All-Round CSK crush Kings XI’s playoffs hopes
The Yellow Brigade won the game by 5 wickets to send KXIP home after their bowlers put on a show on a bowling beauty. Ngidi picked up a 4-fer and Raina scored a half century to give CSK their 9th victory in 14 matches.
The equation was pretty clear. Punjab had to win by a margin of 53 runs to qualify to the playoffs, but it looked like an uphill task with only 153 runs on the bank. However, the Punjab pacers had their tail up and bowled well to pick up 3 wickets in quick succession before they restricted CSK to 33 for 3 in the powerplay. After the first six overs, CSK batted sensibly and did not give Punjab a chance to comeback in the game. Harbhajan Singh(19 off 22) and Deepak Chahar(39 off 20) were promoted up the order which proved to be a master stroke as both made valuable contributions in the run chase. Raina scored an unbeaten 61 off 48 balls and Dhoni applied typical finishing touches to ensure CSK were home with 5 wickets and 5 balls in the kitty. Ankit Rajpoot had an impressive outing with the ball for Punjab with figures of 4-1-19-2.
Earlier, MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to field first in a pitch that had a tinge of green over it. Faf du Plessis was given a chance in place of Watson. Dhoni couldn’t have asked for a better start as CSK bowlers used the pitch to full effect by swinging the new ball either ways, Ngidi made it even more difficult for theKings XI batsmen by extracting some extra bounce. He first picked Gayle with pace and bounce, then jagged one back in, to disturb KL Rahul’s stumps. Deepak Chahar found the outside edge of Aaron Finch, which was swallowed by Suresh Raina at first slip. Punjab were 29 for 3 at the end of powerplay. David Miller and Manoj Tiwari put on a fighting 70 runs stand and Karun Nair chipped in with 54 off 26 balls. Otherwise, it was an ordinary batting display from the Kings XI batsmen as they were bowled out for 153 inside 20 overs. Ngidi finished with career best figures of 4-1-10-4. Thakur and Bravo took two wickets each.
Although the pitch helped big time, CSK bowlers stuck to their plans pretty well, which will be very crucial going into the playoffs. Early wickets will be key in those high profile fixtures.Deepak Chahar’s batting exploits add depth to the batting unit. While Raina has not had his best IPL so far, the fact that he’s amongst the runs is a good thing for CSK. One could say that a special knock is around the corner.
What’s next for CSK?
It’s the business end of the competition and CSK play SRH in the first qualifier at Wankhade on Tuesday. Chennai have won both their matches against the Orange Army in the group stages, and will look to extend their dominance over them. Watson will come back into the side in place of du Plessis.