Abu Dhabi: Ruturaj Gaikwad notched up his third successive half-century while chasing while Lungi Ngidi scalped three wickets as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) ended their Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020 campaign on a high, beating Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) by nine wickets at Abu Dhabi on Sunday (November 1).
Needing 154 runs to win, CSK were quick off the blocks as Faf du Plessis and Ruturaj Gaikwad made a solid start. The two took CSK to 22/0 after three overs before Faf got a life despite Deepak Hooda’s stunning effort in the field.
Faf and Gaikwad then added 35 runs at a rapid pace as CSK moved to 57/0 at the end of the powerplay. In the eighth over, Gaikwad survived a close call after the third umpire overruled the on-field decision for a catch.
KXIP got a much-needed breakthrough in the 10th over after Faf could not time his scoop. While KXIP were looking for a couple of wickets to keep things tight, Gaikwad and Ambati Rayudu denied KXIP any success.
The pair did not take any undue risk and kept the scorecard ticking, occasionally creaming a few fours as CSK moved 118/1 at the end of 15 overs. In the next over, Gaikwad notched his third half-century in the row. He and Rayudu completed a fifty-run stand in the 17th over before taking CSK home in the penultimate over.
Earlier, MS Dhoni, who made it clear that this won’t be his last game for CSK, won the toss and elected to bowl. CSK brought in Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir and Shardul Thakur in place of Shane Watson, Mitchell Santner and Karn Sharma. For KXIP, a fit-again Mayank Agarwal and Jimmy Neesham returned to the playing XI in place of Glenn Maxwell and Arshdeep Singh.
KXIP announced their intent straightway as Mayank hit two fours in the first over. While Sam Curran conceded just four runs in the second over, Mayank and KL Rahul scored 30 runs in the next three overs with the help of a six and four fours.
However, the Mayank-Rahul partnership was broken as Lungi Ngidi struck in the final over of the powerplay, dismissing Mayank for 26. A couple of overs later, the right-arm pacer scalped one more wicket he disturbed the timber a slower-ball to get KL Rahul out. Shardul Thakur and Imran Tahir then dismissed Nicholas Pooran and Chris Gayle respectively as CSK pushed KXIP on the backfoot, reducing them 72/4 after 12 overs.
Deepak Hooda and Mandeep Singh though started the recovery as the pair added 36 runs to push KXIP past hundred. But Ravindra Jadeja broke the partnership as got the wicket of Mandeep in the 17th over. Jimmy Neesham departed soon after as Ruturaj Gaikwad took a brilliant catch to give Ngidi his third wicket.
Hooda though made sure KXIP got those big hits to post a fighting total on the board. The right-hander, who had walked out to bat after Gayle’s dismissal, creamed two sixes in the 18th over and notched up his first fifty of the season in the next over. Hooda added one more four and six to his account in the last over and remained unbeaten on 62 off 30 balls to help KXIP post 153/6 on the board.
Brief Scores: Chennai Super Kings 154/1 (Ruturaj Gaikwad 62*, Faf du Plessis 48; Chris Jordan 1/31) beat Kings XI Punjab 153/6 (Deepak Hooda 62*, KL Rahul 29; Lungi Ngidi 3/39) by nine wickets.