With Mumbai Indians having been eliminated in the previous match, the door was ajar for the Kings XI to sneak into the playoffs although they needed to win by a margin of at least 53 runs after being made to bat first by Chennai skipper MS Dhoni.
Kings XI were bowled out for 153 runs before the Super Kings claimed victory with five balls to spare in the end.
Here, we look at the key talking points from Chennai’s win.
SENSATIONAL NGIDI ROCKS KINGS XI
On a pitch which had plenty of help for the seamers early on, Chennai Super Kings’ new-ball duo of Deepak Chahar and Lungi Ngidi put on a brilliant exhibition of swing and pace bowling to destroy the visitors’ top-order.
It was the South African Ngidi who struck first when he dismissed Chris Gayle for a duck. The pacer first beat Gayle’s bat with some prodigious movement away from the left-hander before tucking him in with a short-ball on the hips. The Jamaican could only glove the ball behind to Dhonir.
Ngidi then returned in the next over to uproot KL Rahul’s off-stump after the batsman shouldered arms to a delivery than came back in. He picked up the wickets of Ravichandran Ashwin and Andrey Tye in his final over to record the second best figures (4-10) by any bowler in the IPL this year.
NAIR PLAYS LONE HAND FOR KINGS XI
All throughout the season, the Kings XI have been dependent on their openers Rahul and Gayle to do the bulk of the scoring. The failure of the rest of the batsmen to step up when the openers fail has been their undoing.
On Sunday, both the openers fell early and the Kings XI middle-order was once again put in the spotlight. Only Karun Nair rose to the occasion. The Karnataka batsman struck only his second half-century of the season to drag the visitors to 153 runs as others around him collapsed.
Nair’s 26-ball 54 is only the second half-century by any Kings XI middle-order batsman this season since the side’s opening match. On that occasion, it was Nair himself who had struck the half-century. This damning stat encapsulates all that has gone wrong for Ashwin’s men after an electric start.
Where were you hiding all season Karun Nair?!— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) May 20, 2018
RAJPOOT GIVES KINGS XI HOPE
Having put up 153 runs on the board, Kings XI needed to restrict Chennai to 100 runs or below in order to clinch the final playoff spot. Their cause was given a huge boost when Mohit Sharma removed the in-form Ambati Rayudu in the second over.
Their hopes rose further Ankit Rajpoot bagged two wickets in two balls in the fifth over of the innings. The pacer had Faf du Plessis caught at first-slip with a sharp out-swinger before his next delivery took the top of Sam Billings’ off-stump as Chennai were reduced to 27-3.
It could very well have been 27-4 in the same over as a diving Aaron Finch spilled a chance at second–slip after Harbhajan Singh jabbed his bat at a length delivery. Nevertheless, it was the opening the visitors needed in their quest of pulling off the impossible.
DHONI’S STRANGE BATTING-ORDER
When Rajpoot dismissed Billings, Kings XI Punjab were greeted by the bizarre sight of Harbhajan Singh walking in to bat at number five for Chennai. The veteran off-spinner played a cameo of 19 runs before dismissed by Ashwin.
Dhoni threw in another ‘googly’ next as pacer Deepak Chahar walked in to bat following Harbhajan’s dismissal. The fast-bowler repaid the captain’s faith as he smashed Ashwin for two huge sixes and a boundary in a single over.
Chahar proceeded to strike one more six before falling to Ashwin for a 20-ball 39. By then, the pacer had sealed the fate for Kings XI while setting up the perfect platform for a Chennai victory.
The batting-order ultimately paid off for Chennai as Dhoni sealed victory with a six.
If anybody can read MS Dhoni's mind, do stand up and identify yourself. All of us look for meaning post the event but nobody has a clue of what he is thinking about while things are actually happening!— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) May 20, 2018
The Chennai skipper won the toss and elected to bowl first. Kings XI Punjab got off to a disastrous start with Chris Gayle dismissed for a duck by Lungi Ngidi. Deepak Chahar then removed Aaron Finch for four runs before Ngidi returned to dismiss KL Rahul for just seven to reduce Kings XI to 16-3.
Manoj Tiwary (35) and David Miller (24) did their bid to resurrect the innings but they were dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja and Dwayne Bravo respectively as Chennai took complete control of proceedings. Ngidi recorded the best figures (4-10) by any bowler in the IPL this year as Kings XI were ultimately bowled out for 153 runs. Karun Nair top scored for the visitors with a 54-run knock.
In reply, Chennai Super Kings were reduced to 27-3 after Ankit Rajpoot struck twice in two balls. Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh had just begun to form a steady partnership for Chennai when Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed the latter in the 11th over. The hosts were batting at 58-4 in their chase of 154.
An explosive cameo of 39 from just 20 balls from Deepak Chahar then dragged Chennai closer towards victory before Raina’s unbeaten 61 (48) sealed a five-wicket win for the hosts.
Hello everyone, it’s Jay Asser here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this evening in the world of sport.
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