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IPL 2019, KXIP vs CSK: Captaincy move that cost the game for Chennai Super Kings

Fambeat
ANALYST
Feature
05 May 2019, 19:44 IST

KL Rahul - Image Courtesy ( BCCI/IPLT20.com)
KL Rahul - Image Courtesy ( BCCI/IPLT20.com)

Mohali hosted the penultimate game of the league stage when Kings XI Punjab took on the Chennai Super Kings. CSK had already qualified for the playoffs and KXIP were pretty much out of contention, so this match didn’t have that much significance. But still, CSK wanted to finish strong and take the momentum into the final week whereas KXIP didn’t want to finish last.

Ashwin won the toss in their final home game and decided to chase CSK’s score. Batting first, Shane Watson once again couldn’t get going as he was dismissed early by Sam Curran. After the dismissal of Watson, Suresh Raina and Faf du Plessis came together and put up a 120-run partnership for the second wicket. They both played some delightful shots and put the pressure back on the bowlers almost effortlessly throughout the innings.

Raina got out after scoring back to back fifties whereas Faf continued for a while and got out when he was four short of a well deserved hundred. Sam Curran and Mohammad Shami bowled brilliantly in the death as Chennai Super Kings couldn’t get the finish they wanted. At one stage it looked like they would reach 190 but they ended up 20 runs short as their middle-order batsmen, Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav, failed to deliver.

Chasing 171, KL Rahul seemed to be in a hurry as he took on the bowlers from the word go. He took on Deepak Chahar and Harbhajan Singh in the powerplay and that’s where MS Dhoni missed a trick. Harbhajan had got smashed in his first over by Rahul but still Dhoni gave him his second over. Instead of that Dhoni could have turned to Ravindra Jadeja who would have turned the ball away from the right-hander Rahul and make life difficult for him.

It wouldn’t have been a little difficult against Jadeja than against Bhajji. For some strange reason, Jadeja was held back and he didn’t get an over till the 15th one. This tactic of holding back Jadeja didn’t quite go in CSK’s favour as Rahul took the game away from them in powerplay itself.

KL Rahul smashed Harbhajan once again in his second over and bought up his fifty in just 19 balls with five fours and five sixes. Rahul’s blistering knock of 71 bought down the equation to run a ball and even though KXIP lost a few quick wickets the asking rate was never going to be an issue. After the fall of Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran and Mandeep Singh ensured that they win the game pretty easily. Pooran once again showcased his hitting skills as he smashed 36 off just 22 balls.

This win for Kings XI Punjab ensured that they didn’t get the wooden spoon and finished sixth on the points table. Even though CSK lost the match they finished in the top two which means they will play the Qualifier 1 in Chennai.

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