Du Plessis blasts Chennai into final

Dwayne Bravo is now the leading wicket-taker for Chennai Super Kings

"The vision that the franchise had, of keeping experienced players, was something a lot of people questioned", du Plessis said in a post-match interview. But Shardul came in and hit some boundaries, and everything went our way.

With Chennai needing six runs off the last over, du Plessis brought up the victory in style over the umpire's head off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's bowling.

Chennai Super Kings players celebrate after defeating Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 to make the final of IPL XI.

Du Plessis, who had endured a poor IPL so far this year, was at his best when it mattered the most with a chanceless 67 not out off only 42 balls against Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium.

"It reflects the dressing room atmosphere we've been able to create". The in-form Ambati Rayudu was cleaned up by a ideal yorker the very next ball, and four overs later MS Dhoni was castled by a Rashid Khan googly. Rashid was a real handful, so just happy to cross the line. The rest of the bowlers were outstanding; Dwayne Bravo was the most successful bowler with figures of 2-25, while Ravindra Jadeja was the most economical.

Both du Plessis and Dwayne Bravo were very tentative while facing Rashid's second over and at the end of ten overs, CSK were at 50/4. So even if he does (bowl a slower one), you can trust your (bat-) swing, so that's what I was hoping for.

With Kumar and Kaul bowling in tandem, du Plessis was once again just an onlooker as Dhoni tried to fend away their overs.

The New Zealand captain feathered a catch down leg-side ball off Shardul Thakur to rival captain Dhoni to leave Hyderabad reeling at 36 for 3 in the fifth over.

"Haven't spoken to MSD yet, but what I can tell you, is having joined back at CSK and played with him for Rising Pune Supergiant last time, you can really say he wants it this time". Du Plessis survived the storm, played out the most hard bowler in the opposition (Rashid Khan), and turned on the heat just at the right time.

"This is the best combination that we have got".

While the likes of 37-year-old Harbhajan Singh and Shane Watson, a year his junior, had forgettable outings, du Plessis' blistering counter-attack more than made up for their failures. We always backed ourselves to close games out from that point. At the end of 13 overs, the South African was 21 from 24 balls, when he decided the moment had come for him to step on the accelerator; he then added 46 runs in 18 balls to guide his team to a win. That's where the experience comes in.

"Credit goes to management, support staff and players. You visualise what your role is, how you can contribute and Faf has been brilliant". "But somehow, we have managed to keep our boys on track".

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