Chennai Super Kings played party spoilers as they brushed aside Kings XI Punjab by 9 wickets on Sunday (November 1) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and sent them packing out of IPL 2020. This was a must win game for Kings XI and with this loss, their fight for a playoffs berth came to an abrupt end.
Their barren run earlier on in the tournament came back to haunt them. This was the last game of this edition for both these sides, with CSK already being out of reckoning for a playoff berth.
Chennai Super Kings won the toss and opted to field first. KL Rahul and the returning Mayank Agarwal gave a strong start to Kings XI with a 48-run opening stand. The duo made full use of the powerplay restrictions and hit the CSK bowlers over the infield.
Lungi Ngidi brought CSK back into the mix as he removed both the openers. Agarwal was the first to go as he played one onto his own stumps and then Ngidi outfoxed Rahul with a fuller slow ball, that cleaned him up.
Then CSK moved into the driver’s seat with KXIP losing three wickets for the exchange of just 10 runs in the middle overs. The South African leggie, Imran Tahir, picked-up the big wicket of the in-form Chris Gayle- trapping him plumb Infront. Tahir returned with figures of 4-0-24-1.
Ultimately, it was Deepak Hooda who showcased his worth in this crucial game with a rapid-fire knock of 62* (off 30 balls; 4×3, 6×4) which rescued the innings for his side and took them to a competitive total of 153/6.
Hooda single-handedly took Kings XI to the fight-worthy total with all CSK bowlers bearing the brunt of Hooda’s hitting.
CSK, in reply, got off to the best possible start with the opening duo of Ruturaj Gaikwad and the fit-again Faf du Plessis ensuring a smooth sailing with a 82-run opening stand.
The South African, du Plessis, imposed himself early on and took on the KXIP bowlers – playing some textbook strokes while at the same time also scoring off some audacious reverse scoops.
Du Plessis was unfortunate to miss out on a deserved half-century – getting out on 48 (off 34 balls), when he tried to play another reverse scoop of Chris Jordan and KL Rahul took an easy catch.
However, Gaikwad continued the onslaught and shifted gears to up the ante. He completed his third consecutive fifty of this edition and engaged in a 72-run stand alongside Ambati Rayudu (30 off 30 balls) to take his side home in their last game of the season.
Gaikwad finished at an impressive 62* (off 49 balls; 4×6, 6×1) and was awarded the ‘Man of the Match’ award for his anchoring knock.