IPL 2018, Match 12, KXIP v CSK, Review: Punjab Edge Past Chennai in a High-Scoring Thriller
Courtesy a sensational knock of 63 by Chris Gayle, Punjab posted a competitive total of 197 on the board. Despite a stunning knock from CSK skipper MS Dhoni, Punjab eventually ran away with a four runs victory. Dhoni remained unbeaten on 79 off 44 deliveries which included six fours and five hits over the fence.
It was Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni who won the toss and opted to field. Comeback man, Chris Gayle and KL Rahul walked out to begin proceedings. Gayle looked in complete command from the outset. The duo shared a brilliant stand of 96 runs in eight overs and helped Kings XI Punjab race off to a flying start.
Gayle smashed some audacious shots, as Punjab began in spanking fashion. The southpaw smashed seven fours and four big sixes en route to his knock of 63 off 33 deliveries. It was a sensational knock, to say the least especially given the fact it was his first match of this season of IPL.
His partner Rahul, on the other hand, scored a 22 balls 37 which was studded with seven hits to the fence.
Mayank Agarwal who came in at one down also looked in fluent touch during his 19 balls 30 which contained a four and a couple of big hits.
Some tight bowling by the Chennai bowlers during the last three overs of the innings prevented them from scoring anything over 200. Imran Tahir and Shardul Thakur returned, as the two most successful bowler bagging a couple of wickets each. For the home team, Gayle was the top scorer with 63.
Chasing a relatively stiff target to win, Chennai didn’t begin well. The visitors lost two quick wickets in the form of Murali Vijay and Shane Watson.
The Punjab bowlers kept chipping away with the wickets which didn’t allow CSK to push for the big shots. Ambati Rayudu struck a fluent knock of 49 which contained five fours and a solitary six.
However, the hosts were bowling well and never allowed CSK to get on top of the game. Despite a big target, Chennai still had MS Dhoni in their ranks, and with him at the crease, you can never guarantee an opponent victory until his dismissal.
The skipper struck some exceptional shits during his knock of 79. It contained six fours and five sixes, but his innings wasn’t enough to hand CSK a victory.
The skipper looked in total command of proceedings and changed the complexion of the match in the last three overs. He kept smacking the Punjab bowlers out of the park on a consistent basis.
With 55 required off the last three, the match was tilted in favour of Punjab. However, Dhoni had other plans in mind. It was his innings which helped them get close to the target before eventually falling short by four runs.
Kings XI Punjab 197/7 in 20 overs (Chris Gayle 63, KL Rahul 37, Shardul Thakur 2/33, Imran Tahir 2/34)
Chennai Super Kings 193/5 in 20 overs (MS Dhoni 79*, Ambati Rayudu 49, Andrew Tye 2/47)
Kings XI Punjab won by four runs
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