The Chennai Super Kings punished Kings XI Punjab captain KL Rahul’s decision to bat first by chasing down a seemingly steep target without breaking a sweat. Set a target of 179 in their allotted 20 overs, CSK won the game by ten wickets with 14 balls to spare.
The story of the day has to be Shane Watson’s return to form. Skipper MS Dhoni’s faith in the 39-year-old has been questioned throughout the tournament so far. But, Watson would answer his critics in style.
The Australian all-rounder scored an unbeaten 83 off just 53 balls as he and opening partner, Faf du Plessis (87* off 53 balls) put together 181 runs for the first wicket to respond to the Kings XI Punjab innings in style.
Earlier in the day, the KXIP openers, Rahul and Mayank Agarwal got off to a great start as there was still no sign of Chris Gayle in the playing XI. However, that partnership was broken by leg-spin veteran, Piyush Chawla with the score at 61.
Mandeep Singh justified his selection in the XI in place of Karun Nair by scoring a quickfire 27 before falling to Ravindra Jadeja. Nicholas Pooran would then light up the Dubai International Stadium before he and captain KL Rahul were dismissed off consecutive deliveries.
Australian all-rounder Glenn Maxwell and Sarfaraz Khan put together 26 runs off just 16 balls to take the Kings XI to 178/4 in their 20 overs.
Quite deservedly, the ‘Man of the Match’ award was bagged by Shane Watson for his unbeaten 83 off 53 deliveries. The victory sees Chennai Super Kings leapfrog two teams to go up to 6th place, while their opponents tonight, KXIP replace them at the base of the table.
As always, Twitter users had it all and a little more to say about what can be called a bit of an upset, given CSK’s performances in the tournament so far. We’ve put together some of the best right here -