Visakhapatnam: Faf du Plessis may have been in excellent form throughout the Indian Premier League (IPL) season but his opening stands with Shane Watson were dwindling in recent games due to the dry run that the latter has been experiencing. However, the pair broke the rut on Friday, putting up 81 runs as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) succesfully chased down a target of 148 set by Delhi Capitals (DC) to reach a record eighth final in 10 years.
"We spoke about it before the game - didn't have the best run in the last 5-6 games," said man of the match Du Plessis in the post-match presentation ceremony. "We have a lot of confidence as a team to win a lot of big games - so we draw confidence from that. We also know the strength of ours is getting those partnerships - even if we go 3-4 overs without runs, we have a great lower and middle order to bring us back.
"Watto (Watson) thanked me already for scoring quickly at the beginning before he got set. Hopefully we can both get them off the meat in the final right from the word go," said Du Plessis.
Watson admitted that he was nervous in the beginning. "Very grateful for the faith CSK have shown in not just me, but all the players are grateful. Faf batted beautifully. Thanks to Faf for helping me through that stage," said the 37-year-old former Australian captain.
"There are huge positives about age and experience. We have played well from the top with MS (Dhoni) and Fleming. When you have experienced players, you have an understanding of what to do. We are making the most of the experience we have had and we are going to make the most out of it on Sunday," he said.
The pair survived a comical mix-up early in the innings. Watson tapped the ball to point and Du Plessis set off before the former started stuttering. Both batsmen ran together in both directions at one point while the DC fielders threw at both the stumps and missed. In the end, the pair ran a single.
"I reckon we almost ran three there," said Du Plessis. "It was terrible running, and that's not the kind of start you want in a run-chase of a knockout. Thankfully we recovered from that and did pretty well."