- Kings XI Punjab lost to Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets after giving the home team an early scare.
- Karun Nair scored another half century and led the fight for the Kings with the bat.
- Ankit Rajpoot troubled the batsmen with pace and finished with figures of 2 for 19.
Kings XI Punjab lost a close game to Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets at the Maharashtra Cricket Association in Pune, but not before providing the home team with plenty of scares and moments where they would have had their hearts in their mouths. The game about summed up KXIP’s campaign this season as they showed many moments of brilliance but just weren’t able to capitalise and get the team through in the end. 🏏 SCORECARD
After losing the toss, KXIP were put in to bat on a pitch with a slight tinge of grass. The openers, Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle, had to get the team off to a good start in order to set the team up for a big total, but the Chennai seamers did not let that happen. 📷 PHOTOS
The pace duo of Lungi Ngidi and Deepak Chahar made early in-roads and got the home team a dream start. First Ngidi picked up Gayle with a short ball drifting down leg and then Chahar produced a perfect out-swinger to get Aaron Finch to edge one to first slip.
Things looked set for another Lokesh Rahul special but Ngidi was on top of his game and produced a peach of a delivery which swung in just enough and clipped the top of off-stump against a stunned Rahul who had shouldered arms.
|A pitch that helped the fast bowlers was the perfect stage for CSK’s Lungi Ngidi to come and show how destructive he can be. He bowled with fire and got extra bounce to trouble the Kings’ batsmen throughout his spell and finish with figures of 4-1-10-4.|
David Miller and Manoj Tiwary, both of whom have been in and out of the team, found themselves in a challenging situation and rose to the occasion, putting together a 50-run partnership for the fourth wicket. They got their eye in nicely but fell in quick succession trying to get the run rate going in order to get KXIP the big win they needed.
Coming in to bat later than he is used to, Karun Nair held the innings together in the middle overs, keeping KXIP’s chances alive. However, Ngidi came in for a second spell and did some more damage putting the Kings on the back foot once again.
Nair held one end up though, and eventually reached his half century, getting KXIP above the 150-run mark in the process. But after his dismissal the Kings’ fight with the bat came to an end and they were bundled up under the 20 overs for 153 runs.
Having to restrict CSK to 99 runs or below in order to make the Playoffs, the Kings got off to a good start, picking up 3 wickets in the Powerplay overs for just 33 runs. Mohit Sharma and Ankit Rajpoot made full use of the new ball and foxed the batsmen with pace and swing.
|Ankit Rajpoot rattled the Chennai top order with consistent line and length, picking up 2 wickets for 19 runs, including a maiden over. He would have had one more if an edge by Harbhajan Singh wasn’t grassed in the slips but his figures were impressive nonetheless.|
But a couple of smart partnerships by Suresh Raina, first with Harbhajan Singh and then with Deepak Chahar, ensured that there were no more surprises in store for Chennai.
After a steady phase, Chahar tore into the bowling and took Chennai in a position of advantage as they needed 40 runs off 4 overs with MS Dhoni still to come when he fell.
|With the home team under pressure after a few quick wickets and a few stingy overs, Deepak Chahar took matters into his own hands against Ravichandran Ashwin in the 15th over and took 21 runs off the over to put Chennai firmly in the driver’s seat.|
Raina and Dhoni had to just put the finishing touches on the chase after that and they put their feet on the accelerator to wind up the chase with 5 balls to spare.
Key Chalda Hai?
This loss means it is the end of the Kings XI Punjab campaign in the eleventh edition of the VIVO Indian Premier League. They gave a tough fight and took down some giants but unfortunately weren’t able to get the team over the line towards the end of the league. They will still draw a lot of positives from this campaign though, including Rahul’s scintillating form and Andrew Tye’s impressive knuckle balls that saw him finish as the highest wicket taker in the league stage of the IPL.