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Kane Williamson becomes leading run-scorer in IPL 2018

Kane Williamson becomes leading run-scorer in IPL 2018

The script was eerily similar for both the teams, but there could have been only one victor.

Chennai Super Kings booked their place in Sunday's IPL 2018 final after a thrilling two-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Tuesday.

Chasing 140 for victory, Chennai were in a shambles at 62-6 when Du Plessis stepped up with his 42-ball blitz that made the two-time champions achieve their target with five balls to spare in the first qualifier in Mumbai.

The move backfired as Watson was dismissed for nought by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over itself. There was a brief second-wicket partnership of 24 runs between Suresh Raina (22) and du Plessis, which was broken in the fourth over by Siddharth Kaul.

"Saying that, the game swung back our way, the bowlers were outstanding only didn't execute (in the death) as we have in the past", he added of his bowlers who have been excellent in defending low totals throughout season 11.

CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, too, didn't last long.

Much of the credit for the Orange Army's entry into the playoffs goes to the consistency of skipper Kane Williamson, who sits second in the leading run-getters' list with 661 runs and the bowling unit leg by paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Afghan spinner Rashid Khan. Khan, in fact, was the best bowler of the night, with figures of 2/11 in his four overs.

Du Plessis waged a lone battle as wickets fell in a heap at the other end with Sandeep Sharma getting rid of Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar.

Chennai, attempting to make it to their seventh final in nine seasons that they have been part of T20 2018, struck another blow just past the Powerplay period.

SRH were struggling at 88/6 by the end of the 15 over.

Earlier, 2016 winners Hyderabad - who topped the league table in this edition - faltered after being put into bat first despite a 29-ball unbeaten 43 from Carlos Brathwaite. However, the CSK bowler had the last laugh, as he watched du Plessis tear into Brathwaite, plundering 20 runs in the 18 over bowled by him, which ultimately proved to be decisive.

Both Chennai and Hyderabad finished the league stage on 18 points, but the Kane Williamson-led side got their neck ahead to the No.1 spot with a superior net run-rate and Tuesday's victor will be guaranteed a place in the final at the same venue while the loser gets a second chance in the second qualifier in Kolkata on May 25.

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