Kings XI Punjab successfully defended its score of 197 in the match against Chennai Super Kings at their home ground. The IPL match blazed with impressive scores had the big runs from Chris Gayle and MS Dhoni, injecting high voltage to both the innings. In the first inning Lokesh Rahul and Chris Gayle thrashed powerplay overs to haul the score to a good height.
In the opening partnership of 8 overs, the players brought 96 runs together. Gayle played until the 12th over of the inning pulling the score to 127. Mayank Agarwal, Yuvraj Singh and Karun Nair steered next stretch of 10 overs with strong strike rate. Nair played to the last over hauling the score close to 200, turning the game to the high scoring IPL tournament.
While on chase, Super Kings players could not exploit the early overs losing the opening wickets. Shane Watson and Murali Vijay wrapped up their strikes cheaply within the powerplay overs, while Sam Billings was down after the stretch. The inning gathered momentum only when Ambati Rayadu and MS Dhoni started to beat on tandem.
The chase slogged at the beginning became heavier by the end in terms of asking rate. In the last four overs, Super Kings required 67 runs. It was this stretch when MS Dhoni fired up big boundaries to shorten the gap. In the pre-ultimate over, the former India captain plundered 19 runs off Andrew Tye, leaving 17 runs for the last over. So far in the IPL series, Super Kings successfully chased such a target in one of its previous campaigns.
Still, the Dhoni’s enterprise as a finisher did not work out in the match. Ashwin brought Mohit Sharma on attack to play against the batsman. He executed excellent Yorkers to defend the score. By the end of the match Super Kings remined four runs less to the victory as they surrendered to Kings’ strategy. Rayadu scored 49 runs in the inning, while MS Dhoni hammered 79 runs off 44 remaining unbeaten.
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