Shane Watson needed six stitches in his gashed knee after hauling the Chennai Super Kings agonisingly close to Indian Premier League glory.

The Mumbai Indians prevailed in last-ball drama, with Lasith Malinga holding his nerve to trap Shardul Thakur lbw and secure a one-run win.

Watson was run out for 80 in the final over and veteran team-mate Harbhajan Singh revealed he went above and beyond in Hyderabad.

A dark red patch became visible on Watson's right leg during his innings – the only factor that prevented the Australian all-rounder from keeping his struggles entirely under wraps.

"Can you guys see the blood on his knee [?] He got six stitches after the game ... got injured while diving but continue to bat without telling anyone," Harbhajan posted on his Instagram story.

"That's our @srwatson33. Almost pulled it [off] for us."

In a separate post, the off-spinner added: "Respect brother, what a LEGEND. @srwatson33 given (sic) sweat, blood and everything for the team. INSPIRING."

Watson finished the 2019 IPL campaign with 398 runs from his 17 matches at a strike rate of 127.56.

Lasith Malinga produced an outstanding exhibition of death bowling to secure a dramatic one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and seal a record fourth Indian Premier League title for Mumbai Indians.

Chennai needed only nine runs off the last over to retain their crown and become the first team to win the IPL four times, but Malinga held his nerve to deny MS Dhoni's side.

CSK required four to win off two balls after Shane Watson was run out for 80 having hesitated going for a second as the tension built in the final over in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur struck the penultimate delivery for two, but was trapped leg before by the ice-cool Malinga off the final ball to spark huge celebrations from the Indians and their supporters.

There was nobody more relieved than Indians teenager Rahul Chahar, who dropped Watson on 42 and 55.

Deepak Chahar, Rahul's cousin, earlier took 3-26 and Imran Tahir claimed 2-23 to restrict Mumbai to 149-8, Kieron Pollard top scoring with 41 not out off 25 balls.

Watson was named man of the match after smashing an unbeaten century in last year's final against Sunrisers Hyderabad and looked set to see CSK home again, but fellow veteran Malinga was the hero on this occasion.

Chennai have now lost three out of four deciders they have played against Mumbai, who were worthy champions after being top at the end of the regular season.

Chennai Super Kings are a win away from successfully defending their Indian Premier League title after easing past Delhi Capitals and into the final courtesy of a six-wicket victory.

The Super Kings strangled the Capitals' batting line-up as Delhi disappointed in the second qualifier, in which they could only post 147-9.

And it was a total that proved easily within the grasp of Chennai, whose cause was aided significantly by excellent batting performances from Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson.

The duo each made half-centuries before Ambati Rayudu (20 not out) guided Chennai over the line with six balls to spare to set up a blockbuster final with Mumbai Indians on Sunday.

Shikhar Dhawan (18 off 14) and Colin Munro (27 off 24) each failed to build on strong starts, the impressive duo of Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo combining to dismiss the latter, who swept to the West Indian at deep square leg.

Delhi captain Shreyas Iyer and Axar Patel went within nine balls of each other to leave them 80-5 and, though Rishabh Pant (38 off 25), recovered the situation somewhat, a sub-150 total proved well under par.

Du Plessis and Watson's 81-run opening-wicket stand put the Super Kings in a commanding position they never looked like relinquishing, four leg byes sealing the success.

BRAVO BUILDS THE FOUNDATION

The Super Kings' attack has been superb, throughout the tournament, with spinner Imran Tahir so often the star.

Yet he took something of a backseat as Bravo, Jadeja, Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh each took two wickets apiece.

It was Bravo, though, who was the standout. Eleven of his deliveries were dot balls and he conceded just one boundary in his four overs.


DU PLESSIS & WATSON DO THE DAMAGE

Any hope of the Capitals replicating the Super Kings' bowling display was swiftly taken away by Chennai's top two.

They put on 81 in just 59 balls and there was no reprieve for Delhi even after Du Plessis (50) was caught at deep square leg after hitting seven fours and a six. 

Watson (50) piled further misery on the Capitals, bringing up his 31-ball fifty with a slice for six over long on and, when he holed out from the next delivery he faced, Chennai needed just 39 runs for victory.


CHENNAI EYE REVENGE

Mumbai, Chennai and Delhi all finished on 18 points in progressing to the play-offs, but the Super Kings' progression means the top two will contest the final.

They will need no extra motivation having lost to Mumbai in the first qualifier three days ago, and should be confident of gaining revenge after this emphatic triumph.

Former Australia all-rounder Shane Watson has announced his retirement from the Big Bash League after spending four seasons with the Sydney Thunder.

Watson was part of the Thunder side that clinched glory in the 2015-16 BBL and has captained the team for the past three years.

The 37-year-old called time on his Thunder career having scored a club-record 1,014 runs, which included a century against Brisbane Heat last season.

"I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who has been involved with the Sydney Thunder over the last four seasons," Watson said in reports quoted on the team's official website.

"I will most definitely miss [the] support that the club gets from the Thunder Nation. Their unwavering support through the ups and downs inspires everyone and I will cherish that support deeply.

"Finally, to my team-mates, I have played with so many great people and cricketers at the club and I sincerely wish everyone the absolute best for the upcoming seasons."

Watson retired from international cricket in 2016, scoring 3,731 runs and taking 75 wickets in 59 Tests, while his respective figures from 190 ODIs stood at 5,757 and 168. 

Cricket Australia (CA) congratulated him on his career.

"Shane Watson was one of the most exciting short form players ever to grace a cricket field," CA chief executive Kevin Roberts said.

"Talented, skilful and powerful, Shane was a devastating batsman at his best.

"It was only a few months ago he scored a century from just 62 balls for the Thunder against the Brisbane Heat at the Gabba.

"In a career which spanned almost two decades Shane made a major contribution to Australian cricket firstly at international level and then in domestic cricket as a significant contributor to the Big Bash.

"His greatest quality was persistence, overcoming a number of sometimes serious injuries and curtailing his pace. He became a probing swing and seam bowler."

Watson, currently playing for Chennai Super Kings in the Indian Premier League, will continue to feature in select overseas tournaments and Sutherland DCC in New South Wales Premier Cricket.

Shane Watson ended his barren spell with a brutal knock as Chennai Super Kings returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a six-wicket defeat of Sunrisers Hyderabad.

Watson's place in the defending champions' side had been called into question due to his lack of runs at the top of the order, but the former Australia all-rounder was CSK's match-winner on Tuesday.

Manish Pandey made 83 not out from only 49 balls and David Warner (57 from 45) made a fifth consecutive half-century as Sunrisers posted 175-3 at MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Watson returned to form with a bang to set up a victory that put the Super Kings above Delhi Capitals at the summit, blasting 96 off just 53 deliveries and passing 8,000 Twenty20 runs in the process.

The powerful Watson struck six sixes and nine fours in his first half-century of the tournament and CSK got home with a ball to spare, two days after suffering a dramatic one-run defeat against Royal Challengers Bangalore.

 

WARNER AND PANDEY PILE ON RUNS AFTER BAIRSTOW FAILURE

Jonny Bairstow has had an outstanding debut IPL season for Sunrisers, but the England wicketkeeper-batsman was unable to end his participation in the tournament on a high note.

The opener edged Harbhajan Singh through to MS Dhoni for a second-ball duck, but it was business as usual for Warner as he and Pandey put on 115 for the second wicket in 12 overs.

Warner - the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL - showed exquisite timing and power, clearing the ropes twice before he was stumped off Harbhajan in the 14th over.

Pandey had overtaken Warner by the time the Australian was dismissed and continued to attack the spinners, hitting three sixes and seven fours in a brilliant innings.

 

WATSON SILENCES THE CRITICS

The Super Kings' run chase got off to a bad start when Faf du Plessis was left shaking his head after being adjudged run out by the third umpire following a direct hit from Deepak Hooda.

CSK had only moved on to 27-1 after five overs, but Suresh Raina (38) added some impetus by taking 22 from the next over off Sandeep Sharma, who almost got Watson for 33 but Bairstow failed to cling on. 

Watson took centre stage after Rashid Khan saw the back of Raina, latching onto anything short as he delivered a barrage of boundaries before being caught behind attempting to hook Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

CSK needed only 13 from the last two overs to win but made hard work of it - Jadhav scampering through for a single after hitting the second ball from the last over from Sandeep into the crowd.

Dwayne Bravo put the brakes on Delhi Capitals to set up a six-wicket Indian Premier League win for Chennai Super Kings on Tuesday. 

The Super Kings produced a brilliant bowling performance to beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in their first match of the tournament, bowling their opponents out for 70, and they were on the money again to make it two victories out of two. 

Delhi lost their way on a slow and low track at the Feroz Shah Kotla Ground after Bravo (3-33) dismissed the dangerous Rishabh Pant and Colin Ingram in the 16th over. 

There was to be no late onslaught for a Capitals side that won their first game, Shikhar Dhawan also falling to Bravo for 51 in their total of 147-6. 

Ravindra Jadeja recorded figures of 1-23 from his four overs after Deepak Chahar put the squeeze on at the start of the Delhi innings, claiming 1-20. 

Shane Watson made 44 to get Chennai off to a strong start and MS Dhoni was unbeaten on 32, with Bravo hitting the winning runs in the final over.

 

CHAHAR SETS THE TONE

While Bravo claimed key wickets later in the innings, it was a disciplined spell from Chahar that kept Delhi in check. 

The seamer bowled his four-over allocation straight through, conceding just two boundaries and limiting the Capitals' gains with 12 dot balls. 

Chahar deserved more than just the one wicket he claimed, which came in the fifth over when Prithvi Shaw (24) was taken by Watson at midwicket.

 

BRAVO BURST TOPPLES CAPITALS

All-rounder Bravo's first over went for 17 runs as Dhawan and Pant attempted to provide some impetus to the innings. 

Bravo responded by removing Pant - who had made a match-winning 78 not out against Mumbai Indians - for 25, with Shardul Thakur taking the catch at deep square leg to prompt a dance from the West Indian. 

Ingram followed two balls later, picking out Suresh Raina in the covers to leave Delhi on 122-4, and Thakur clung on again to see the back of Dhawan, who hit seven boundaries in his half-century.

 

WATSON WHIRLWIND, DHONI DELIVERS YET AGAIN

Watson and Dhoni showed there is no substitute for experience in the Super Kings' successful run chase. 

Former Australia all-rounder Watson flexed his muscles at the top of the order, smashing three sixes in a swashbuckling 26-ball knock before he was brilliantly stumped by Pant off Amit Mishra (2-35). 

Raina and Kedar Jadhav chipped in with 30 and 27 respectively, but it was Dhoni who thrived in the role of finisher yet again, frustrating Delhi on a testing track before Bravo whipped Kagiso Rabada for four to win it with two balls to spare.

Sydney Thunder have had their appeal to be awarded full points for the abandoned Big Bash League fixture against Brisbane Heat rejected by Cricket Australia (CA).

A power failure at the Gabba early in the Heat's reply to the Thunders' 186-4 led to a no result, with the visitors claiming they should be awarded the full two points.

The Thunder's challenge was based on the fact that they felt the host venue had a responsibility to provide floodlighting and have a back-up source in case of a failure.

But a CA review found that the playing conditions were correctly applied and the right result awarded, meaning each team will be awarded a point.

Head of Big Bash Leagues, Kim McConnie said: "After reviewing the issues the Thunder presented we have determined that the correct decision was made, and the result of the match will stand.

"The BBL match on Thursday 17 January was unable to be completed due to an external power issue that was outside the control of Cricket Australia, the Brisbane Heat, and the Gabba.

 "The umpires on the night applied the correct Playing Conditions in determining the conditions at the match to be both dangerous and unreasonable due to insufficient light.

 "The safety of players and officials is of paramount importance to Cricket Australia and any Playing Condition relating to the safety of our players is one that is treated very seriously by our match officials. 

"The match officials are ultimately responsible for the safety of our players and officials whilst on the field of play and we entrust them to make decisions with this in mind."

Shane Watson scored the first century of the Big Bash League season before a power cut forced the abandonment of Sydney Thunder's match at Brisbane Heat on Thursday.

Former Australia star Shane Watson led the way as the Sydney Thunder claimed a much-needed win over the Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash League.

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