Chennai Super Kings made three changes while Kings XI Punjab made two.
After becoming the first team to be out of the race for the playoffs, Chennai Super Kings ended its IPL campaign strongly with a comprehensive nine-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab and ending the latter’s chance at qualification as well, at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi on Sunday.
Opener Ruturaj Gaikwad, once again showed his mettle as he scored his half-century in as many games with an unbeaten 62 off 49 balls (6×4, 1×6) to help CSK chase down 154 and bow out of the competition on a high with three consecutive victories.
The young opener showed great composure, preferring to play second fiddle when Faf du Plessis (48, 34b, 4×4, 2×6) went after the Punjab bowlers as the duo added 82 for the opening wicket stand.
Gaikwad kept things simple by picking boundaries without taking any risk. His innings saw some exquisitely timed drives through covers and some deft cuts behind the square on the off-side against the two leg-spinners – M Ashwin and Ravi Bishnoi.
Losing its way
Earlier, put in to bat, KXIP squandered a good start given by openers K.L. Rahul and Mayank Agarwal as it lost the plot in the middle phase of the game before Deepak Hooda’s unbeaten 62 off just 30 balls helped the team finish with a score of 153 for six.
Agarwal and Rahul went after CSK pacers Deepak Chahar and Sam Curran before Lungi Ngidi struck twice in quick succession removing the openers bowled.
While Agarwal dragged a slower one on to his stumps, Rahul tried to sweep a slow full delivery and missed it completely.
From 48 for no loss in the sixth over, KXIP slumped to 72 for four by the 12th over. Between the seventh and 13th over KXIP could not find a single boundary as CSK applied the squeeze with Imran Tahir and Jadeja.
Hooda, however, gave some hope for Punjab with some sensational hitting through the off-side against the CSK pacers. The Baroda batsman was especially harsh on Ngidi through covers for three sixes and, a boundary as the South African tried to bowl wide outside the off-stump. However, the momentum lost in the middle overs was too much for Hooda’s effort to make any difference in the end.
KINGS XI PUNJAB: K.L. Rahul b Ngidi 29 (27b, 3×4, 1×6), Mayank Agarwal b Ngidi 26 (15b, 5×4), Chris Gayle lbw b Tahir 12 (19b), Nicholas Pooran c Dhoni b Shardul 2 (6b), Mandeep Singh b Jadeja 14 (15b, 1×4), Deepak Hooda (not out) 62 (30b, 3×4, 4×6), James Neesham c Ruturaj b Ngidi 2 (3b), Chris Jordan (not out) 4 (5b); Extras (b-1, w-1): 2; Total (for six wkts. in 20 overs): 153.
FALL OF WICKETS: 1-48 (Mayank, 5.2 overs), 2-62 (Rahul, 8.3), 3-68 (Pooran, 10.4), 4-72 (Gayle, 11.5), 5-108 (Mandeep, 16.2), 6-113 (Neesham, 17.1).
SUPER KINGS BOWLING: Deepak Chahar 3-0-30-0, Sam Curran 2-0-15-0, Shardul 4-0-27-1, Ngidi 4-0-39-3, Tahir 4-0-24-1 Jadeja 3-0-17-1.
CHENNAI SUPER KINGS: Ruturaj Gaikwad (not out) 62 (49b, 6×4, 1×6), Faf du Plessis c Rahul b Jordan 48 (34b, 4×4, 2×6), Ambati Rayudu (not out) 30 (30b, 2×4); Extras (lb-7, w-7): 14; Total (for one wkt. in 18.5 overs): 154.
FALL OF WICKET: 1-82 (du Plessis, 9.5 overs).
KINGS XI BOWLING: Neesham 3-0-26-0, Shami 4-0-29-0, Jordan 3-0-31-1, Bishnoi 4-0-39-0, M. Ashwin 4-0-17-0, Gayle 0.5-0-5-0.
Toss: CSK; MoM: Ruturaj.
CSK won by nine wickets with seven balls to spare.