IPL 2020: Chennai end Punjab’s dream with 9-wicket thrashing
The Chennai openers went after Punjab’s pace battery of Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami and Chris Jordan
The eliminated Chennai Super Kings ensured Kings XI Punjab’s exit from the Indian Premier League with a nine-wicket bashing at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday.
In a must-win situation to keep their hopes for playoff spot and maiden title dreams alive, Punjab, asked to set a target, could score a modest 153/6, a total easily chased by Chennai in 18.5 overs.
Punjab had earlier pulled off a stunning heist but not against Chennai as Ruturaj Gaikwad smashed his third consecutive half-century (49-ball 62 not out) and shared an 82-run opening partnership with Faf du Plessis (34-ball 48) and unfinished 72-run with Ambati Rayudu (30-ball 30).
The Chennai openers went after Punjab’s pace battery of Jimmy Neesham, Mohammed Shami and Chris Jordan raking 44 from five overs. The pair didn’t spare Punjab’s reliable spinner Ravi Bishnoi by smashing him for fours and a six.
Punjab didn’t have the rub of the green as Du Plessis, on 5, was dropped by Deepak Hooda and Gaikwad, on 20, got a life as the third umpire wasn’t sure if Mandeep Singh’s catch was taken cleanly. Both proved to be costly misses for Punjab as Chennai raced to 69 from seven overs.
Punjab finally found a breakthrough. Jordan got Du Plessis (48) with a slow ball and ended a match-winning partnership. Young Gaikwad in the company of veteran Rayudu continued to pick boundaries at will. The youngster reached his fifty with a four off Bishnoi. Both the batsmen kept their cool to reach the target with seven balls to spare.
Earlier, batting first Deepak Hooda, saved Punjab blushes with an inspiring half-century (30-ball 62) to set a 154-run target.
Punjab started strongly as openers got stuck into Chennai pacers. KL Rahul and Mayank Agarwal struck boundaries off Deepak Chahar, Sam Curran and Shardul Thakur as Punjab raced to 44 from five overs. Agarwal (15-ball 26) looked in good touch but misjudged Lungi Ngidi’s delivery and got castled. The South African pacer ended a 48-run opening partnership and then foxed Rahul (27-ball 29) with a slow dipping delivery.
Spinner Imran Tahir and Ngidi gave away just 18 from 24 balls to push Punjab back to 65 runs at half-way stage. Thakur returned to have Nicholas Pooran (6-ball 2) caught behind. And Tahir trapped Chris Gayle (19-ball 12), who looked set to flex his muscles.
An under-pressure Punjab lost three wickets for 10 runs and with seven overs to go, Punjab were 77/4. But then Hooda and Mandeep took Punjab past 100. Both batsmen yanked a six each raising Punjab hopes. Ravindra Jadeja ended the 36-run stand with the wicket of Mandeep (15-ball 14). Ngidi picked Neesham (2). Hooda, at the other end, hammered Ngidi for maximums and boundaries. Hooda shared an unbeaten 40-run partnership with Jordan (4). Punjab after making 77 from 13 overs, hammered 76 runs from the final seven overs to drive the score past 150 runs but it was never their day.
For Punjab, apart from the heartbreak of a loss and unfulfilled title dream, this was also the second time that they have failed to rattle the Chennai top order. On October 4, Chennai had thrashed Punjab by 10 wickets. Despite their ups and downs, Punjab were so close to a playoff spot, but closed their season with 12 points – two short to put them in contention. Punjab will remember the UAE outings for what could have been but wasn’t.
Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul b Ngidi 29
M Agarwal b Ngidi 26
C Gayle lbw b Imran Tahir 12
N Pooran c Dhoni b Thakur 2
Mandeep Singh b Jadeja14
D Hooda not out 62
J Neesham c Gaikwad b Ngidi 2
C Jordan not out 4
Extras: (b 1, w 1) 2
Total: (6 wkts, 20 overs) 153
Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Mayank Agarwal, 5.2 ov), 2-62 (KL Rahul, 8.3 ov), 3-68 (Nicholas Pooran, 10.4 ov), 4-72 (Chris Gayle, 11.5 ov), 5-108 (Mandeep Singh, 16.2 ov), 6-113 (James Neesham, 17.1 ov)
D Chahar 3-0-30-0
S Curran 2-0-15-0
S Thakur 4-0-27-1
L Ngidi 4-0-39-3
Imran Tahir 4-0-24-1
R Jadeja 3-0-17-1
Chennai Super Kings
R Gaikwad not out 62
F du Plessis c Rahul b Jordan 48
A Rayudu not out 30
Extras: (lb 7, w 7) 14
Total: (1 wkt, 18.5 overs) 154
Fall of wicket: 1-82 (Faf du Plessis, 9.5 ov)
J Neesham 3-0-26-0
Mohammed Shami 4-0-29-0
C Jordan 3-0-31-1
Ravi Bishnoi 4-0-39-0
M Ashwin 4-0-17-0
C Gayle 0.5-0-5-0
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