It was the night of the final and it became the night of the Chennai Super Kings in Dubai. Dhoni led his side to the 4th title and is now only one short of the most successful franchise, Mumbai Indians. Though the match ended as a one-sided affair, it was a terrific comeback by CSK to make it their day. KKR ruined the game due to their most concerned weak middle-order. A game well-in control of the Knight Riders was stolen by the CSK bowlers after the collapse in the latter half of the 2nd innings. At last, it was another CSK final and another CSK triumph.
Story of the match
The final was held at Dubai International Stadium which is suited for any chase. Kolkata Knight Riders as expected chose bowling after winning the toss and CSK was pushed onto the backseat right there. But the phenomenal Chennai openers started with another 50-run stand. Only four CSK batsmen got the opportunity to bat and all four of them played quite brilliantly. Faf Du Plessis was the top-scorer with 86 from 59 while Robin Uthappa, Ruturaj Gaikwad, and Moeen Ali scored relevant scores of 30s to build the respectable total of 192/3.
KKR had the perfect mindset to chase down the target and was well aware of their fragile middle-order. Venkatesh Iyer and Shubman Gill fired the powerplay dominating every bowler. MS Dhoni dropped Venkatesh Iyer at 0 off Josh Hazlewood and CSK paid the price for it. The pair stitched an opening partnership of 91 runs. The watershed moment of the game was the opening breakthrough and with Tripathi injured during the 1st innings, KKR was already in trouble so early. Despite the openers scoring half-centuries, the entire middle order fell apart. Not even one of the KKR middle-order batsmen managed to play a two-digit inning.
From 91/1 KKR crumbled down to 125/8 in just 6 overs. The entire CSK bowling department gets the credit for causing panic inside the KKR dressing room and taking control of the game. Shardul Thakur was the leading wicket-taker of the game with three but Bravo and Josh were economic. CSK won the match comfortably by 27 runs and put their name once again in the precious IPL trophy.
The CSK batting lineup is really solid
With Uthappa replacing the out-of-form Suresh Raina, the CSK batting looked really strong and reliable. Gaikwad and Du Plessis were in fine form throughout the season but it was amazing how Uthappa clutched on to the run-rate and Moeen Ali followed it.
Sunil Narine was exceptional
At one point, the CSK batsmen seemed polarized – struggling against Narine and dominating every other bowler. Narine finished his spell neatly with 2 wickets conceding 26 runs and played a huge role in restricting the Super Kings from running away with the game in the first innings itself.
The KKR openers got a life each and they received with both hands
KKR’s hopes on the chase were safeguarded by their openers. Their revelation of the season, Venkatesh Iyer was dropped by the ever-safe MS Dhoni in the second over of the game. He took total advantage of the game and scored a fifty. Shubman Gill was caught off Jadeja by Ambati Rayudu but the ball hit the cable line of the spider-cam and the umpires ruled the ball dead resulting in his fifty as well.
Shardul Thakur in the 11th over gave CSK their breakthrough and set the fire for KKR carnage. He took the wicket of Nitish Rana in the same over. It was the beginning of a ripple effect in the KKR batting lineup and it went on to end their hopes.
CSK just needed a gap
After the breakthrough, Josh and Jadeja pierced through the rest of KKR batsmen and ended the affair once and for all. They just needed 6 overs to wipe out all KKR specialized batsmen and secure the match.
Hits and flops
- Faf du Plessis – A fantastic innings at a crucial occasion by the fabulous Faf. His 86 off 59 was the major chunk of CSK total.
- Sunil Narine – While every other KKR bowlers went for plenty, Sunil Narine was economical as well as picking crucial wickets.
- Robin Uthappa – Back-to-back class innings from Robbie and this time, it was a quickfire 31 from 15.
- Venkatesh Iyer – The embodiment of consistency, Venkatesh Iyer scored a fifty in the final match of the tournament as well.
- The entire KKR middle order – A total failure. The KKR middle order was dysfunctional the entire tournament and without Tripathi, it seemed paralyzed.
- Lockie Ferguson – A rare bad day at the office for the NZ pacer. He went for 56 runs without a wicket.