CSK Outfoxed KXIP for the Table-Topping Win

harbhajan singh

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) held their nerves by outfoxing Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at MA Chidambaram Stadium with a comfortable 22-run victory. The century stand by  Kl Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan for the third wicket go in vain as Chennai Super Kings reclaims the top position with four victories out of five games.

* As it Happened:

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. Dhoni side made three important changes to their side by bringing in IPL debutant Scott Kuggelejin, Harbhajan Singh and Faf du Plessis in place of Shradul Thakur, Mohit Sharma and injured Dwayne Bravo. While Ashwin side incorporated two change by bringing back Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye. As elected to bat first CSK go with a new opening combination in the presence of Faf du Plessis and Shane Watson by demoting Ambani Rayudu down the order. The Host got to a good start as both Du Plessis and Shane Watson added 56 runs to their opening stand in first 8 overs. Watson played the role of aggressor while du Plessis taking the time to settle down. However, Shane Watson (26) was the first batsman to get back to the pavilion as he went on playing across the line to the carrom ball of KXIP skipper R. Ashwin.

Suresh Raina who come at No 3 added 44 run partnership along with Faf du Plessis. Along the way, the South African skipper managed to complete his fifty. Both the batsman was looking good, but it was Ashwin who had the last laugh by getting rid off both the batsman in the successive deliveries. Caught by David Miller at log on du Plessis (54 off 38 balls) was the first to dismiss with Ashwin’s another carrom ball and Suresh Raina ( 17 off 20) was the second to dismissed on Ashwin’s slower ball through the air. At that time Csk were 100/3 in 14  overs. However, Thanks to Dhoni and Rayudu for the late over the finish to help their side to get to a competitive total. Ms Dhoni ( 37 off 23 balls) and Ambati Rayudu ( 21 off 15 balls) added unbeaten fourth-wicket stand of 60 runs to get the team to a respectable total of 160-3.

In the second innings chasing 161, KXIP starts on a horrible fashion. With just seven runs on the board, CSK spinner Harbhajan Singh dismissed both the openers Chris Gayle (5) and Mayank Agarwal (0) in the second over of KXIP innings. However, KL Rahul ( 55 runs off 47 balls) and Sarfaraz Khan ( 67 runs off 59 balls) then pieced together 110 runs crucial partnership for steering KXIP chase. After 16 overs, Punjab looked in a position to get the game in their favour as they are looking good at 110/2. But Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir bowled two consecutive economical overs and leave KXIP with too many runs to score at the end of innings.

* The Game Changer:

CSK Spinners become the game changer of the match. The Trio – Ravindra Jadeja, Harbhajan Singh and Imran Tahir only conceded 61 runs in total from 12 overs which leads Chennai Super Kings to outfoxed a comfortable victory by 22 runs. Ravindra Jadeja conceded 24 runs in his four overs and Imran Tahir conceded only 20 runs in his spell. However, Harbhajan Singh with taking two crucial wickets at starting and conceded only 17 runs in his spell become the most economical and successful bowler for CSK side.

* Brief Scores:

Chennai Super Kings: 160/3.

(Faf du Plessis 54, MS Dhoni 37 not out, R Ashwin 4-0-23-3)

Kings XI Punjab: 138/5.

(Sarfaraz Khan 67, KL Rahul 55, Harbhajan Singh 4-1-17-2, Scott Kuggeleijn 4-0-37-2)

* Man Of The Match:

Harbhajan Singh.

* Match Stats:

~ Sarfaraz Khan ( 67 off 59 balls) was his first half-century of VIVO IPL.

~ After Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni became the second player to play 150 games for the CSK franchise.