Mumbai: This was a match made in heaven. It took two years in the making before the beast unleashed itself yet again. The Kings from Chennai are now one step closer to reclaiming their crown.
Led by the talismanic ‘Captain Cool’ Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Chennai Super Kings was always going to be the flavor of the season even before the start of Indian Premier League (IPL).
After the end of players auction, a lot of people had raised their doubts over the aging squad which had 11 players who are aged above 30, apart from young talents like Dhruv Shorey, Kshitiz Sharma, KM Asif. The experienced bunch silenced the critics with some entertaining display of cricket.
We look at the journey of the 'Yellow Brigade' who took the league by storm.
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians (Away)
A perfect start to the opening game of the 2018 IPL where two biggest rivals faced each other on the opening night of the tournament in Mumbai. The game did not disappoint either as CSK went onto beat MI by 1 wicket, While Kedar Jadhav was the hero of the match, Dwayne Bravo’s 68 off just 30 balls turned the game around out of nowhere.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Home)
The first game after two years on their home fortress i.e MA Chidambaram Stadium. The jam-packed stadium witnessed a high scoring game in which KKR scored 202/6 while batting first. In reply, a fine half-century by Sam Billings (56 runs) and vital contribution at top of the order by Ambati Rayadu (39 runs) and Shane Watson (42 runs) saw the home side reaching the target with one ball to spare.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab (Away)
A close encounter which saw KXIP pip CSK by 4 runs handing them the first loss of their season. Powered by Chris Gayle’s 63 runs KXIP scored 197-7 while batting first. In reply, it was Ambati Rayadu (49 runs) that look to take the game away from the home side. MS Dhoni also played a handy knock of 79 runs but in the end, it was the home side that managed to hold onto their nerve.
Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals (Home)
After shifting of matches from Chennai to Pune due to Cauvery Water crisis, the yellow brigade started their campaign with a bang beating Rajasthan Royals (making comeback after a two-year absence) by 64 runs. Shane Watson starred with the bat scoring 106 runs from 57 balls to help his team win their third game of the season.
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Away)
The clash between two heavyweights ended with CSK (182-3)beating Surisers Hyderabad (178-6) by 4 runs in a nail-biting contest. Ambati Rayadu (79 runs) and Suresh Raina (54 no) starred with the bat for the Chennai side, while Kane Williamson (84 runs) and Yusuf Pathan (45 runs) efforts fell short for the home side.
Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (Away)
Another nail-biting match which witnessed 200 plus score chased by CSK. Ambati Rayadu (82 runs) and some big hitting by skipper MS Dhoni (70 no)in the end saw CSK beat RCB by 5 wickets.
Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians (Home)
The return leg of the ‘Maharashtra Derby’ was again expected to be a cracker of a game. MI needed to win the match to keep their season alive, while CSK were placed in top two positions. Fine knock from Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayadu helped CSK reach 169-5 in 20 overs. MI top order Evin Lewis, Suryakumar Yadav, and skipper Rohit Sharma ensured that the team end up on the winning side by 8 wickets and inflict the second defeat on CSK.
Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils (Home)
Playing against team rooted at the bottom of the table, CSK batters sent DD bowlers for a leather hunt. Shane Watsons's 78 runs and MS Dhoni's 51 runs ensured CSK reach 211-4.
In reply, DD batsman failed to get going with the bat and eventually ended up scoring 198-5 losing the game by 13 runs.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kolkata Knight Riders (Away)
After struggling to get going CSK eventually ended up reaching 177-5 thanks to fine knock from skipper MS Dhoni low down the order. In reply, KKR thanks to a fine half-century by youngster Shubman Gill (57 runs) managed to chase down the target with 6 wickets to spare and also inflicting 3rd defeat on CSK.
Chennai Super Kings vs Royal Challengers Bangalore (Home)
The reverse fixture saw a very low scoring game with CSK bowlers dominating the Bangalore batting line-up and bowling them out for 127 runs. With a small target to chase the home side (CSK) finished the game with 6 wickets to spare.
Chennai Super Kings vs Rajasthan Royals (Away)
After beating the Royals in Pune, CSK were hoping to do the double by beating the host in their own backyard. RR bowlers put on a great show to restrict CSK batting to 176-4. In reply, thanks to fine knock by Jos Buttler helped the host win the match by 4 wickets.
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad (Home)
After beating SRH in their own backyard, CSK did the double on their opponent beating them by 8 wickets thanks to a fine century from Ambati Rayadu.
Chennai Super Kings vs Delhi Daredevils (Away)
The match was a dead rubber With DD playing for pride and CSK looking to go on top of the table. Batting first they scored 162-4 to beat. In reply CSK found the going tough as Amit Mishra and Trent Boult picked up two wickets apiece as they won the match by 34 runs.
Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab
Good bowling performance from CSK bowlers helped them bowl out KXIP for 153. Chasing 154 runs for victory in the final home game, Suresh Raina led from the front with a fine unbeaten half-century (61 runs) and cameo knock from Deepak Chahar ensured the home side won the match comfortably by 5 wickets and 5 balls to spare.
Chennai Super Kings vs Sunrisers Hyderabad, Qualifier 1
This was the third meeting between both the sides and the match lived up to it's billing as Faf du Plessis played a match-winning knock of 67 runs to help Chennai Super Kings beat SRH by 2 wickets and enter final