CSK might have pulled off another IPL trophy, but the architect of final win, if ever there was one, was Faf du Plessis. Right from the start, he dominated the proceedings with the bat and ran away with the game. With Ruturaj Gaikwad happy to play second fiddle, he smashed all the bowlers across the park. A lot was expected of the likes of KKR slow ball bowlers: Shakib al Hasan, Varun Chakrawarthy and Sunil Narine. Except for the West Indian, Du Plessis made sure that he blunts an unorthodox KKR attack with ease. He was simply superb against the tearaway pacer Lockie Ferguson.
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“That was a great day. 100th IPL game, special day. I loved my time here at CSK, almost 10 years. No 4 in the IPL trophy cabinet is really good. Rutu is a special talent. Indian cricket in generally very blessed with young talents. Rutu has got a great head on his shoulders. He has got a great future,” he said in the post match presentation.
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Earlier CSK needed a slice of luck at the start and former Proteas skipper du Plessis got that reprieve in the third over when Dinesh Karthik bungled an easy stumping chance. He then made full use by smashing seven fours and three sixes and also finished as the second-highest run-getter behind Gaikwad.
All standout shots came off Lockie Ferguson and there was a cracking cover drive and two sixes over the long-off region. Ferguson (0/56 in 4 overs) had a forgettable day in office. An opening stand of 61 in eight overs with ‘flavour of the season’ Gaikwad (32 off 27 balls) set the tone and then Uthappa, who had decided to roll back the years, hit his signature pick-up sixes over the deep mid-wicket region.
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The 63 runs added in only 5.2 overs did derail KKR’s bowling with only Sunil Narine (2/26 in 4 overs) getting his length and variations in pace right. If that wasn’t enough, another veteran Moeen joined the party as suddenly du Plessis played the second fiddle letting the England international go hammer and tongs at the KKR bowling. They added 68 in 6.3 overs.
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