Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson praised winning team Chennai Super Kings for handling the pressure of the final game well. The table toppers in the league stage, lost all four matches to CSK this season. Williamson said that Chennai handled the pressure very well while playing in the high-stakes match, chasing a “competitive total” put together by the SRH team.
In the final match held at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, the Sunrisers were asked to bat first after Chennai won the toss. The team put a high total of 179 and aimed to depend on their bowlers- pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar and spinner Rashid Khan to get early wickets and break the CSK back. Unfortunately for them, none of these two could take wickets during the game.
Williamson noted, “That is the nature of that – sometimes you do have to applaud very good cricket and that was CSK in terms of their batting today. It was outstanding, they didn’t give us opportunities, they hit it over the fence rather than to our man…And today, you do credit the way CSK handled those moments of pressure and carried on with their batting performance.”
When CSK came to bat, the match was in 50-50 swing. Though CSK has a very strong batting lineup, Hyderabad bowlers have defended the smallest totals of the seasons successfully. In the first five overs, it appeared that CSK is losing their grip on the match. After Faf Du Plesssis went away the team looked in a bad spot.
Shane Watson did not score a run in the first 10 bowls he faced, giving rise to questions about his credibility on field. After that, he opened the face of the bat to score an unbeaten 117 runs and leading his team to victory. Siddharth Kaul and Sandeep Sharma were on the receiving end of his fierce batting performance, who both quickly lost their edge against the Chennai heavyweight. This was the first time that a player scored a century in a final game in the past 11 years of the franchise.
The SRH skipper commented that they had a very nice defendable total halfway through the powerplay. Considering the uncanny surface of the stadium which seemed more adept for the slower ball, near-180 looked like a good total to defend. He said, “Credit to the way CSK played, they showed their experience and got through that period and took the game away from us.”
He also praised Watson extensively, mentioning that he put the team under pressure very quickly and performed extremely well under these circumstances. It could be noted that domestic cricketers like Kumar and Sandeep cost them the game. However, even Rashid Khan, the no. 1 bowler in T20 format didn’t do as well as expected. The Super King looked prepared for his bowling and they handled him well, not allowing him a single wicket.
The Sunrisers have won the IPL trophy once while Super Kings have appeared in 7 finals, winning 3 of them- all under the captaincy of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Chennai has been the most successful franchise in the tournament, going to the playoff stages in 9 out of 11 tournaments it participated in.