IPL 2018: Match 56, CSK vs KXIP, Review- Chennai show erratic Kings the door of elimination

IPL 2018: Match 56, CSK vs KXIP, Review- Chennai show erratic Kings the door of elimination

The top four teams have finally been decided and Chennai ended among the top two.

Dwayne Bravo
David Miller of Kings XI Punjab gets dismissed. (Photo by IANS)

When Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) began their contest versus the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) at the MCA Stadium in Pune, Ben Cutting and the Mumbai Indians’ (MI) were straining every sinew to get past the boisterous Delhi Daredevils (DD) in the dying stages of the match at the Feroz Shah Kotla. Mumbai’s win would have meant that Punjab were faced with the implausible task of overhauling their Net Run Rate.

During the first over of Punjab’s innings, the news of Mumbai’s elimination sparked and Preity Zinta’s team would’ve breathed a sigh of relief. However, they were still needed to breach Rajasthan Royals’ (RR) NRR of -0.250, which was still a fair distance away from them. However, CSK didn’t allow them a foothold into the match and they crashed out of the event with a drubbing by five wickets.

Karun plays lone hand

Win by 53 runs or a run-chase in no more than 13.4 overs  

KXIP’s equations were clear cut prior to the match in order for them to sneak past the Royals into the playoffs. CSK won the toss which meant that the onus was on Punjab to post a mammoth score on the board, bearing in mind Chennai’s batting firepower. KL Rahul and Chris Gayle were the ideal men for them to post a huge total from where their bowlers could have built pressure on Chennai.

Unfortunately for the visitors, they lost Gayle, Rahul and Aaron Finch inside the first four overs. Lungi Ngidi struck first blood as the Jamaican feathered the leather into MS Dhoni’s webbing and walked away. Thereafter, it was Deepak Chahar’s turn to nail Finch. In the next over, Lungi rattled Rahul’s timber to rip the heart out of Punjab’s celebrated top order.

Their jittery middle order had to come to the party and arrest their batting’s slump. Manoj Tiwary and David Miller resurrected the knock with a partnership of 60 runs and it seemed like Punjab were making a comeback. However, Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo spoiled their party and nipped them out for 35 and 24 runs respectively. Tiwary would be disappointed for the sweep he attempted against Jadeja.

Bravo’s Yorker was too hot to handle for Miller, who replaced Marcus Stoinis in the eleven. It required a herculean effort from someone down the order to help Punjab to a respectable score and it came in the form of Karun Nair’s grace-saving knock of 54 runs with a strike rate of over 200. The knock ensured that Punjab posted 153 runs. Ngidi was the wrecker in chief with four wickets.

A valiant effort from Punjab, but CSK too good

100- Kings XI Punjab’s (KXIP)’s target

Both teams had their set of targets prior to the start of the run-chase. CSK required 78 runs to cement their position in the top two positions. Shane Watson was left out for today’s match and hence, Faf du Plessis opened with Ambati Rayudu. The first over was a quiet one and in the next Ankit Rajpoot delivered a body blow when he dismissed Rayudu with a delivery that found the batsman’s outside edge.

Du Plessis and Suresh Raina looked determined and compiled a stand of 24 runs from 19 balls, which was quite a substantial amount of runs in the context of the match. In the fourth over, Rajpoot got rid of Faf and then Sam Billings in consecutive balls and brought Punjab right back into the match. He bowled a double wicket-maiden in the fifth over.

He could’ve dismissed Harbhajan Singh as well had Finch not dropped a catch in the slips. Meanwhile, the visiting team commenced their journey of defending 100 runs in a convincing manner. Harbhajan made them pay by scoring 19 runs with a couple of boundaries and a six but was nipped out by Ravichandran Ashwin, much to the relief of Finch.

Chahar was promoted ahead of MS Dhoni and the decision paid dividends. He didn’t waste any time whatsoever and spanked three sixes and a boundary to score 39 priceless runs in 20 balls. In the meantime, the heads dropped for Punjab’s boys as CSK cantered towards 100. In the last ball of the fifteenth over, Chahar nudged the ball down to long on to bring the curtains down on KXIP’s chances.

It also meant that the top four teams and their positions for the playoffs were finally decided. Chahar was eventually pinned by Ashwin. Suresh Raina’s contribution can’t also be undermined. He put his head down when Rajpoot and Co spewed venom and eventually came on to his own and scored 61 runs with four boundaries and two sixes. MS Dhoni’s legacy of finishing matches by clearing the ropes continued and he did so against Mohit Sharma.

Brief Scores

Kings XI Punjab: 153 all out in 19.4 overs; (Karun Nair 54, Manoj Tiwary 35; Lungi Ngidi 4/10, Shardul Thakur 2/33)

Chennai Super Kings: 159/5 in 19.1 overs; (Suresh Raina 61*, Deepak Chahar 39; Ankit Rajpoot 2/19, Ravichandran Ashwin 2/36)

Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by five wickets

Player of the Match: Lungi Ngidi