Chennai Super Kings spoil Kings XI Punjab's party


Ruturaj Gaikwad and Faf du Plessis are at different stages of their respective careers, but they complemented each other effectively to help Chennai Super Kings (CSK) end their disappointing IPL campaign on a high.
More importantly for other teams in the playoff race, CSK have ensured that Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) will also play no further part in the tournament.
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CSK – who were already out of contention for the playoffs – finished the season with 12 points. Kings XI will also finish on 12 points and will perhaps rue the fact that they won just one of their first seven games.
Chasing 154 in Abu Dhabi on Sunday, CSK reached the target with nine wickets in hand and seven balls to spare. Kings XI’s batting was simply not up to scratch. If not for the contribution from Deepak Hooda, who smashed an unbeaten 60 off 32 balls, Kings XI wouldn’t have managed to get even 153.
Gaikwad impressed once again by bringing up his third consecutive half-century and remained unbeaten on 62 off 49 balls. Du Plessis had earlier set the tone in the run chase with an attacking knock of 48.

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IPL 2020, Match 53: Chennai Super Kings vs Kings XI Punjab

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Chennai Super Kings ended Kings XI Punjab’s play-off hopes in both sides’ final game of the season in Abu Dhabi on Sunday. (BCCI/IPL/PTI Photo)

Both du Plessis and Gaikwad, however, had a slice of good fortune early in their innings. While the South African was dropped by Hooda on five, Gaikwad survived a close call on 20. Off Ravi Bishnoi’s bowling, Gaikwad appeared to have hit the ball straight to a diving Mandeep Singh at backward point. The soft signal was out, but third umpire Chris Gaffaney overturned the decision as he felt that the catch wasn’t clean with some part of the ball touching the ground.
The runs for Kings XI came from an unlikely source in Hooda. With none of the big guns firing for Kings XI, they were in danger of meekly fading away when they were tottering at 72/4. Walking in after Chris Gayle‘s dismissal, Hooda had other plans. He took the lead and smashed an unbeaten 62 off just 30 deliveries to help KXIP reach a respectable total.

01:15IPL 2020: Chennai Super Kings end Kings XI Punjab’s play-off hopes

IPL 2020: Chennai Super Kings end Kings XI Punjab's play-off hopes

The first five overs of the Kings XI innings saw a flurry of boundaries as KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal helped the team race away to 44/0. Lungi Ngidi, however, brought CSK back into the contest with the wickets of Agarwal and Rahul. He will cherish Rahul’s dismissal in particular, as he deceived the leading run-getter this season with a slower off-cutter that dipped under the opener’s bat and disturbed the off-stump.
Soon, Kings XI’s hopes evaporated even further as they lost the Caribbean left-handed pair of Nicholas Pooran and Gayle in quick succession. Gayle has played a large role in Kings XI’s turnaround this season, but he came second-best for a change. He was up against Imran Tahir in a battle of two 41-year-olds, and it was the CSK leggie who had the last laugh.
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