And Chennai Super Kings' highest run-scorer hits the winning runs! CSK are IPL 2018 champions. Driven through the covers
11.45pm And well, that's the end of ESPNcricinfo's coverage of IPL 2018. It was a thoroughly enjoyable seven weeks of cricket, and we thank you all for your company this season. On behalf of all our commentators, editors and scorers, this is Sreshth Shah, signing off one last time. See you in IPL 2019! Bye bye.
Tarunkumar: "Goodnight and I will miss your Commentary. Like other teams hope you guys comeback strongly next year *wink*. It is a emotional goodbye."
11.40pm And here's the moment. MS Dhoni collects the IPL trophy, and now the rest of the CSK boys rush in to engulf their captain. Celebrations! The team's youngsters have their moment with the trophy. The ground is still pretty full. They've stuck around to enjoy the post-match fun. More photos, and nice to see Vijay, Dhoni, Tahir, Harbhajan and Raina posing with their kids. CSK really does seem like a big family. Happy faces everywhere.
Sandeep: ""We knew our shortcomings, and we were aware of it. If Watson tries to dive, he may injure his hamstring, so we don't want him to do that" What a way to describe your match winner ..LOOLL"
11.35pm Thala time! MS Dhoni makes his way to collect the winner's cheque. "The finals, by the time you reach, everyone knows their roles," Dhoni says. "When you're fielding, you have to adjust your plans, but other than that, our batsmen know their style. And if someone is finding it difficult, you know the incoming batsman won't have it easy as well. You have to keep in mind that Bhuvi is as deceptive as Rashid, so it's not only one bowler in their side that could've put pressure on us. So, I feel it's a really good batting effort. But we always had the belief that we had the firepower in the middle overs. There was no plan to send Bravo up ahead. Rayudu has been our main batters, so we had protection in the middle. Every win is special, so difficult to pick any one win. Lot of people talk about numbers, statistics, so tonight's 27th, my jersey number is 7, and this was our seventh final. We talked a lot about age, but what's more important is the fitness. Rayudu, at 33, it doesn't really matter. That's what more matters than age. If you ask most captains, they want players who move well on the field. Doesn't matter if you're 19-20 years old. We knew our shortcomings, and we were aware of it. If Watson tries to dive, he may injure his hamstring, so we don't want him to do that. We've been aware of these things. Age is just a number, but you have to be very fit. No plans as of now. We go to Chennai tomorrow. Irrespective of the result, that was the plan. Go to Chennai, meet the fans and those close to the team. But we'll have a get together in the hotel and enjoy the evening. "
Nandkishore Mur: "Go back to Kedhar Jadhav coming in with a torn hamstring to get that win in match #1. That set the tone for this triumph !"
Zeal: "The 'loser's cheque' should be replaced with 'runner-ups cheque' since it's a bit harsh on SRH fans :p" -- you're right. I agree...
11.32pm CSK coach Stephen Fleming comes forward to collect the winner's memento. What a story he's had. Returning to CSK after two years at Rising Pune Supergiant.
Fleming says: "Each year is different. The franchise bought well, and from there we could keep a core set of skills. Other teams chopped and changed, but we stuck along. Experience got some stick after the auction, but we preferred that style. Our formula was 'experience' this year. We looked at age, but also at professionalism, and people like Watson are great at that. Our fielding levels do drop, but we take that into consideration. I support Dhoni, picking up the things he doesn't want to manage. I try to ensure the environment is good, the culture is good, and then MS can do what he wants in the field. It's a nice relationship to have.
11.27pm Williamson now collects the loser's cheque.
Williamson says: "We thought it'll be a competitive total, but the pitch did hold a bit. We saw that in our first five-six overs, and for the large part of the game we were doing okay. But hats off to Shane Watson. You do have to congratulate CSK. It's frustrating, because we played some really good cricket for the large part. Wasn't to be, and they certainly showed their experience. The boys are hurting at the moment, but we've fought hard. A shame not to come across the line, but a lot of positives. Every team is trying to find their balance, but no doubt, when we have a quality bowling attack, then it's a great asset. But it's a challenge to get that bat-ball balance. But it does come down to the commitment of the guys, and we can't fault them on that. Positive attitude, and when we finally look back, you look at a couple of small moments, but at the end of the day, we congratulate CSK once again. If you captain, you're playing, so that's something I enjoyed. I was in and out earlier, so nice to contribute this season. You get given a role, and you try to adapt it the best you can. It's a collective effort."
11.24pm Time for the runners-up, Sunrisers Hyderabad, to collect their medals. Tom Moody, the team coach, comes forward graciously and picks it up. What a great season Sunrisers Hyderabad have had, no? A shame we had to have one loser.
Moody says: "Watson's inning was special. We thought we had a competitive total. It needed something special, and Watson turned up tonight. It's been a very good season. We had a few setbacks early on, but in general, we were exceptional. We did well at home and away. And yes, we've lost a few, but that's a reflection of how good the tournament is. The losses allowed us to rejig. Kane's been wonderful. He's shown the cricketing world that he's a 3-dimensional cricketer. And when he's captain, every team is very lucky. We're fortunate to have him in our squad. Rashid's a terrific cricketer. Not only India, but the cricketing world has fallen in love with him. Not only his bowling, but his commitment in the field is great too. "
Prabu: "Dinesh Karthik should get the most promising emerging leader.. what a leadership he has got.. groomed his team well.."
11.20pm The presentations continue.
Time for the match referee and the umpires to collect their awards. It was actually a good outing for the umpires in the final tonight. A good end to a season of average umpiring.
Sunil Narine is announced as the season's Most Valuable Player. He says: "Wish we were in the final. Was a successful series for me with bat and ball. Would like to continue this. Wish I was there."
RiwajAdhikari: "Please something to AB please, if not that best catch! Some cherry after that retirement? Anything please. #CricketLover"
Shankar: "Enough of chin ups SRH fans. Go do some other exercise. Let us, the CSK fans, take the limelight now! "
Kane Williamson, the losing captain, wins the Orange Cap for most runs in IPL 2018. He makes his way up to collect his cap.
Andrew Tye wins the Purple Cap for most wickets in IPL 2018. He says, "great honour to accept it. India's been great to me. I've enjoyed every minute of it. We'll come back stronger next year. See you next year.
MS Dhoni wins the award for the season's most innovative thinking.
Pant collects another award: the season's most stylish player.
Yash: "Wait. Did Pant just say he was striking it at over 200 "playing NORMAL cricket!?""
Shishir: "@Ep heck ya we are , Warner should be back alongside Williamson and some more buys at the auction we will be stronger than ever "
Ep: "Any SRH fans right here(including me)..?? Chin up guys ... We are gonna come back stronger next year..!! "
Mohan: "From tomorrow, my wife stops doubting me. What I will be doing with my mobile even at 11pm. "
11.06 Here's Simon Doull, and we're finally ready with the presentation. This may be a longer-than-usual ceremony.
Sunil Narine wins the award for the season's best strike-rate
Trent Boult wins the award for Best catch. That stunner to dismiss Virat Kohli.
Mumbai Indians win the Fair Play Award
Rishabh Pant is the Emerging Player of the Year. Wins a cheque of INR 10 lac.
Pant says: "I enjoyed the whole tournament. Didn't go well for the team though. When you play a lot, you get the confidence. That's all I'm trying to do. This year, I have changed my style. Playing normal cricket. Earlier I would go for sixes. Have tried my control my instinct.
Watson is the Man of the Match. Here he comes, wide grinned, to collect his award. What a top innings, worthy of being a finals hundred. Age, what's that?
Watson says: "It's just been a special season. To get an opportunity after my previous year, was incredible. Things fell my way nicely tonight, but to be able to do it in such a big game... it's very special. After those first ten balls, I was hoping to catch up. Wanted to get run-a-ball before getting out. Bhuvi was excellent so we had to see the first six overs without any damage. Once the ball stopped swinging, it got easier. The good thing is I don't have to play for a few months, so have some time to recover. The support with MS, Fleming and Simsek was excellent."
Eden Gardens wins the award for best IPL ground of the season. A CAB representative collects the award. Mohali wins the award for best IPL ground for less than seven games.
Gaurav : "Another season over. From tmrw, again after coming back from office, will have to think what to watch on tv.."
Raj: "Watson finished it. Holmes did not have to show up."
11pm The party continues at the Wankhede as we prepare for the presentation. Another Dhoni speech expected, or will he be a man of few words tonight? For now, he's got his daughter Ziva in his arms. He's catching up with Michael Clarke.
Robin Rathi: "I have commented like infinite times this season but never got my comments published. And i have never felt bad about it cos Espncrcinfo publishes the best comments. Cheers! Keep up the good work"
Cricketfan: "SRH deserves equal respect here...they have fought hard to make it to the finals but yet they fell low before CSK..Well done SRH ... Better luck next time..and Kudos to CSK..(an SRH fan) "
Varahan: "Cricinfo coverage has been insightful and lively. I have no access to live TV, but Cricinfo never made me miss the live action. Simply fantastic. " -- Thank you, Varahan. Lots of post-tournament stuff coming up over the next few days as well. Make sure you keep an eye out.
Tarunkumar: "KKR would have given a better challenge to CSK. The way this ipl has gone so far today's match should also had been close encounters rathan than one sided win"
Cnp: "I may be completely on the other side of the world with respect to my opinion. It was bowling that was horrible post the first 4overs . Small stadium and Watson just playing sensible(not superhuman ) putting away bad balls got csk to win.that shows how many bad balls SRH bowled. Very ordinary bowling by so called best bowling unit in 4of the last 6 games"
Yash: "Has a team ever lost four matches against the same opponent in a single season of the IPL?" -- Nope, it's the first time...
Anubhab Mukherj: "From a DD fan, it's a good feeling that Rishabh is going to get 2-3 awards. The only silver lining for us in this year. And I've sent so many texts which haven't been published. Can I get one in the final?
DRP: "On the other part, the winner is still to be decided. Who will win the IPL fantasy league?" -- Our ESPNcricinfo league has found its winner though. Our correspondent Vishal Dikshit won. I finished a mere fifth. :(
Madhusudhan: "You should be in Chennai to see the reaction. I live in Adyar and it looks like an early Diwali here. My parents have asked my lil sister not to step out for the fear that she may step on some crackers. And the restaurant near my house which usually closes at around 10 pm is gonna be kept open till 1 pm just to cash in on the fans crowded here. If only I could attach a video to this message."
Abhijato: "Now that CSK is back and has won third title, I expect MI and CSK to be the best teams next season, and figure out who is the actual best team, unless of course KKR decides to win and make it a three way tie! :D"
Praveen J: "Perfect Gift for Birthday Man Mike Hussey " -- ah yes, he's the CSK batting coach isn't he?
kalpit: "Reading comments now are more interesting than the match. 50 days of ipl. Thank you IPL for entertaining us. Can't wait for the next season. "
Yuvraj Jaiswal: "For the most competitve season of the IPL, the final was anti-climatic. But it was indeed fitting to the most consistent team of the tournament."
10.50pm Still lots more to come tonight. Stick around and send us your thoughts about the season!
iamRifard : "Watson is that guy from your class, whom plays and enjoy his time on exams and finally turns out to be the topper of the exams."
RakeshRaheja: "CricInfo coverage and comments have been great this year. Thanks for great comments from viewers. It has been very entertaining as well this year. Good Show this IPL 2018!" -- Thank you RR. We're nothing without you guys.
kritish: "Franchises should learn from CSK. Others like DD, RCB and even to an extent RR bought players at the auction, CSK bought a team."
Siddhesh v: "From Chennai,and fireworks going up all around me. The games might have been shifted out, but we still love our team to death! What a return for the champions to the place where they truly belong!"
Karthik Sai: "You can tell from the way Dhoni, Jadeja, Bravo and the others have been speaking in interviews.. they keep saying "we are back after two years" though they have actually not missed a single season.. Goes to show how much this franchise means to them and to us fans as well.. Go CSK! IPL was not the same without CSK!!"
Sud: "Amazing to see 2 star batsmen from the first IPL winning team are star performers today after 11 years.. Pathan and Watson! Take a bow!"
Prachi: "Thank you so much Cricinfo! I followed the entire season on the Cricinfo and I completely enjoyed it! You guys are so articulate and the comments are super entertaining."
Ankit Shah: "This match is a perfect example of the gap between Bhuvi & other Indian bowlers in SRH team. Bhuvi way ahead of all others. "
10.45pm More reactions now.
Karn Sharma: I was prepared to play, so I was waiting for my opportunity.
Deepak Chahar: Enjoyed my role. Waiting for my chances, and got them this year. Thanks to Mahi bhai for giving me the opportunity. One of my dreams has come through tonight.
Harbhajan Singh: Brilliant. The way we've chased these runs, absolutely brilliant. You see what Watson brings to the table. When set batsmen are in, anything is possible. Fourth time IPL champion. Glad. Williamson was in good form, so we needed a bowler who took the ball away, therefore we preferred Karn tonight.
Ambati Rayudu: "Really fortunate to have such a great season. Worked really hard, and happy to score the winning runs. Initially, the wicket was slow, but I thought it was damp. Got much better, so I was confident we'll chase it.
Dwayne Bravo: "Good experience, but it's a special moment. Most of the guys, it's their first time. We played just one game in Chennai, so a lot was going wrong. But we kept focus, and nothing's better than winning titles. Experience is better than youth, and we've shown that. Experience comes across in moments like this. Watson's a world-class player.
Shardul Thakur: Last year I was part of the final, but we lost it. So now I'm on the top of the world. I had to bowl well in the death. More often than not you get hit in this format, but managed to execute well today.
Lungi Ngidi: Rollercoaster of emotions. Lovely to have responsiblity on your shoulders. Great to be bowling at the death.
Jadeja: We did a very good job on and off the field. Played as a team whether we're winning or losing. Happy that we're participating after two years, and we've won.
10.40pm Out come the CSK boys, and they've jumped all over Shane Watson. Watto takes his helmet off, and you can see how much this innings meant to him. Dhoni: calm as ever. The name of the 2018 winners is now being added onto the IPL trophy. The two teams now shake hands, but Watson's the man of the moment. He's still being mobbed by his team-mates. A wide grin on the big man's face. Stick around as we bring you all the coverage of the post-match celebrations!
HarishVaranasi: "SRH lost the game at the toss, Wankhede with dew - chasing is most likely to win you the game. Williamson was also right, he would have liked to bowl first. Parallel Universe, SRH wins the toss and wins 2018 IPL"
Vishvas: "In IPL 2008 an Aussie allrounder helped underdogs of the season to clinch the maiden IPL title against the most consistent team of IPL and now the same man is winning the title for the most consistent team on the planet yes the name is Shane Watson the same man who fell while balling his first test ball vs Pakistan I guess "
Shriram: "You wanna win? Get Karn Sharma! Three years, three titles "
Shriniketh: "2 years of wait. No matches in home ground. Got trolled for uncle auction. Responded back with the trophy. CSK is indeed the best T20 team in the world! <3 "
Santhosh : "The only match this season when CSK didn't test my adrenaline!"
The CSK camp is bubbling with excitement. Captain cool, however, is in the back ground
full just outside off, and Rayudu suffles across to the off side before driving it to mid off
yorker on off, and dug away to the square-leg fielder
Mehul: "A bit strange to blame Williamson's captaincy right now. Shakib was carted for runs too. When someone plays the kind of innings Watson has played, all you can do is shake your head and say "Well played, congrats" "
full just outside off, and defended towards cover point. We'll have to wait.
Remarkable innings this by Watson: only once before has a batsman got to a century in the IPL after playing his first-six balls for dots. Brendon McCullum in the inaugural IPL match against RCB.
The crowd's on their feet!
Also the highest score in an IPL final...
full just outside off, and this time it's been caressed! The last one was brute force but this was pure timing. Proper front-foot straight drive past the bowler
full on middle, but Watson makes some extra room and then drills it past the bowler. Kaul's lucky that he got out of the delivery's way. Smokes this to the long-off boundary
Navaneeth: "It'd be nice of Watson to sacrifice his wicket and leave to a standing ovation while giving MSD an opportunity to finish things off. Win-Win situation. "
length ball outside off, and Rayudu punches it off the back foot to sweeper cover. Ten needed now
Vengatesh: "Hearing there's a rumour that MSD may announce retirement after Final.. Is it so ?? Please say No no.. " -- I really doubt it....
low full toss on middle, and Watson mistimes a bunt to long off
amit: "Back in 2008, who would have thought that 10 years later Watson will hit two tons in one IPL !!! That 2008 season also saw watson realise his true potential and took him into Australia team. It's fitting that the same IPL has reminded everyone once again who the name Watson is. "
ZEESHAN AHMED: "This innings of Watto is going to be remembered for a long time. Watson made history like Gareth Bale made yesterday in Champions League Final. "
back of a length on off, and that's been comfortably pulled to the fielder at deep backward square
Tanvir: "The main problem with this amazing SRH bowling line is Williamson's captaincy. He got away until today by some great performance of his bowlers... he hasn't put enough trust on Shakib's bowling who has tons of experience.. "
dropped just in front of Hooda at deep backward square! And then it bounces away to the boundary. A horror evening for Hooda. It was a full ball on middle that Watson had slog swept to the leg side
full on off, but Watson's picked the wrong'un. Goes down on one knee, and then ramps it past the keeper's left. He's doing this in style!
full on leg stump, and worked off the front foot to the leg side. Calls early for the single
full outside off, and defended with soft hands to cover. They take the single and that's an IPL hundred for Watson The first IPL finals hundred while chasing, the second in all IPL finals. Take a bow, legend. Also his second of the season
full just outside off, and driven with the turn to long off. Gets Watson back on strike and the crowd's gone ballistic
full on off, but it's not spinning. Watson drives it past the non-striker to long on. Moves to 99
back of a length on off, and Watson fends it off the back foot. Comes off the bat's outside edge and runs down to third man
Watson's one shot away from a hundred
back of a length outside off, and slapped to deep point. Well stopped by the man in the deep
slower ball again. Fuller outside off, and driven away from his body to KW at cover
short ball, and it's the offcutter too, but Rayudu picks the length early. Comes dancing down the wicket and then slaps it inside out over long off. Ambati's done waiting
back of a length outside off, and punched off the back foot to cover. Starts the over with two dot balls