IPL 2019: CSK vs KXIP - Hits and Flops
Chennai Super Kings got back to the winning ways as they defeated Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium of Chennai.
Chennai Super Kings won the toss on a hot afternoon and elected to bat first as expected. The current champions had a change in their batting order, sending in Faf du Plessis to open the innings along with Shane Watson. The CSK batting which started well was pulled off by economical spells from the Kings XI Punjab spinners. However, skipper MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu soon joined hands to take the score to 160 at the end of 20 overs.
Chasing the total, the visitors were troubled by the early departure of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal. However, the 110-run partnership between KL Rahul and Sarfraz Khan kept the scoreboard moving at pace. Scott Kuggeleijn brought CSK the breakthrough, bringing David Miller to the crease. But, the South African batsman couldn't do anything to get the team to the target. Things soon ended as KXIP ended with 138 runs on the board.
#Hit - Faf du Plessis
The South African batsman played a crucial anchor role throughout the Super Kings innings. Faf du Plessis made his first appearance this season against KXIP and was a much-needed change for the opening combination. Du Plessis scored 54 runs off 38 balls at a strike rate of 142 before falling prey to Ravichandran Ashwin.
Faf replaced Ambati Rayudu as the opener and succeeded with a 56 run partnership with Shane Watson. The CSK top-scorer had two boundaries and four sixes in his innings. With the 34-year old having found the rhythm with Watson, Dhoni will have one of his worries - the opening partnership, solved. The Watson-Rayudu combination that never really worked for CSK in the previous four matches was altered with du Plessis' selection. The change was effective as they recorded the highest opening partnership for Chennai in IPL 2019.
Without any doubt, it was his half-century knock that laid down CSK the platform for 160 runs in their 20 overs.
#Hit - Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh literally won the game for CSK with the ball. Defending a total of 160, the right arm off-breaker was on point right from the beginning. In the very second over of the chase, he struck with two crucial wickets of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal.
Later, the 38-year old spinner was called upon for his second spell in the 14th over and was impressive, conceding only 4 runs. He ended the match with figures of 4-17-2. At an economy of just above 4, Harbhajan was Dhoni's trump card with the ball.
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