On a slow pitch at Chennai , the Chennai Super Kings after their loss to Mumbai Indians the other day bounced back to win by 22 runs against Kings XI Punjab.
On a hot weather day CSK skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat first. After Ambati Rayudu’s poor form at the top, CSK opted for new pair – South African national steam skipper Faf Du Plessis and Shane Watson. And the pair gave the CSK the highest opening stand in power plays scoring 54 in 6 overs.
The pitch was slow and the weather was energy sapping. Plus the Kings XI spinners – Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin and M Ashwin bowled economical spells to keep the CSK under check. Watson fell for 26, Du Plessis scored 54 off 38 balls with two fours and four sixes. Suresh Raina simply struggled in the middle. The fluent Raina was no where seen. He fell for 17 off 20 balls.
It was left to Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu to script an unbeaten 60 run partnership that gave CSK something to bowl at . Dhoni was not on 37 while Rayudu desperate in search of form remained unbeaten on 21. CSK finished at 160/ 3 in their 20 overs.
For the Kings , Skipper Ravichandran Ashwin playing against his former team and on his home ground bowled well to bag 3/ 23 off 4 overs. Murugan Ashwin gave good support 0/ 23 off 4 overs. The seamers were on the expensive side . Mohammed Shami 0/ 41 ( 4 overs) , Sam Curran 0/ 35 ( 4 overs) Andrew Tye 0/ 38 ( 4 overs)
The Kings needed some sensible batting in their chase as the target was not beyond reach with the likes of Gayle, K L Rahul , David Miller in the line- up .
But wily and experienced Harbhajan Singh rolled back his years to bowl a dramatic first over. Bhajji bagged the wickets of Chris Gyale and Mayank Agarwal to rock the Kings chase. Kings were placed at a dicey 7/ 2 .
But a century run partnership between K L Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan brought the kings back . K L Rahul scored 55 off 47 balls while Sarfaraz scored 67 off 59 balls. Though they hit their respective fifties they just did not attack the bowling and showed lack of urgency. They rotated the strike in singles and two’s even as the run rate went up. Thus wasting their effort. And when they both fell it was too late for the later batsmen to achieve. David Miller perished that way.
Rahul and Sarfaraz were kept in check by the CSK spin trio of Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir and Ravindra Jadeja. In the end the Kings finished at 138 / 5 in their 20 overs . Losing by 22 runs. The win took CSK at the top of the IPL points table.
For CSK, Harbhajan Singh was the star with superb figures of 2/17 ( 4 overs) , Imran Tahir gave good support with 0/ 20 ( 4 overs) , Ravindra Jadeja 0/ 24 ( 4 overs) . The seamers took a beating though with Deepak Chahar 1/ 40 ( 4 overs) and debutant Scott Kuggeleijn taking 2/ 37 ( 4 overs)