Mumbai (Maharashtra), May 23: Chennai Super Kings (CSK) booked their place in the Indian Premier League (IPL) final for the seventh time on Tuesday as they narrowly defeated Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) by two wickets.
"The two of them have provided opportunities to take wickets and that's allowed our other bowlers to come into the game a bit more, so he's (Ngidi) been quite instrumental, certainly reducing the scores we're chasing", added Fleming. They had missed out on the previous two seasons as they were banned following the spot fixing and betting scandal. Du Plessis hit 67* off 42 balls and helped CSK chase down a target of 140 in 19.1 overs after being down at 62 for 6. The opener kept on playing sensibly throughout even as no other batman clicked at the other end.
After maneuvering past a Carlos Brathwaite over, Rashid Khan came into the attack and bowled one of the best deliveries in this edition of the IPL to send the CSK skipper back to the pavilion.
Sunrisers will have a second chance to reach the final when they face the victor of Wednesday's second playoff match between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals in the second qualifier tomorrow. Wicket-keeper Shreevats Goswami took a brilliant catch to dismiss opener Shane Watson (0) off pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
The table-toppers made a habit of defending low totals in the group stage and once again their bowlers blew away the top half of Chennai's batting order to give them an upper hand. Rayudu's dismissal was largely due to poor shot selection as he misjudged a slow yorker only to see the ball crash into the base of middle and off-stump.
"It was a good game of cricket, but if we are honest with ourselves, we were a few runs short with the bat". Eight overs were done and du Plessis had scored five runs off the nine balls he faced.
The New Zealand captain feathered a catch down leg-side ball off Shardul Thakur to rival captain Dhoni to leave Hyderabad reeling at 36 for 3 in the fifth over.
Thakur, who remained unbeaten on 15 runs, played sensibly and gave the strike to du Plesis. And du Plesis then finished it off in style, with a straight six off the very first ball of the 20th over. With 43 needing off last three overs, Du Plessis launched into Carlos Brathwaite's 18th over smashing him for 20 runs which included two sixes and two fours.
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 ideal start by dismissing opener Shikhar Dhawan for a first ball duck.
"We have been a very good team over the past ten seasons, but it's more about the dressing room atmosphere". Williamson took a punt on Brathwaite and du Plessis launched a calculated assault on him, hitting him for four boundaries in the 18th over.
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