Ruturaj Gaikwad became the first Chennai Super Kings player to hit 3 consecutive IPL fifties, as CSK defeated the Kings XI Punjab by nine wickets in Match 53 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. The result means that KXIP are out of the IPL 2020 playoff race.
After MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to field, captain KL Rahul (29 off 27) and Mayank Agarwal (26 off 15) got KXIP off to a steady start by putting on 48 runs for the first wicket. However, the introduction of Lungi Ngidi (3 for 39) changed things as the South African accounted for both openers in his first two overs.
Imran Tahir and Shardul Thakur then joined the party and sent back the dangerous Caribbean duo of Chris Gayle (12 off 19) and Nicholas Pooran (2 off 6) respectively. This left the Mohali-based franchise precariously placed on 72 for 4 at the end of 12 overs.
However, Deepak Hooda – playing his fourth IPL 2020 match – smashed an unbeaten 62 off 30 to rack up 40 runs off the final three overs and propel KXIP to 153 for 6.
In reply, CSK began gingerly and slowly upped the ante to reach 57 for no loss at the end of the mandatory field restrictions. KL Rahul frantically rotated his bowlers but to no avail as Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad stitched an 82-run opening stand by the halfway mark.
Gaikwad (62 off 49) and Rayudu (30 off 30) forged an unbroken 72-run partnership to get CSK over the line with seven balls to spare and, in turn, break KXIP hearts.
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