Chennai Super Kings completed a fairytale comeback following their two-year suspension by winning their third Indian Premier League (IPL) title at the Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Sunday, May 27.
MS Dhoni's men made light work of Sunrisers Hyderabad in the final, gunning down a 179-run target with eight wickets and nine balls to spare. The eventual winners also completed a 4-0 clean sweep of the table-toppers in the season.
Watson demolishes famed SRH bowling attack, brings up second ton
Former Australian all-rounder, Shane Watson used all his experience on the big night even after playing out 10 dot balls at the start of the innings as he ended up smashing an unbeaten 117 in just 57 balls to single-handedly take CSK past the finish line.
Watson, who was rested for CSK's last-over win against the SRH in the Qualifier 1 on Tuesday, May 22, started off slow with a strike rate of 47 in the first 15 balls.
However, once the fielding restrictions were lifted, Watson switched on the demolition mode and went after each and every Sunrisers' bowler, barring Afghanistan leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who gave away only 24 runs in his four-over spell.
Despite losing last match's hero Faf du Plessis early after a slow start, Watson got good support from Suresh Raina, who hit a 24-ball 32. The game was almost sealed when the left-hander departed and Ambati Rayudu, who walked in at No. 4, was sent to complete the formalities.
Such was Watson's brutal hitting that Sunrisers' bowlers, who have choked oppositions while defending the lowest of totals in the ongoing season, were made to look ordinary.
Barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khan, none of the SRH bowlers conceded at less than 10 an over. Sandeep Sharma's final over proved too costly for the runners-up as Watson went berserk, smashing the young pacer out of the park three times as CSK collected 27 runs.
Watson also made sure the Super Kings fans went to bed without losing their nails yet again as CSK had made it a habit to snatch wins from positions where they were not supposed to win matches.
Earlier in the day, the Super Kings' bowlers stood up and delivered on the big stage as five of them got their names on the wicket-column.
Spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Karn Sharma, who had replaced Harbhajan Singh, were miserly while Lungi Ngidi was brilliant at the death even as death-over specialist Dwayne Bravo was taken to the cleaners by SRH batsmen.
Sunrisers lost opener Shreevats Goswami early but Shikhar Dhawan and captain Williamson stitched a 51-run stand after which Yusuf Pathan (25-ball 45) and Carlos Brathwaite (11-ball 21) made sure SRH had a decent total on the board.
With the win, CSK have joined Mumbai Indians as the only two teams to have won three titles. The Chennai-based franchise also ended their streak of losing finals on the trot as they let the trophy slip away in 2012, 2013 and 2015.