Super Kings began with a beamer followed by a free hit, but they soon pulled things back. This was a stretch of play where both sides were waiting to see who blinks first. After having lost wickets early in the first qualifier against the same opposition, Sunrisers didn't try anything adventurous against Deepak Chahar and Ngidi, scoring 42 for 1 in the Powerplay.
Having gone at about a run a ball inside the Powerplay, Shikhar Dhawan and Kane Williamson had to become more urgent at some point. Williamson began doing that with Dwayne Bravo, introduced early again because he has not been at his best at the death. For Dhawan the opportunity presented itself when Ravindra Jadeja came on to bowl, turning the ball back into him. As expected he went down for the big slog sweep, but he missed and the ball hit the thigh pad to deviate onto his stumps. Sunrisers 64 for 2 in the ninth.
On the big final day, though, Sunrisers' middle order kept bringing the runs. Shakib Al Hasan did to Jadeja what Dhawan wanted to do: take four, six and four in his first two overs. Williamson kept tapping Bravo for boundaries. Then again, Dhoni's golden touch worked. Karn Sharma, IPL champion for the last two years with Sunrisers and Mumbai Indians, brought in just for this match, had Williamson stumped off a wide ball.
The carnage began with 16 coming off the 18th over, bowled by Bravo, who signed off with the second-worst economy rate at death this season. The only man worse than him was Thakur, who would bowl the 20th. Ngidi and Thakur, though, bowled two excellent overs with six deliveries not scored off. Only 18 came off those two overs, and Super Kings had the momentum going into the chase.
In the last match between these two sides, Bhuvneshwar tortured Watson before taking him out for a five-ball duck. Yet again, Watson took first strike. This time Bhuvneshwar missed the shoulder of his bat twice by inches in a maiden over. If Watson was under pressure, he didn't show it. He would play out four more dots before coolly off-driving a four off Sandeep.
In the sixth over of the chase, the carnage that sealed the win began. Watson got absolutely stuck into Sandeep and Kaul. Sandeep's third over went for 15. Kaul made one mistake in his first over, and Watson was all over him. His over went for 16. At 51 for 1 in seven, the asking rate was back under 10.
Williamson would have ideally wanted to bowl Rashid to two right-hand batsmen, Dhoni preferably one of them, given his struggles against this bowler, but Super Kings just didn't take any risk against him. The next four overs brought: 5, 16, 8, 15. It is easy to tell which of these were bowled by Rashid.
Watson had brought up his fifty by then, but he wasn't done hurting Sandeep yet. This is a time when Williamson usually goes back to Bhuvneshwar but on this night he couldn't. Watson launched three sixes and two fours in the 13th over to practically end the chase there. Only about a run a ball was required now, which Watson and Ambati Rayudu managed without a bother.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo