Mohali, May 5: KL Rahul smashed an aggressive fifty off 19 balls and guided Kings XI Punjab to a big six-wicket win over table-toppers Chennai Super Kings in their last league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 here on Sunday (May 5).
Rahul's blistering knock of 71 runs off 36 balls and Chris Gayle's composed knock of run-a-ball 28 gave a century-stand for KXIP in the run chase at the IS Bindra International Stadium. With his win, R Ashwin-led side finish the season at sixth position in the points table. Chasing a target of 171, Punjab reached home in 18 overs but couldn't stop Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led CSK from finishing amongst the top-two in the points table.
Defending champions CSK will now be playing the Qualifier 1 at Chennai on May 7 and would be aiming to continue their dominating form at their home ground and enter the finals.
CSK off-spinner, Harbhajan Singh, proved pretty expensive despite picking up three wickets. He removed Punjab's top-three Rahul, Gayle and Mayank Agarwal (7) after returning in the second spell and came back strongly. But Nicolas Pooran (36 off 22) played another brilliant cameo before getting dismissed by Ravindra Jadeja and ensured his team reached home without much trouble.
Earlier in the day, CSK were invited to bat first on a flat deck of Mohali. Shane Watson was dismissed cheaply but his opening partner Faf du Plessis (96) and Suresh Raina (53) stitched century stand for the second wicket. Raina and Du Plessis started with caution and scored decently in the middle-overs. The South Africa captain looked to accellerate his innings in the death overs but was dismissed by a perfect yorker from Sam Curran and missed out on a well-deserved century in the penultimate over.
Punjab bowlers pulled things back brilliantly in the death overs as Chennai batters could only add 26 runs in the last 24 balls. Shami rocked CSK in the final over as he removed Ambati Rayudu and Kedar Jadhav and prevented Dhoni from finishing with a flourish.
Here's how the match between KXIP and CSK panned out:
MS Dhoni, the losing captain: I will give the credit to them. It was not an easy wicket. With 3 spinners, it was difficult to manoeuvre in the first 6 overs. But KL (Rahul) batted really well and (Nicolas) Pooran towards the end was good with his lusty hits. It was a really good batting effort from their side. We did whatever we could, it did not work for us. Quite happy with the way we bowled, despite giving a few runs at the start. That's something you have to keep it mind, If you can't win a game, you make sure you get the opposition to get the runs in most number of overs.
It's all over! Sam Curran hits the winning boundary as KXIP (173/4) beat CSK by 6 wickets and 12 balls to spare. They end the season with a consolation win.
Wicket! Nicolas Pooran's cameo comes to an end for 36. He edges Jadeja and Dhoni pouches it. KXIP - 164/4 in 16.2 overs.
12 runs conceded by Tahir. KXIP - 163/3 after 16 overs. 8 runs needed from 24 balls.
6,0,0,4,1,2! Nicolas Pooran has attacked Jadeja in his very first over. KXIP reach 151/3 in 15 overs. Since 14.3 overs have been spent, CSK have been played. They are going to finish amongst top-two in the points table and they'll play the first qualifier at Chepauk on 7th.
KXIP - 138/2 in 14 overs, 33 runs required from 36 deliveries. It should be an easy job for their middle-order.
Four! Pooran gets a boundary off Bravo as he times the ball brilliantly in the gap towards long-off. Vijay must be cursing himself now for dropping the catch on the previous delivery. KXIP - 135/3 after 13.4 overs.
Dropped! Murali Vijay puts down a sitter at point. Nicolas Pooran (13) gets a breather.
SIX!! Nicolas Pooran takes the aerial route and gets a maximum on the final ball of the spinner's over. Harbhajan finishes with bitter-sweet figures of 3/57. KXIP - 126/3 in 13 overs.
Wicket! Mayank Agarwal (7) pulls the bowler and Ravindra Jadeja takes a simple catch in the deep. Third wicket for Harbhajan. He's comeback strongly after getting punished in the first spell. KXIP - 118/3 in 12.2 overs.
1,0,1,0,1,1! 4 runs conceded by Tahir. KXIP - 117/2 in 12 overs. They must have lost the openers but still under control in this run chase. Mayank and Pooran are in the middle.
KXIP - 113/2 after 11 overs.
Four! Mayank Agarwal gets off the mark with a boundary.
Wicket! Back-to-back wickets for Harbhajan Singh. Chris Gayle (28) hits straight in the hands of Shorey (sub). The off-spinner is on a hat-trick. KXIP - 108/2 in 10.4 overs.
Wicket! Harbhajan finally manages to break the partnership as he gets the big wicket of KL Rahul. Tahir takes a good catch to end his innings for 71. KXIP - 108/1 in 10.3 overs.
KXIP - 106/0 after 10 overs as they chase 171.
Four, Four! Rahul hits Deepak Chahar for back-to-back boundaries and brings up 100-run opening stand. Chahar is wicketless today. KXIP - 100/0 after 9 overs.
1,1,0,1,1,1! 5 conceded by Bravo from his second over. KXIP - 90/0 after 8 overs. This is looking an easy run chase for the Kings XI so far.
SIX, SIX!! 'Universe Boss' Gayle too joins the party and hits Tahir for back-to-back maximums. KXIP 85/0 after 7 overs.
Four! Gayle hits Tahir in the gap towards long-off and gets the boundary.
Imran Tahir has been brought into the attack by Dhoni. CSK desperately need a wicket at this moment and break the partnership between Gayle and Rahul.
Wide, Wide, 0! Back-to-back wides from Bravo. He's looking to find his rhythm. Ends his over with a dot ball. KXIP - 68/0 after 6 overs. This has been a sensational start in the run chase of 171.
Four! KL 'unstoppable' Rahul gets a boundary off Bravo towards fine-leg. Nothing is going across CSK's way in this innings so far.
4,4,4,6,0,6! SIX!! KL RAHUL scores 24 runs from Harbhajan's second over. And he smashes his FIFTY off 19 deliveries.
Absolutely brilliant stuff from KL Rahul so far. He's attacked 74% deliveries, scored a boundary off 53% of the balls he's faced. Looks extremely secure playing 5% false shots. He's scored 96.2% of his runs (50 out of 52) in boundaries. #IPL2019 #KXIPvCSK— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) May 5, 2019
Four, Four, Four! KL Rahul has once again attacked Harbhajan Singh, gets back-to-back boundaries against the off-spinner.
KXIP - 33/0 after 3 overs. KL Rahul - 28* | Gayle 4* are present in the middle. Rahul is looking in a phenomenal form today.
Four! Another loose delivery from Chahar and Rahul punishes him. He moves on to 28 off 13 deliveries.
Four! KL Rahul welcomes Deepak Chahar with a boundary. Brilliant start for KXIP as they get to 28/0 in 2.1 overs.
SIX, SIX!! KL Rahul hammers Harbhajan Singh over long-off for a maximum. Rahul hammers Harbhajan Singh over long-off for a maximum. Three consecutive sixes for KL Rahul. He's dealing only in sixes.
Four! Harbhajan Singh has been brought into the attack in the second over and Gayle gets off the mark with a flick shot in the gap, gets a boundary. KXIP - 10/0.
SIX!! Loose delivery from Deepak Chahar and KL Rahul gets off the mark with a maximum. He faced 5 dot balls on the trot before that shot. KXIP - 6/0 after 1 over.
2nd innings! KL Rahul and Chris Gayle are in the middle to start KXIP run chase. Deepak Chahar to start with the new ball for CSK.
Most wickets in a season for KXIP: - 24 A Tye (2018) - 19 S Sreesanth (2008) - 19 M Shami (2019) - 18 S Sharma (2014).
One of the most heartening things to see in the last 12 months or so from Indian cricket’s point of view has been Mohd Shami. Just oozing quality every time he bowls.👏👏🙏🙏#KXIPvsCSK— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) May 5, 2019
One feels CSK fell some 10-15 runs short in this innings considering the way were going in the middle overs. They couldn't finish the innings on a flourish and that was so unlike CSK. Superb comeback from KXIP in the death overs.
1,W,1,W,1,2! Excellent over from Mohammed Shami as he concedes just 5 from it and picked two important wickets. He even prevented the visitors to finish with a flourish. CSK post 170/5 in 20 overs.
Bowled! Shami clean bowls Jadhav for a golden duck. What an over this is turning out to be for KXIP. The visitors haven't been able to finish this innings with a flourish. Good captaincy from Ashwin. CSK - 167/5 in 19.4 overs.
Wicket! Rayudu (1) looks to hit Shami over mid-wicket but didn't get the elevation. Mandeep takes a simple catch. CSK are unable to finish it with a flourish. CSK - 166/4 in 19.2 overs.
2,1,6,W,1,1! 11 runs came from that over bowled by Sam Curran. CSK - 165/3 after 19 overs.
Wicket! A brilliant yorker from Sam Curran disbalances dangerous Faf du Plessis (96) and cleans him up. The SA skipper misses out his maiden IPL ton by just 4 runs. CSK - 163/3 in 18.4 overs.
SIX!! Faf du Plessis dispatches Sam Curran for a maximum over mid-wicket and reaches 96*
Tight over from Ashwin as he concedes just 4 singles from it. CSK - 154/2 after 18 overs. Dhoni and Du Plessis are present in the middle. They need to finish with a flourish.
1,6,1,W,0,0! 8 runs and the important wicket of Suresh Raina came from that over bowled by Sam Curran. CSK - 150/2 after 17 overs.
Wicket! Suresh Raina (53) looks to pull the short-pitched delivery from Sam Curran and finds Shami at short fine-leg. CSK - 150/2 after 16.4 overs.
SIX!! Faf du Plessis picks Sam Curran well and hits the bowler over his head for a maximum. Superb shot from South African captain.
4,4,6,2,1,1! 18 runs came from that over bowled by Tye. Another big over from CSK's point of view. 36 runs came from the last two overs. CSK - 142/1 in 16 overs.
Four, Four, SIX! Faf du Plessis hits Tye for back-to-back boundaries and follows it up with a maximum to bring up 100-run partnership with Raina. He's looking to accelerate now.
Four, SIX! Faf du Plessis has decided to free his arms as he hits Murugan Ashwin for back-to-back boundaries. 18 runs came from that over. CSK - 124/1 after 15 overs.
Four! Raina gets a boundary and reaches his second consecutive fifty. This is his 38th IPL fifty.
5 runs came from that over bowled by Ashwin. CSK - 106/1 after 14 overs. They need to explode from this stage.
Fifty! Faf du Plessis brings up his second half-century of the season. He took 37 deliveries. Both his fifties came against KXIP.
7 runs came from that over bowled by Tye. CSK - 97/1 after 12 overs
Review lost! #KXIP go upstairs to review LBW call from Tye. The replays show it first hit the bat.
Four! Suresh Raina deflects the ball towards fine-leg and gets a boundary off Tye.
Four! Sloppy work in the deep from KL Rahul as he costs his team 3 extra runs. What should have been a single turned out to be a four. CSK - 90/1 after 11 overs.
Four! Brilliant shot from Faf du Plessis off Murugan Ashwin. The ball landed inches short of the boundary ropes.
50-run partnership between Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina. It came off 36 deliveries.
1,4,1,4,1,1! 12 runs came from that over bowled by Andrew Tye. CSK have reached 79/1 after 10 overs. They need to score big in the next 10 overs.
Four! Faf du Plessis gets a boundary off Tye. Takes a single on the next ball. Four! Suresh Raina too gets a boundary off Tye as he guides the ball towards third-man region.
Ashwin introduces Andrew Tye in the 10th over. CSK - 67/1 after 9 overs.
SIX!! Suresh Raina charges down on the crease and dispatches Harpreet Brar over mid-wicket boundary for a maximum. He takes a single on the next delivery and retains the strike. CSK - 67/1 after 9 overs.
4,1,0,1,1,1! 8 runs conceded by Ashwin from his second over. CSK - 57/1 after 8 overs.
Four! Raina gets a boundary off Ashwin and brings up Fifty for his team. CSK - 53/1 after 7.1 overs.
0,0,0,6,1,0! 7 runs conceded by Harpreet from his over. CSK - 49/1 after 7 overs.
SIX!! Suresh Raina frees up his arms and gets a maximum off Brar. First maximum of the innings for CSK.
Four! Short-pitched delivery from Ashwin and Raina pulls him for a boundary. This has been a cautious start for the visitors. CSK - 42/1 after 6 overs.
Ashwin brings himself into the attack in the final over of the powerplay.
Four! Faf du Plessis comes outside his crease and hits Curran straight down the ground and gets a boundary. CSK - 36/1 after 5 overs.
Bowled! Watson (7) was aiming to play Sam Curran with soft hands, misses it completely and the ball hits the off stumps. Another forgettable outing for the veteran Australia batsman. CSK - 30/1 after 4.1 overs.
Watson has struggled to get going in the powerplay in #IPL2019, dismissed 10 out of the 14 innings in the first six overs, striking at 98.1 at an average of 15. This is the first time he's scored at less than run-a-ball in the PP in a T20 series having faced 60+ balls. #KXIPvCSK— The CricViz Analyst (@cricvizanalyst) May 5, 2019
Four! Faf du Plessis pulls Shami and gets a boundary on the final ball of the over. It was going good over until the last delivery of the over. CSK - 29/0 after 4 overs
4,2,1,1,1,0! 9 runs came from Sam Curran's first over. CSK - 23/0 after 3 overs.
Four! Sam Curran has been introduced for the third over and Faf du Plessis gets a boundary straight down the ground.
4,1,0,0,1,1! 7 runs came from that Mohammed Shami over. Slow and cautious start for the visitors. CSK - 14/0 after 2 overs.
Four! Faf du Plessis welcomes Mohammed Shami with a boundary towards the leg side.
Four! Shane Watson slices it away towards the cover boundary and ends the first over with a four. CSK - 7/0 after 1st over. Shami to bowl the second over for KXIP.
1st innings! CSK openers Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis are into the middle to open the innings. Harpreet Brar to start with the new ball for KXIP.
KXIP (Playing XI): Chris Gayle, Lokesh Rahul, Mayank Agarwal, Nicholas Pooran(w), Mandeep Singh, Sam Curran, Harpreet Brar, Ravichandran Ashwin(c), Andrew Tye, Murugan Ashwin, Mohammed Shami.
CSK (Playing XI): Faf du Plessis, Shane Watson, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni(w/c), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Dwayne Bravo, Deepak Chahar, Harbhajan Singh, Imran Tahir.
MS Dhoni: Nothing really has changed. Last game in the league and it is to sort things out before the important phase. We are playing with the same squad.
Ravichandran Ashwin: We will be bowling first. We have not used all the wickets. Every game is important for the franchise. We have only one change.
Pitch Report by Pommie Mbangwa: It looks a good surface. This is the ground where it has turned the least for the spinners and Chennai need to adapt. You want to know what you are chasing at this ground.