Straight drive over the bowler's head, and Faf du Plessis has taken CSK into the IPL final! Seventh time in their history. The Wankhede's gone ballistic. It was full on off, and Faf went for the big one. Proper follow through of the bat and the ball lands just beyond the boundary line.
11.05pm An excellent match of cricket. We have one finalist decided, but we still need two more games before we discover our second finalist. Will it be Sunrisers Hyderabad? Or will it be one of Kolkata Knight Riders or Rajasthan Royals? Whoever it will be - if today is anything to go by - the next three matches will also be spectacular games of cricket. We hope you enjoyed ESPNcricinfo's coverage of this exciting encounter. On behalf of Deiva Muthu, this is Sreshth Shah signing off. We'll see you tomorrow once again. Bye!
Param: "@Raj: It doesn't matter if it's a zillion times or a gazillion times, I promise you, next match, once again, there'll be comments after comments questioning every decision Dhoni makes. "
SD: "@Rijo: To be honest, SA players add a lot of value to teams they play in. That's been the story of IPL over the years. Right from the likes of Kallis to de Villiers, Morkel brothers, du Plessis, Ryan McLaren, Hashim Amla, Chris Morris and now Rabada and Ngidi. South African talent lights the tournament up. Always."
10.56pm Time for the official presentation. Stick around.
Faf du Plessis, Man of the Match. "Thank you," says Faf. "It's nice to contribute since I haven't played much. Yesterday, I was just reflecting on my past games, and took some confidence from that mentally. I just entered the changing room now, and asked the boys 'how did we win this, guys?'. Sometimes the game seems out of reach, but you keep sticking in. But Shardul came in and hit some boundaries, and everything went our way. Rashid was a real handful, so just happy to cross the line. Rashid was tough to pick, so hard to take him on. So try to get through him as much as you can."
Jmani: "Dhoni's press conference is longer than a Dravid's test innings"
Winning captain MS Dhoni. "Always happy when we win. Being in the top two gives you that liberty to have one more game," Dhoni says. "If we would've lost, you still give yourself a second chance. They bowled very well, and there was a bit for the fast bowlers. Bhuvi bowled well, backed up well by Rashid. We kept losing wickets, and so we had to push ourselves. Losing three-four wickets in the middle always puts you on pressure. Plus, they have a mystery bowler. It's good to win a game like this, but what's more important, is knowing how we can improve. Our bowling combination is the best we have, and from the beginning I've been using different players at different stages to test them. You have to keep shuffling to know who can do what for you, and at what time. It may hurt you sometimes, and the best bowlers are playing these games. Faf's innings, is where experience counts. It's not easy to not play a lot of games, but I always say you need to train your mind as well. That's where the experience comes in. You visualise what your role is, how you can contribute, and Faf has been brilliant. I know we had a second chance, but still feels good. We have been a very good team over the past ten seasons, but it's more about the dressing room atmosphere. And you can't do that without the players and the support staff. And if atmosphere is not good, then players go to different directions. But somehow, we have managed to keep our boys on track."
Raj: "there's the proof, for the zillionth time, that MS dhoni hasn't lost his Midas touch in captaincy.... Again who was questioning Faf's inclusion ?"
Rijo: "Probably the first time , a South African player has not choked in a Chase...To me that's the magic of CSK !!!"
Fletch: "Asked it at halfway - and will ask it again. Has the controversial non-call of the no-ball from Chahar to Shakib - from the miscontrolled beamer - cost SRH the match?"
Carbon Diamante: "Just like Sholay. Thakur made Gabbar and then unmade him."
Harsha Gutha: "Tough luck for srh...all the edges against their way in both the innings..."
10.52pm At the recently concluded Asian Champions Trophy, 18-year-old Lalremsiami scored two crucial goals for India and won the U-21 rising star award, having played a total of just 31 minutes. Until two years ago, the Mizo teenager could hardly understand a word of Hindi instructions her coaches were shouting out. Here's more on her remarkable journey.
Param: "Selection errors, batting order errors, googly remembering errors, bowling choices errors, all kinds of errors people love to point out. Sometimes, they should just learn to keep quiet and stop acting like experts sitting at home."
Virag : "I dont get why people are going after Kane for giving the 18th over to Carlos. Carlos had a better econ rate than Sandeep at that point , besides Kaul went for 17 and Bhuvi went for Six of the first ball of the last. There is no indication Sandeep would have done better than Carlos. "
Prabu: "If not Watson, its Rayudu, if nor Rayudu, its MSD, if not MSD its Bravo, If not Bravo its Raina, If not Raina its Billings, if not Billings its Faf and its goes on... Thats CSK for you."
Hayson: "The 1 and only error by Kane Williamson this whole season was to give the ball to braithwaite, he should have bowled Kaul, bhuvneshwar and sandeep"
10.43pm The Sunrisers keeper is on the floor. So are some other SRH fielders, but take a bow, Faf du Plessis. Chennai Super Kings looked totally out of it after the Powerplay, but just, human beings can really bring out the best from within themselves if they continue to dig in. CSK always seem to teach us that if you believe in yourself, the universe will conspire to make you win. That's their third win over Sunrisers this season. Time for some words from the players.
Here's Kane Williamson as well. "Trip to Kolkata now," Williamson said. "We were too short with the bat, and it was actually a decent surface. We would've wanted 20 more. The game did swing our way, and bowlers were outstanding, but we didn't quite execute it like in the past. Hopefully we can cross the line in Kolkata and come back here. We do back our death bowlers, but it wasn't to be today. Credit to CSK's lower order. It's important that we learn from this and take it to our next match. Faf played a beautiful knock, and credit to the way they scrapped it. We got a bit of hard work to do, but we'll do it one over at a time."
Shardul Thakur, the Man of the moment. "It was good, and it was important for me to give some runs so that Faf could finish it. I always told my coaches that I want to finish the game with the bat, and today I had the opportunity. MS said 'pick your balls', and Faf said to take single off the last ball, but I found the boundary. People are here to see entertainment and they got some. You have to believe, always."
LCP: "Wonder if that's the lowest number of balls faced for anyone who's carried their bat through an innings?" -- Hey, it crossed my mind too, but it doesn't count as 'carrying the bat' if the full 20 overs aren't finished.
We're ready. It's Best v Best time. Bhuvneshwar to Faf...
Lakshay: "Man, how deep is CSK's batting _/\_"
full on middle, and he's smashed a straight drive over the bowler's head! Would you believe it. The apparent villain of CSK's bowling effort has turned on the heat and how! CSK need six off the final over
CSK need 10 off seven balls
full on off, and he bunts it down the ground to long off. They're going for a suicidal second, but Faf manages to complete the run! What a sprint from Faf.
knuckle ball just outside off, and Faf manages to push it towards cover. Just a single on offer this time. CSK need 12 off eight balls
James: "Shardul Thakur: Villain to hero?"
full outside off, but the ball shapes further away. Goes beyond the tramlines, and umpire Erasmus says extras
Reaud: "Sandeep had an economy of 10 and Brathwaite had an economy of 6, can't blame Kane in the situation "
full just outside off, and muscled over the bowler's head. Dhawan's at long off. One run to the total, but importantly Faf's on strike
Lucky, lucky, lucky! What some like to call the French cut. Length ball on off, and angling into Shardul. He tried to punch it straight, but the ball came in, took the inside edge, and went past the keeper's left for four more
low full toss outside off, and he's edged it between the keeper and a fine short third man. It was a yorker just outside off, but Thakur manages to find some bat on it. He'll take it. CSK'll take it
Shardul on strike...
Chintan N Parek: "@Vignesh: Was looking for you, finally someone criticising the captain of the season."
raghu: "Brathwaite.. Hero to Villian.."
full outside off, and Faf connects with the square drive! Carves it past cover point, and the man in the deep can't cut it off either! Classic CSK. Twenty-three runs needed off 12
Rashid's hurt his shoulder, I think. Physio's working on him beyond the boundary
Vignesh R: "Poor captaincy, Carlos is a part timer. He shouldn't be bowling the 18th over. He should have planned differently else could have used Bhuvi for 18th and Kaul for 19th. And use Sandeep for last over "
full on off, and that's been creamed through the cover region. Looks like four, except Rashid's tumbling effort stops that at wide long off. Recovers quickly, and throws it in flat at the bowler's end. Brathwaite collects, and then brings the stumps down with his right hand. Harbhajan's nowhere near!
slower ball, on a good length. It pitches on off, and Faf tries to pull it square. He's deceived by the pace, and the ball comes off Faf's bottom edge. That takes the ball finer than he would've like, but Faf won't mind. Gone for four
full on leg, and that's been deposited into cow corner! Fifty for Faf! It pitched just ahead of his front leg, and Faf's enjoying the extra pace. Gets his front leg out of the way, and swings his bat thoroughly
overpitched outside off, and that's been drilled over cover! Manages to get his bat under this delivery, and powerfully lifts it over the infield
Nithin Sanil ku: "Out of 102 balls bowled, only 35 faced by du Plessis. "
slower ball, but full outside off. Big wind up from Harbhajan, but he mistimes a leg-side slog. The ball goes past Faf to long on. Importantly, gets off strike.
CSK need 43 off 18
back of a length outside off, and Harbhajan pulls it to the fielder at deep midwicket. Kaul's happy to concede a single off the final ball. That means Bhajji's back on strike
yorker, and just outside off. Harbhajan tries to open his bat's face, to run it down fine, but misses completely! That's zero off seven balls for Harbhajan
low full toss outside off, and that's been slapped to cover. The shot was good enough to beat the infielder, but KW's diving effort stops the boundary
Yadullah: "@sreshthx Rather say, SRH need to defend 47 in 24 to confirm a place in the final." -- Forty six
full on leg, and Harbhajan attempts to flick it towards the leg side. Hits his front leg, though, and that's enough for CSK to take a single
knuckle ball outside off, and Harbhajan can't even connect with the drive. The ball angled away slightly after pitching, and that, perhaps, put the batsman off. Through to Goswami
on off stunmp, and he tries to lift it over the bowler's head. Timed well, but it's in the air! Lucky for him, it drops short of Brathwaite at long on
CSK need 47 off 24 to seal a spot in the final
Shrey: "I think Bhajji's inclusion will be questioned if CSK loses this match. Could have gone with a batsman instead. "