IPL 2018 Final: Shane Watson’s brutal 51-ball hundred powers CSK to third titlehttps://indianexpress.com/article/sports/ipl/ipl-2018-final-csk-srh-shane-watsons-brutal-51-ball-hundred-powers-chennai-super-kings-to-third-title-5193500/

IPL 2018 Final: Shane Watson’s brutal 51-ball hundred powers CSK to third title

Shane Watson took 11 balls to get off the mark but then went on to hit 8 sixes and 9 fours to reach the three-figure mark.

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Shane Watson remained unbeaten on 117 to guide CSK to victory. (Source: BCCI)

Cometh the hour, cometh Shane Watson. Chennai Super King’s seasoned allrounder smashed his fourth IPL century in the high-octane finals of Indian Premier League, 2018 to help the yellow army lift their third IPL title. In an astonishing innings, Watson took 11 deliveries to get off the mark and then raced to his 100 in the next 41 balls. Battling a niggle, the 36-year-old entertained a packed audience at Wankhede by smashing 9 fours and eight sixes. With this effort, Watson is now only the fourth player to have two or more hundreds in an IPL season.

Watson got off the mark quite slowly but shifted gears once he understood the nature of the wicket. Soon he started middling the ball scoring two boundaries in the fifth over. However, the former Aussie all-rounder who was bought by CSK for Rs 4 crore, showed his real class in the 13th over of CSK’s innings where he single-handedly turned the game on its head.

The match was evenly poised at that stage as 75 were required off 48 balls for CSK to win the match. But the two-time Player of the Tournament hit 4 sixes in one over off Sandeep Sharma to put his team in the driver’s seat. 27 runs came in the over and suddenly 48 were needed off 42 balls. From thereon it was only a matter of formalities as CSK cantered home with 9 balls to spare.

Reflecting on his faboulous innings, Watson spoke at the post-match presentation and said,” It’s been a special season to be honest. To get a special season especially after the last season with RCB. It means a lot to be with a franchise like CSK. After those first ten balls I was only hoping to catch up to at least a run-a-ball.”

“It was good that I got a couple of boundaries to hit and get on par to take it from there. The good thing is that I wouldn’t be playing for the next three-four months; feels great. It gives me plenty of time to recover. Throughout the back end of the tournament I was hanging on for dear life, Stephen Fleming and MS Dhoni have been looking after me really well and I am really glad to contribute like I did tonight,” he signed off by saying.

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