The script was eerily similar for both the teams, but there could have been only one victor.
South African skipper Faf du Plessis pulled off a "Houdini Act" to guide Chennai to their seventh T20 2018 final with a two-wicket victory over Hyderabad in what has been a fairy tale comeback in the cash-rich league.
Du Plessis' 67* off 42 balls enabled CSK to chase down a tricky target of 140 in 19.1 overs after being down at 92 for 7. Earlier, Chennai bowlers utilised the lively conditions to the fullest restricting Hyderabad to a modest 139 for 7 after being put into bat.
The move backfired as Watson was dismissed for nought by Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over itself.
Siddharth Kaul (2-32) dismissed Suresh Raina (22) and Ambati Rayudu in successive deliveries to force Chennai onto the back foot in the fourth over.
"Faf's innings is where experience counts", Chennai captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni said. They bowled very well, and there was a bit in it for the fast bowlers.
It is the seventh time Chennai have made the IPL final.
Du Plessis waged a lone battle as wickets fell in a heap at the other end with Sandeep Sharma getting rid of Ravindra Jadeja and Deepak Chahar.
Carlos Brathwaite (43* off 29 balls), skipper Kane Willamson (24) and Yusuf Pathan (24) were the useful contributors for Sunrisers on a track that offered good bounce.
IPL 2018 Live Cricket Score, SRH vs CSK Qualifier 1 at Mumbai, latest score and cricket updates: Brathwaite comes and has been hit all over the park. However, the CSK bowler had the last laugh, as he watched du Plessis tear into Brathwaite, plundering 20 runs in the 18 over bowled by him, which ultimately proved to be decisive.
The riveting contest at the Wankhede Stadium will spell out who goes directly to the May 27 final, also scheduled at this venue, with the victor guaranteed a spot in the summit clash and the loser left to play Qualifier 2 in Kolkata on May 25. Ahead of the clash, a women's exhibition game will take place at 2 p.m. with top Indian and foreign players taking part in the contest at the Wankhede.