IPL 2018, CSK vs KXIP: Hits and Misses
With Mumbai Indians losing their final league game against Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab had to win by 53 runs (or with 38 balls to spare if they batted second). In the last league game of the season, Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to field first.
Punjab were off to the worst possible start as they lost Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, and the in-form KL Rahul quite early and were reduced to 16/3 in 4 overs.
Lungi Ngidi and Deepak Chahar got movement in the air and off the pitch and made full use of the conditions. The KXIP middle-order which had been under fire this season tried resurrecting the innings.
Manoj Tiwary and David Miller shared a 60-run partnership before Karun Nair’s excellent half-century pushed KXIP over 150.
Chasing 154, it meant that KXIP needed to restrict CSK to 100 or less if they wanted to qualify, but that couldn’t happen despite a good start.
Mohit Sharma removed the in-form Ambati Rayudu. And then Ankit Rajpoot followed it up with an excellent 4-over spell. He took two wickets in two balls in the fifth over, reducing CSK to 27/3 and giving Punjab a glimmer of hope.
But Harbhajan Singh and Deepak Chahar were promoted ahead of the likes of MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, and Dwayne Bravo.
While Harbhajan scored 19, Chahar scored a 20-ball 38. Suresh Raina was the anchor of the chase and he finished with an unbeaten 61, and it was MS Dhoni who once again finished the game with a six.
CSK remained at the second position and will now play SRH in the first Qualifier in Mumbai on May 22.
#5 Hit: Karun Nair
Karun Nair was dropped in the last game after he got just 7 runs in his previous three innings.
He did have a decent start to the tournament where he was getting good starts, but wasn’t able to kick on. With the middle-order failing once again in the last game against Mumbai Indians, Nair was brought back in the XI to replace Yuvraj Singh.
However, Nair didn’t bat at his normal No. 3 or No. 4 position. He walked in at No. 6, and at that stage, KXIP had a decent 60-run partnership as David Miller and Manoj Tiwary had helped the visitors recover from 16/3.
The Karnataka batsman played an excellent knock, as he struck his second half-century of this season. He was looking in very good touch as he struck the ball very well.
He started off sedately, but as the innings wore on, he tried to find the boundary frequently. He hit Shardul Thakur for a couple of fours and a six to give KXIP some momentum before smashing Dwayne Bravo for a couple more sixes.
He finished with a fine 26-ball 54 hitting 3 fours and 5 sixes.