Chennai Super Kings' IPL success down to experience - Faf du Plessis

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"And if atmosphere is not good, then players go to different directions. Sam Billings has played a little bit, played the extra bowler in a couple of games but in Faf, CSK went for experience and boy did he play well", Smith said.

Chasing a modest target of 140, CSK were down in dumps at 92/7 before du Plessis (67 off 42 balls) engineered a stunning comeback and fittingly finished the match with a straight six off Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He watched fellow opener Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and Dhoni fall around him in that period.

In-form Afghan spinner Rashid Khan (2-11) deceived Dhoni (nine) with a googly and dismissed Dwayne Bravo for seven to further peg back Chennai. Rashid proceeded to have Dwayne Bravo nicking behind with a sharp legbreak. They even took quick wickets as well reducing CSK to 92 for 7.

File image of Faf du Plessis holding a shoe that was hurled as a protest at the Chepauk Stadium, Chennai. After returning to dots and singles for a brief while, he once exploded in the fourteenth when he collected a four and a six off consecutive deliveries off Shakib al Hasan.

Du Plessis survived an lbw call off Rashid after a successful review and helped bring down the equation to 43 off 18 balls.

Chennai Super Kings rally around Faf du Plessis after the South Africa test captain batted them into the IPL final
RAJANISH KAKADE AP Chennai Super Kings rally around Faf du Plessis after the South Africa test captain batted them into the IPL final

A late flurry from West Indian Brathwaite, who slammed Thakur for four huge sixes and a four in death overs, boosted the total significantly. Shardul Thakur, who had had a forgettable outing with the ball, redeemed himself with a cameo; batting at number 10, he contributed three boundaries in the 19th over- one off the outside edge, one off the inside edge, and a fierce hit over the bowler's head.

The mood in the CSK camp was seemingly grim when they were reeling at 62 for 6 in the 13th over of the chase, still needing 78 runs in 45 balls.

The IPL final is on May 27 at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium with $4 million going to the victor.

Rajasthan Royals, on the other hand, once had just three wins in hand and were placed at the bottom of the table following their ninth IPL match.

"Me, personally, in that situation, I felt that I needed to take all the risk against Carlos". His slower ball is not that much different from his regular ball, so if he gets it wrong, you can hit it and trust your swing. So that's why we targetted him. "And Shardul came in there and just smoked a few towards the end", du Plessis said. The South African was starved of the strike in the first eight overs - during which time he had only faced 9 balls. "We watch a lot of footage, but he's still so hard to pick", du Plessis said in a separate interview with Star Sports. He then got hurt in the last game. I've always felt you need to train the mind more than the body. He's been brilliant. He batted really well.

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