IPL group stage leaders Chennai Super Kings secured a dominant seven wicket win against Kings XI Punjab on Saturday.
Punjab chose to bat first after winning the toss and set a target of 131 for Chennai. Dhoni’s team chased down this comfortably, thanks to an impressive partnership between Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. Chennai will now go into the playoffs as the top team in the group stages.
Chennai Super Kings Destroys the Top Order of Kings XI Punjab
Punjab started off their innings on the back foot as the Chennai Super Kings bowlers ripped through their top order.
Wicket keeper batsman Wriddhiman Saha was the first to be sent back to the pavilion and he was shortly followed by George Bailey and Manan Vohra. It was the trio of Pawan Negi, Ishwar Pandey and Ashish Nehra that wrecked havoc and once Dhoni took all the three out of the attack, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin started to haunt Punjab.
They picked up the wickets of Gurkeerat Singh Mann and Glenn Maxwell in quick succession and left Punjab in a precarious situation of 55 for 5 after 10 overs.
David Miller tried to spark off a fight back but Negi came back into the attack and dismissed Miller. This brought Axar Patel and Rishi Dhawan into the spotlight. Both batsmen played cautiously and helped Punjab pass the hundred mark. Their partnership later reached fifty, thus helping Punjab secure a score of 130 for 7 after their 20 overs.
Punjab draws blood early but struggles later
Kings XI Punjab drew blood early into the Chennai Super Kings innings as they sent back a returning Michael Hussey and in form Brendon McCullum cheaply. Chennai lost these two wickets inside the two overs and seemed destined to struggle.
Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina however steadied the Chennai Super Kings ship and withstood the bowling attack. Du Plessis was on top of his game with the bat and took his individual score to fifty in the 14th over. Raina on the other side provided some ample support as well.
Du Plessis’ innings came to an end at the hands of Rishi Dhawan at 55 (41) and this brought captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni into the crease. Raina and Dhoni played calmly and steered Chennai into victory with three overs to spare.
Man of the Match: Pawan Negi
Match Summary: Chennai Super Kings won by
Kings XI Punjab: 130/7 from 20 overs
Axar Patel 32 (29), Rishi Dhawan: 25(20).
Pawan Negi: 2/25
Chennai Super Kings: 134/3 from 16.5 overs
Fuf du Plessis: 55 (41), Suresh Raina: 41(34)
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