Raina, Ngidi knock Punjab out of IPL

Chennai register five-wicket win in the last match of the first stage

Suresh Raina’s brilliant half-century and Lungi Ngidi’s outstanding bowling spell helped Chennai Super Kings in registering a five-wicket win against Kings XI Punjab in the 56th match of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in Pune on Sunday.

In a do-or-die encounter, Punjab was asked to bat first after Chennai captain MS Dhoni won the toss and elected to field first. The decision proved a correct one as the home side lost first three wickets at the score of 16 runs in the fourth over. But a 60-run partnership between veteran middle-order batsman Manoj Tiwary and left-hander David Miller kept the home side alive in the game, but both batsmen departed in quick succession left Punjab 80 for five. However, a fighting half-century from Karun Nair lifts Punjab to 153.

Nair finished the innings with the top score of 54 off 26 balls with the help of three fours and five sixes, whereas Tiwary scored 35 off 30 balls with the help of three fours and one six. For Chennai, Ngidi was the star bowler as he claimed figures of four for 14 in four overs, whereas Dwayne Bravo and Shardul Thakur claimed two wickets each.

In reply, the visitors had a poor start as well as they lost four wickets at the score of 58 in 10.1 overs. But from there on it was a Raina show, who held the innings together with a fighting half-century and took his team over the line. Raina scored 61 not out off 48 balls with the help of four fours and two sixes, where right-handed batsman Deepak Chahar scored 39 off 20 balls with the help of one four and three sixes.

For Punjab, captain off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin and fast-bowler Ankit Rajpoot claimed two wickets each. For his outstanding bowling performance, Ngidi was named player of the match.

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