In the all-importantfirst qualifier of the 2018 edition of the IPL between Chennai Super Kings and Sunrisers Hyderabad at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, it is the never say die attitude of the Chennai-based franchise which prevailed in the end. Their resilience to dig themselves out of the deepest holes is indeed admirable and the exact reason why they have proven themselves to be the most consistent franchise over the 11 years of the Indian Premier League. Given a low-scoring target of 140 to chase in the match, the match went all the way down to the last over of the match, courtesy of the world-class bowling attack which the Sunrisers Hyderabad have at their disposal. They made life very tough for the Chennai top-order but a brilliant inning from South African skipper Faf du Plessis and a few cameos from lower order meant that Chennai will contest the final in Mumbai after their return from a two-year suspension. Here are a few key reasons why Chennai Super Kings ended up winning the match which turned out to be one of the best in this edition of the IPL: Faf du Plessis' outstanding innings (AFP) Faf du Plessis hasn't played many matches for Chennai this year due to the sheer depth of the squad which they have at their disposal. But the experienced international showed all the experience which he has accumulated over the years for what turned out to be an innings of great fortitude. Opening the batting ahead of Ambati Rayudu who has been one of the stand-out players in the IPL, du Plessis scored an unbeaten 67 off just 42 deliveries. He started his innings with watchful intent as the ball was swinging all over, but as the conditions got a bit easier to bat, he accelerated his innings and ended up winning the match for his franchise. Cometh the hour, cometh the man, as they say! Striking early in the Sunrisers Hyderabad innings (AFP) It is a widely accepted fact that Sunrisers Hyderabad are a top-heavy batting unit with the middle order either not up to the mark in terms of matching the quality of their counterparts or being woefully out of form. The Chennai Super Kings bowlers were outstanding at the start and got rid of the openers Shikhar Dhawan and Sreevats Goswami early. Then just as Kane Williamson was starting to get his eye in, Shardul Thakur struck and got rid of the New Zealand captain. SRH have been heavily reliant on their captain and Dhawan and they could never fully recover from the early blows, ending up with perhaps 20 runs short in their innings. Targeting Carlos Brathwaite It is a well-known fact that Sunrisers Hyderabad have a well-oiled bowling machine with hardly any chinks in their frontline attack. But Chennai were wise as they targeted the fifth bowler of the Sunrisers Hyderabad bowling unit in Carlos Brathwaite. The big West Indian is neither the quickest nor the most accurate bowler in the world. He went for 31 runs in his 3 overs and the 18th over in particular was targeted by the Chennai batsmen. The over went for 20 runs and was the moment which changed the momentum of the contest. Shardul Thakur's cameo One simply cannot underestimate Shardul Thakur's cameo in the contest. He came in with Hyderabad still in the pole position requiring 23 runs in the last two overs. He got lucky with his two boundaries off Siddarth Kaul which took edges and raced away to the boundary ropes. But they all count, don't they? He ended up scoring 15 runs off 5 balls and that really took the pressure off Faf du Plessis, as the equation came down to a run a ball in the final over. MS Dhoni's luck continues to be as strong as ever (AFP) What can one say? MS Dhoni is the man with the Midas touch, isn't he? His good fortunes continued as there was no way that anyone would have backed CSK in the middle stages of their batting innings. But he has forged an extremely potent winning mentality among his men and that continues to hold them in good stead even in the toughest of situations. That is the reason why he is paid the big bucks as a leader and why Chennai Super Kings continue to be a champion unit.