IPL 2019, CSK vs KXIP: The best captaincy move of the day
The 18th match of IPL 2019 was played between Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab at Chennai. The home captain Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first under the very hot conditions. CSK were forced to make few changes due to Dwayne Bravo's injury and brought in Faf Du Plessis, Scott Kuggeleijn and Harbhajan Singh to balance the squad. Watson opened with Faf, and the pair gave them a solid start as Chennai scored 50 runs inside the powerplay without losing a wicket.
Ashwin drew first blood for Punjab by taking out the dangerous Watson. Faf, who got the opportunity for the first time in this season, scored a well-made half-century. Ashwin came back again and took out both Raina and Faf in same over on his favourite pitch. Some late flourish by Rayudu and Dhoni took the home team to a respectable 160/3 in 20 overs. It was a good score on the pitch which assisted the spinners.
Chasing a tricky target, Punjab lost two quick wickets in the second over. Harbhajan removed the dangerous Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal in the same over. This is the fifth time that the off-spinner has taken Chris Gayle in T20 cricket. It was a good move from Captain Dhoni.
Once they lost two wickets, KL Rahul and Sarfraz Khan played smart cricket to steady the ship. Both of them scored half-centuries but consumed quite a few balls. When Punjab needed more than 45 runs in the last three overs, KL Rahul got out. It was too much to get at the end for the next batsmen. Chennai won their fourth game of the season.
The best captaincy move of the day came when Dhoni bowled his main weapons during the middle overs. If it was any other captain, they would have kept at least one experienced bowler towards the end, but it was Dhoni who had other ideas as he used up Jadeja, Harbhajan, and Tahir inside 17 overs.
The trio did a great job by containing the well-settled Rahul and Sarfraz. Hence Punjab had to score over 45 runs in the last three overs of the game. But the inexperienced fast bowlers Chahar and Scott had enough to defend. The decision might have back-fired when Chahar bowled two beamers in the 19th over. Dhoni rushed to his aid and gave him some advice. Post that, Chahar ended the over with a brilliant yorker. When it comes defending a tricky target, MSD is master of it.