, Shakib Al Hasan: 17 (7b), Kane Williamson: 37 (30b)

Over 12: Dwayne Bravo to Kane Williamson, no run. Kane Williamson smashed the 2nd ball for four in the deep cover region followed by a four in the deep mid-wicket region. Williamson hit the 4th ball straight to cover fielder for a single. Full toss, played down to long-on for a single. Williamson took a single to keep the strike. SRH: 101/2, Shakib Al Hasan: 18 (8b), Kane Williamson: 47 (35b)

Over 13: Karn Sharma to Kane Williamson, STUMPED as he danced down the pitch for a big shot. Yusuf Pathan cut the first ball for no run. Pathan glides the 2nd ball for four in the third-man region followed by a double in the deep mid-wicket region. DOT ball. A single taken off the last ball.e. Bravo bowled the 12th over and conceded 11 runs off it. SRH were gaining the momentum and stood at 101/2 after 12 overs. SRH: 108-3

Over 14: Shardul Thakur to Yusuf Pathan, one run taken. Shakib dabbed the 2nd ball for a single. Yusuf smashed the 3rd ball for four followed by a single. Hasan took a single off the 5th ball. Pathan took a single off the last ball. SRH: 117/3, Yusuf Pathan: 14(9b), Shakib Al Hasan: 20(10b)

Over 15: Karn Sharma to Yusuf Pathan, DOT ball, Yusuf walloped the 2nd ball for six followed by a single. DOT ball, Hasan took a double off the 5th ball. DOT ball to end the over. SRH: 126/3, Yusuf Pathan: 21(12b), Shakib Al Hasan: 22(13b)

Over 16: Dwayne Bravo to Yusuf Pathan, slapped to deep extra cover for four followed by a single. Shakib took a single off the 3rd ball. Pathan took a single off the 4th ball. Low full toss hit straight to Raina standing at cover Shakib Al Hasan OUT. Shakib Al Hasan c Raina b Bravo 23 (15b 2x4 1x6)

Over 17: Lungi Ngidi to Deepak Hooda, one run taken. Pathan took a single off the next ball. Another single taken by Hooda. Pathan muscled the 4th ball for six followed by a single. Hooda OUT hit the last ball straight to fielder. SRH: 144/5, Deepak Hooda c sub (Shorey) b Ngidi 3 (4b 0x4 0x6)

Over 18: Dwayne Bravo to Yusuf Pathan, WIDE ball. Pathan took a single off the 1st ball. WIDE ball. Carlos Braithwaite walloped the 2nd ball for six over the long-off fielder followed by a single. Another single taken by Pathan. Braithwaite missed timed the pull shot and one run taken. Pathan muscled the last ball for four. SRH: 160/5, Yusuf Pathan: 41(21b), Carlos Brathwaite: 8(3b)

Over 19: Lungi Ngidi to Carlos Braithwaite, a swing and a miss as Ngidi followed the batsman. A top edge for a single as the ball falls in the no man lands. Yusuf Pathan took a single off the 3rd ball. DOT ball as Braithwaite failed to make a connection. Slower ball, a big swing and a miss by Braithwaite followed by a six over the long-on fielder. SRH: 168/5, Yusuf Pathan: 42(22b), Carlos Brathwaite: 15(8b)

Over 20: Shardul Thakur to Yusuf Pathan, two runs taken. WIDE down the legside. DOT ball. Pathan hit the 3rd ball straight to long off for a single. Slower ball and Braithwaite again failed to a connection as he swings across the line. Braithwaite muscled the 5th ball for a six and Braithwaite OUT of the last ball. SRH scored 178 runs in 20 overs.

IPL 2018 final, Chennai Super Kings, CSK

Sunrisers Hyderabad innings analysis after 20 overs

After a slow start, Shikhar Dhawan tried to up the ante against the strict bowling. Karn Sharma was introduced into the attack in the 7th over. Both Dhawan and Williamson were keeping it slow and steady going for a boundary every over. Bravo came in to bowl the 8th over and consistently bowled back of the hand deliveries asking the batsmen to do something special but Williamson managed to hit a four and a six off the last two deliveries of the over and 11 runs were added to the scoreboard. Jadeja was brought in with another bowling change. Dhawan went for a big shot, completely missed the line and was clean bowled. Shakib al Hasan was the new man in and was off the mark straight away. SRH were 70/2 after 9 overs on a two-paced pitch.

Dhoni was looking for another wicket and therefore brought back Deepak Chahar to bowl his last who ended a wonderful spell, though without any breakthrough in his 4 overs. Jadeja returned and the pitch showed some signs of spin and a bit of stickiness. Shakib broke the 'spell' by hitting Jadeja for six and a four towards on-side. Bravo bowled the 12th over and conceded 11 runs off it. SRH were gaining the momentum and stood at 101/2 after 12 overs.

Williamson threw away his wicket on the very first ball of the 13th over as he stepped out of the crease as he looked to hit a pre-meditated shot and was stumped. Yusuf Pathan was the new man on the crease. Shardul Thakur returned to bowl the 14th over. Shakib and Pathan had new responsibilities after Williamson's departure. First, to keep the scoreboard ticking at a decent pace and second and more important was not to lose their wicket. 9 runs came off the 14th over. Karn Sharma continued. Both Shakib and Yusuf seemed to be in good touch, scoring at a strike rate of 200. The game was moving at a quick pace with CSK's bowlers finishing their overs quickly. Bravo returned and Pathan welcomed him with a boundary towards extra cover straight away. Just when SRH looked to be moving comfortably at a decent pace, they hit a roadblock as Shakib was dismissed off a full toss which he hit straight into the hands of Suresh Raina. Deepak Hooda was new batsmen in. SRH stood at 134/4 after 16 overs.

Lungi Ngidi was brought back into the attack and even as Hooda depended on singles Pathan continued with his natural game. Hooda tried to do the same and had to depart. Brathwaite was the next man in while Bravo returned to bowl his last. Brathwaite opened his account with a six towards long-off. Pathan ended the over with a powerful straight drive as SRH moved towards posting a competitive total on the board. Ngidi came in and bowled wonderful 19th over deceiving the batsmen with change of pace. He conceded just 8 runs off his over. Shardul Thakur returned to bowl the last over of the innings. Thakur followed the footsteps of Ngidi and continued with the change in pace. Brathwaite struggling to connect the ball and lost his wicket on the last ball after hitting a six on the penultimate one. Thanks to Ngidi and Thakur's brilliant overs, SRH could only add 18 runs in the last 2 overs. SRH had posted a total of 178/6 which was just about par and CSK needed to beat this score to clinch the trophy.

SRH, Yusuf Pathan


Here are a few things to know about the (CSK vs SRH) match (IPL final 2018) played at in Mumbai, and who said what:

IPL hinders players' growth in first-class cricket, says Andy Flower: England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) stand-in director Andy Flower says participation in the hinders many "growth opportunities" for the country's players in first-class cricket. As many as 12 England players, including Ben Stokes, Chris Woakes and Jos Buttler, featured in this year's IPL. "The ECB position, at the moment, is to allow some of our best players to go to the IPL. And a lot of people will say things have thankfully moved on from the time I made my decisions around subjects like the IPL," Flower was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo. When he was the England coach, Flower was often sceptical of English players' participation in the IPL at the expense of their performance in Test cricket, which put him at loggerheads with stars such as Kevin Pietersen.

Eden Gardens, best ground of IPL 2018: Kolkata Knight Riders may have lost in the final race but its home venue, the hallowed Eden Gardens, was voted as the best ground in IPL 2018. In a tweet, former India captain Sourav Ganguly revealed this ahead of the official BCCI announcement on Sunday and also thanked the ground staff for their contribution. "The CAB is happy to inform that Eden Gardens has once again been awarded the best venue and ground of IPL 2018," the Cricket Association of Bengal president wrote on his official Twitter handle. This season, Eden Gardens went on to host nine matches of IPL 2018 after getting two bonus matches in the playoffs which were originally slated in Pune.

How Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings were related with Gavaskar led Indian cricket team in World Championship: Sunil Gavaskar's 1985 book, 'One Day Wonders' based on India's World Championship of Cricket triumph, had an interesting anecdote. Skipper Gavaskar himself, Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal were three players above 30 in the playing XI during that tournament in Australia. Whenever one among the three would take a smart catch, field well or get a direct throw right, the others would come and say "Well done OT". 'OT', according to Gavaskar, was the short form of 'Over Thirty' -- a bit of self deprecating humour to let people know that 'Age indeed is just a number'. Mahendra Singh Dhoni surely doesn't have any fancy terms reserved for his bunch of veterans but indeed his 'OTs' have done him proud as Chennai Super Kings gear up for their seventh final. He has successfully created "chaos in the opposition ranks" with his 'out of the box' thinking and made the difficult cricketers "fall in line with team culture" to create a cohesive unit. The average age of the core team comprising Dhoni (36), Ambati Rayudu (32), Suresh Raina (31), Dwayne Bravo (34), Shane Watson (37) and Harbhajan Singh (37) is 34 and half years. Yet they are a complete antithesis to what everyone terms as 'Dad's Army'. But what has been the recipe of CSK's success despite having to start from scratch after a two-year ban?

head to head ahead IPL final 2018

Overall:
Matches: 10
Chennai Super Kings won: 8
Sunrisers Hyderabad won: 2

with agency inputs

First Published: Sun, May 27 2018. 23:37 IST