IPL 2018 CSK v/s KXIP: Kings XI Punjab bow out, Chennai Super Kings’ win sends Rajasthan Royals to playoffs

Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni
Lungi Ngidi took four wickets for just 10 runs while Suresh Raina scored another IPL half-century as Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab by 5 wickets on Sunday.

It was the last match of league stage of IPL 2018. Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), Chennai Super Kings (CSK), Kolkata Knigh Riders (KKR) and Rajasthan Royals have qualified for the playoffs.

Kings XI Punjab had to win this game by 53 runs or more to go into the playoffs. However, they didn’t have much chance in a reasonably low-scoring affair.

Delhi Daredevils had done a favour to Punjab by knocking out Mumbai Indians with an 11-run win in the first match of the day as it kept Punjab in the hunt.

However, KXIP’s hopes were wiped off in a matter of minutes with the new ball darting around for Ngidi and Chahar. The tall South African pacer was absolutely sensational tonight actually, on a deck resembling some of those he would’ve played on back home.

Karun Nair hit a timely half-century to help Kings XI Punjab recover from the top-order collapse and post 153.

Punjab needed to restrict CSK to 100 runs to seal the last-available spot in the Play-offs.

CSK, who could have gone to top of the table with a bigger win, experimented with batting order but the match was always in their control.

Raina scored 61 runs off 48 balls while Deepak Chahar hit 39 off 20 balls. CKS sent Sam Billings, Harbhajan Singh and Chahar ahead of MS Dhoni after they lost Ambati Rayudu and Faf du Plessis early. However, it was Dhoni who finished the innings with six off the first ball of the 20th over.

Earlier, when Punjab batsmen needed to fire in unison, only Nair showed stomach for fight with his 26-ball knock, which was laced with three fours and five sixes.

It was South African paceman Ngidi (4/10) who triggered a top-order collapse as he swung the ball both ways to confound the Punjab batsmen.

He first had dangerous Chris Gayle (0) caught behind and then bowled other opener KL Rahul with a peach of delivery that swung in and sent the stump kart-wheeling.

Deepak Chahar had Aaron Finch (4) caught by Raina as Punjab managed only 29 runs in the Powerplay overs.

In his sensational three-over spell, Ngidi conceded just seven runs and scalped both the openers.

David Miller (24) and Manish Tiwary (35) repaired the innings with a 60-run partnership before left-arm spinner Ravindra Jadeja broke the stand by dismissing the latter.

Miller too did not last long after departure of Tiwary as he was undone by a well-executed yorker by West Indian Dwayne Bravo. The Miller wicket meant that Punjab were reeling at 80 for five in 12.1 overs.

A small partnership developed between Axar Patel (14) and Nair but Sam Billings pulled off a stunning diving catch to get rid of the left-hander. Still, Punjab got 18 runs from that Shardul Thakur over with Nair finding a six and two fours.

Ngidi returned to the attack and saw the back of rival captain R Ashwin, who could not even open his account, nicking the ball to his counterpart MS Dhoni behind the wickets. Punjab could not even bat for full 20 overs and were bowled out in 19.4 overs.

Had it not been a fighting knock from Nair, they would not have crossed even 150-run mark

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