On a day where the task was steep, Kings XI Punjab put on a commendable performance despite missing a spot in the VIVO Indian Premier League Playoffs after their match against Chennai Super Kings on Sunday.

Photo credit: BCCI/IPLT20.com

In their final league match where they bowled first at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, KXIP needed to win by a margin of at least 53 runs to book the final spot of the top four.

KXIP scored an underpar 153, which CSK chased down with five wickets to spare, but not before playing an intense match which saw Chennai huffing at 58 for 4 at the start of the 11th over. They managed to recover from the dip and won only in the final over.

“I think we showed a great fighting spirit out there, but we didn’t get over the line,” KXIP coach Brad Hodge said at the post-match press conference. “The score was below par, and it was always going to be a tough chance, but we gave it our best shot.

“We bowled well and put them under pressure and we created chances and just missed a couple,” he added. “But, having said that, the effort and energy was right there. We knew what we had to do. But, realistically we were probably short of the mark with the bat again.”

Captain Courageous

Kings XI Punjab’s fate was decided at the end of the 15th over when CSK required 52 of 30 balls; thanks to a patient knock from Suresh Raina and his 56-run partnership with Deepak Chahar, whose inclusion in the match made a significant difference.

"I think the reality is that MS (Dhoni) and his side are in a position throughout to pull those moves and have confidence in doing it," Hodge reasoned when asked about Chahar’s inclusion. "We know MS would certainly do that sort of courageous stuff and that's why he is a champion and that's why he's got a champion team, we look to emulate such things.

"We know we are short of experience compared to this CSK side. Hopefully, over the coming years whatever group comes together will learn those strides and will be able to have courage to be able to do that as well and have trust to get the job done," Hodge summed up.