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IPL 2018: Match 12, KXIP vs CSK, Review: Dhoni almost wins the game for the visitors

Chennai Super Kings slumped to their maiden defeat of the tournament.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni of Chennai Super Kings in action. (Photo by: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Christopher Henry Gayle, eventually found a place in the playing eleven- The breaking news broke out when Ravichandran Ashwin, the skipper of the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) announced the same during the toss. People were raring to see the Jamaican and it was evident from the fact that a whopping 52 percent of the participants picked him in the official Fantasy League of the Indian Premier League (IPL).

The game kept the audience at the edge of the seats for a chunk of the game. Punjab racked up a massive total courtesy a collective performance. Thereafter, Chennai tried their hearts out, flung their bats will all their might, but tantalizingly fell short by four runs. Subsequently, CSK slumped to their maiden defeat of the tournament.

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Chennai recovers after Rahul-Gayle went berserk  

The track at the Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium in Mohali turned out to be an absolute belter in Punjab’s game against the Delhi Daredevils. The track didn’t seem any different prior to the game. The venue has historically favoured the chasing side and hence, Mahendra Singh Dhoni elected to have a crack at the Punjab batsmen.

Chris Gayle and KL Rahul started the proceedings and went hammer and tongs from the outset. Rahul crunched a couple of boundaries off Deepak Chahar. Harbhajan Singh took charge in the second over and Gayle spanked away through the covers and announced himself in the mega event. The duo took racked up 75 runs off the power-play and laid the platform for a substantial score on board.

The stand eventually put 96 runs off eight overs after which Rahul was nipped out by Harbhajan, who gave Chennai the much-needed breakthrough. Meanwhile, the hulk-like Jamaican blazed away to an awe-inspiring half-century in 22 balls. However, Shane Watson accounted for Chris Gayle’s dismissal after Chennai pulled the game back to a significant extent.

Mayank Agarwal was slotted at number three and he smacked three boundaries to carry the good work. But Imran Tahir removed him and Aaron Finch in successive deliveries which pushed them back to a large extent. Yuvraj Singh and Karun Nair scored 20 and 29 in quick succession, but Punjab ended with 197, way short of where they seemed like heading when Gayle and Rahul were wielding their magic.

Dhoni leaves Punjab in tatters, but hosts survive the scare

Considering the nature of the wicket and the firepower of the Chennai batting, the target wasn’t insurmountable. Murali Vijay and Shane Watson commenced the run-chase for the Super Kings. The duo started to look ominous when Mohit Sharma churned out a back-of-the-hand slower delivery which accounted for Watson’s dismissal in the second over.

Andrew Tye got rid of Vijay in the second over and all of a sudden both openers were back to the hut inside the fifth over. In the seventh over, Ashwin successfully resorted to the Decision Review System (DRS) and dismissed Sam Billings after the umpired signalled a boundary. The onus was on Dhoni and Rayudu to help CSK chase down the target.

The stand churned steadfastly built a partnership of 57 runs off 42 balls, but it wasn’t at par with the required rate. The stand ended when Ashwin threw down the stumps to dismiss Rayudu. Meanwhile, the required rate escalated to a mammoth 15 rpo and it required something herculean from the remaining CSK batsmen.

At the final strategic break, CSK required a mammoth 67 runs off 24 balls, which made Punjab the firm favourites. Ravindra Jadeja and Dhoni strained every muscle, but Punjab eventually emerged victorious. MS Dhoni smacked the leather and brought up a stupendous half-century, but missed out on getting his team over the line by the smallest of margins.

Sehwag rushed back to dressing room and tweeted this

Brief Scores

Kings XI Punjab: 197/7 in 20 overs; Chris Gayle 63, KL Rahul 37; Imran Tahir 2/34, Shardul Thakur 2/33

Chennai Super Kings: 193/5 in 20 overs;  Mahendra Singh Dhoni 79*, Ambati Rayudu 49; Andrew Tye 2/47, Ravichandran Ashwin 1/32

Kings XI Punjab beat Chennai Super Kings by four runs

Player of the Match: Chris Gayle

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