Dream return for CSK

Dream return for CSK

Chennai Super Kings’ Shane Watson celebrates after scoring a century in the IPL final against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday. AFP

Shane Watson equalled his own record of fastest century, set at the start of this season, as Chennai Super Kings completed a remarkable comeback to win the 11th edition of the Indian Premier League.

Returning to the league after serving a two-year ban, CSK put on a dominant show to lift their third IPL title in seven finals. Having restricted Sunrisers Hyderabad to 178/6 on a good batting surface after winning the toss, CSK rode on Watson’s 117 (57b, 11x4, 8x6) to reply with 181/2 in 18.3 overs here at the Wankhede Stadium on Sunday. The Super Kings won a cool Rs 20 crore while Sunrisers had to settle for Rs 12.5 crore.

After beginning the chase on a wrong note, having limped to 20/1 after five overs, CSK ended the chase in a fine flourish. Considering that SRH had sent down two maiden overs, CSK effectively completed the chase in 16.3 overs with Watson going berserk after a sluggish start. After reaching his first 50 in 33 balls, Watson got his next 67 runs in a matter of 23 balls as SRH bowling attack, touted the best in the league, was left clueless in the face of relentless assault.       

This was Watson’s second century of the season, following his 51-ball effort against Rajasthan Royals in a league match in Pune. The Aussie veteran, who won his second IPL title after the first one in the inaugural edition with Rajasthan Royals in 2008, became only the second player after Wriddhiman Saha (for Kings XI Punjab in 2014) to score a century in an IPL final. Saha’s ton had come in a losing cause though.

Dismissed as “dad’s army” for the number of veteran players in their ranks, CSK defied all pre-tournament predictions to make a stunning comeback.