A “miraculous” catch from Dwayne Bravo has helped propel the Chennai Super Kings into the final of the Indian Premier League.
Opening batsman Faf de Plessis smashed an unbeaten half century to anchor the Super Kings to a thrilling two-wicket victory over Sunrisers Hyderabad in the first qualifier.
However, it was the incredible caught-and-bowled effort from West Indies ace Bravo that was arguably the highlight of the match.
Bravo took an incredibly athletic catch to remove Yusuf Pathan after the Hyderabad batsman smashed a straight drive back at the Chennai allrounder.
Hurling himself low and to the right, Bravo almost performed a cartwheel before snaffling the ball with one hand as it fizzed past him at speed.
“Oh taken, what a beauty! How did he take that,” one of the commentators exclaimed.
“I think the ball came at him at maybe 140km/h and look at that catch,” another caller added.
“That is nothing short of miraculous!’
Bravo’s heroics left Hyderabad at 6/88, with the Sunrisers eventually going on to make 7/139.
However, Du Plessis’ 67 off 42 balls took Chennai to 140-8 as the South African brought up the victory with a straight six off Bhuneshwar Kumar’s first ball of the last over.
Hyderabad had the match in its grip until the 17th over with Chennai needing 43 runs and three wickets in hand.
But du Plessis caressed three fours and a six as seamer Carlos Brathwaite conceded 20 runs in the 18th over.
No. 10 batsman Shardul Thakur (15 not out) then managed to hit three boundaries off Sidharth Kaul’s 19th over which went for 17 runs and put the game beyond Hyderabad’s reach.
“Faf’s innings is where experience counts,” Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said.
“It’s not easy to not play a lot of games, but I always say you need to train your mind as well. That’s where the experience comes in. You visualize what your role is, how you can contribute and Faf has been brilliant.”
Hyderabad’s top order stuttered against seamers in the batting powerplay as Shikhar Dhawan dragged Chahar back onto his stumps off the first ball.
Captain Kane Williamson (24) also departed as he gloved Thakur’s short pitched delivery to Dhoni behind the wickets in the fifth over.
“The game did swing our way, and bowlers were outstanding, but we didn’t quite execute it like in the past,” Williamson said.
“Hopefully we can cross the line in Kolkata and come back here (for the final). Faf played a beautiful knock, and credit to the way they scrapped it.”
Hyderabad gets another chance to have a shot at the title against Chennai when they meet the winner of the Eliminator between Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals.