Chennai Super Kings confirm 2nd spot beating Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets
In a match that was all about mathematical calculations and canny strategies, Chennai Super Kings (159-5) beat Kings XI Punjab (153-10) by 5 wickets. They will now clash against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday.
In a game of margins, KXIP had to defeat CSK by 53 runs or more to edge RR on NRR and qualify for the playoffs. However, that aside, they were not successful in registering a win.
When KXIP came out to bat at the MCA Stadium in Pune, the Powerplay overs felt like the first session of a Test match. The way Lungi Ngidi (4-10-4, MoM) set KL Rahul (7) up with a couple of away swingers, ultimately going through him on an in-swinger as Rahul was caught shouldering arms; the way Deepak Chahar (4-30-1) squared Aaron Finch (4) up on a ball that took the outside edge and flew to Suresh Raina at first slip were evocative of classic Test cricket.
However, once things settled in, valuable contributions from Manoj Tiwary (35), David Miller (24) and most importantly Karun Nair (54, 26b) in the middle order pummeled KXIP to a respectable 153-run total.
The dynamics were such that for KXIP to qualify and inch over RR on the NRR, they had to restrict CSK under 100. This might have seemed a daunting task but CSK were reduced to 27-3 in 4 and a half overs. Banking on fiery spells from Mohit Sharma (3.1-28-1) and Ankit Rajpoot (4-19-2), KXIP were hoping for a miracle.
However, the master stroke move from CSK skipper MS Dhoni to promote Harbhajan Singh (19) and Deepak Chahar (39, 20b) up the batting order, worked well in Chennai’s favour.
Suresh Raina held the innings together with a sensible knock. While he kept knocking the ball around initially, Raina (61, 48b) also hit some powerful shots towards the end of the innings. MS Dhoni (16, 7b) finished off in trademark style with a six on the last ball of the match off Andre Tye (4-47-0).
CSK won the match by 5 wickets to knock out Kings XI Punjab from IPL 2018. Chennai will now face Sunrisers Hyderabad in Qualifier 1 on Tuesday.
© Cricket World 2018