A close finish in the end, closer than they would have liked, but Chennai go back to the top of the table with this win. The surface was a good one for batting, despite it aiding the spinners, but when Watson is in the kind of form he was tonight, none of that matters.
It was quite similar to the 2018 Indian T20 League final - the big Aussie going big and sealing the title against these same opponents.
The chase began with the hosts losing du Plessis early, but Watson and Raina went on the offensive and added 65 runs between them. The Australian continued on with Rayudu after Raina's dismissal and put on 80 with him, in quick time, which more or less finished things off. He missed out on a ton by just 4 runs, and it went real close in the last over, but Jadhav put the finishing touches and got his side over the line.
Almost nothing worked for the Hyderabad bowlers tonight. They were taken to the cleaners as Watson went absolutely berserk. There were some good performances, but when a bowler like Rashid Khan gives away 44 runs, you know it's not a good night. Sandeep Sharma too was very expensive as he finished with figures of 3.5-0-54-1.
Bhuvneshwar, Khaleel and Shakib held their ends, but the leakage from the other two bowlers was far too much. Manish Pandey earlier shined on returned to the XI with a splendid unbeaten 83, along with David Warner scoring a fifty, but the fact that they couldn't finish well with the bat wasn't something that helped their cause. It's a night they'd like to forget and forget fast.
Hyderabad skipper, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, says that there was a little bit of dew but reckons that did not trouble them while bowling. On Rashid Khan's performance tonight, Bhuvi says anyone can have an off day and credits the way Shane Watson hit the ball and feels it is not easy to hit Rashid and he is not too concerned about it as it was just an off day for him.
Bhuvneshwar feels that they have the players to do the job when there are other players missing but were not able to do so in this game. Says that there are away games now and they need to play well to qualify for the playoffs. Mentions that captaincy helps him understand his game better and learn more about the game.
Chennai skipper, MS Dhoni, says it's important to give an individual a few games to find some form and they did that with Shane Watson, which paid dividends tonight. Continues saying that when a player like Watson gets going, you know what you're getting. States that the fact that different individuals are performing in different games is quite pleasing to see and also credits his bowlers for doing well this season.
Wittily says that if he mentions the secret out loud (about how Chennai qualify for the playoffs every time) then he will be bought in the auctions. Reckons that the support staff should get the real credit for the side's success as they do a lot of work behind the scenes. On his back injury, Dhoni says that he feels much better now, though he still has some mild stiffness.