Shane Watson blasted a magnificent unbeaten century as Chennai Super Kings claimed their third Indian Premier League title with an eight-wicket win over Sunrisers Hyderabad on Sunday.
Watson took 10 balls to get off the mark, but smashed a brutal 117 not out from only 57 deliveries to steer the Super Kings home at the Wankhede Stadium.
The former Australia all-rounder produced a masterclass of clean striking in Mumbai, hitting eight sixes and 11 fours to seal another IPL crown for Chennai on their return to the tournament following a two-year absence following corruption charges.
Captain Kane Williamson earlier became only the fifth player to make 700 runs in an IPL season, the New Zealand international scoring 47 in the Sunrisers' total of 178-6.
Yusuf Pathan made a brisk 45 from just 25 balls, but Hyderabad's total ultimately proved well short, Watson putting them to the sword after a watchful start.
"After those first 10 balls, I was hoping to catch up," Watson said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
He did that and more, surviving against the excellent Bhuvneshwar Kumar – who bowled four wicketless overs, including a maiden, for just 17 runs – in the powerplay before blossoming against the less-experienced members of Hyderabad's attack.
Sandeep Sharma and Siddarth Kaul came in for some particularly heavy punishment, the pair conceding 95 runs from their combined seven overs.
With Watson leading the way, the rest of Chennai's top order simply offered a supporting role. Suresh Raina made 32 while Ambati Rayudu ended up unbeaten on 16, including hitting the winning boundary off the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite in the penultimate over.
SUPER KINGS REIGN AGAIN
Having put an end to a four-game losing run to reach the final with victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Friday, Hyderabad were hoping to finally get the better of Chennai.
Instead, they slipped to a fourth straight defeat to the Super Kings in the 2018 season as the top two teams from the league stage battled it out for the title.
Put into bat, Sunrisers struggled for momentum despite another important contribution from Williamson, who was stumped by opposite number MS Dhoni off the bowling of spinner Karn Sharma.
Pathan and Brathwaite, who hit three sixes in an 11-ball cameo worth 21, lifted the run-rate in the second half of the innings, but Chennai put their score into context to be crowned champions once again.
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