Faf du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh shine as Chennai Super Kings beat Kings XI Punjab

Chennai Super Kings put in a clinical performance with bat and ball to beat Kings XI Punjab by 22 runs in a game played at M.Chidambaram Stadium on Saturday. Lokesh Rahul and Sarfaraz Ahmed put in valiant effort with the bat and it wasn’t enough as Kings XI Punjab failed to accelerate in the later stages of the innings.

Kings XI Punjab needed 46 runs off 18 balls to win the game. New Zealand’s Scott Kuggeleijn despite going for a lot of runs in his first two overs came into the attack. He picked up wicket of Rahul and conceded seven runs from his over.

Deepak Chahar came in to bowl the penultimate over for Chennai and started poorly by bowling waist-high full toss. He certainly made a strong comeback at the end to dismiss David Miller to see Chennai take firm control of the game. Kuggeleijn bowled a perfect over at the end to see Chennai climb to the top of league table with eight points to their name.

Chasing 161 runs to win, Kings XI started off poorly as off-spinner Harbhajan Singh dismissed Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal in the second over of the innings.

Sarfaraz Khan joined hands with Lokesh Rahul to rebuild the innings. Rahul certainly took the attack to Chahar in the fifth over of the innings. He smashed two fours and a six off Chahar to keep the scoreboard ticking at a good rate. He had slice of luck going his way and was nearly run-out by wicket-keeper MS Dhoni. Rahul notched up his second half-century of the season.

On the other hand, Sarfaraz looked in fluent touch with the bat against Chennai. He smashed a six off the bowling of Kuggeleijn to put the pressure back on the home side. He certainly played the spinners well and rotated the strike well in the middle phase of the innings. Sarfaraz notched up his half-century in 42 balls.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh delivered a splendid bowling performance to see Chennai Super Kings  beat Kings XI Punjab in a game played in Chennai.

Earlier in the game, Chennai Captain MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first. Faf du Plessis playing his first game of the season, delivered with a half-century. He opened the innings with Shane Watson and got the side off to decent start. Watson looked good in his innings and scored 26 off 24 balls with the help of three fours and a six. Ravichandran Ashwin got rid of Watson to see Chennai lose their first wicket with 56 runs on the board.

On the other hand, Du Plessis looked comfortable against the quick bowlers and smashed sixes off the bowling of Mohammad Shami and Andrew Tye. He also smashed Ashwin for a six and notched up his half-century in just 33 balls.

Leg-spinner Murugan Ashwin delivered a tidy spell to keep Chennai batsmen in check and not allow them with any freebies. Kings XI Punjab certainly made a comeback as Captain Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina in the 14th over of the innings. Faf du Plessis scored 54 off 38 balls with the help of four fours and two sixes.

Dhoni started cautiously and then took charge of the game for Chennai Super Kings. He smashed his first boundary off the bowling of Tye. Sam Curran conceded 19 runs off the penultimate over as Dhoni smashed two fours and a six. The final was delivered by Mohammad Shami, who conceded a four and a six to see Chennai post 160 for 3 in their 20 overs.

MS Dhoni remained unbeaten and scored 37 off 23 balls with the help of four fours and a six. He was well supported by Ambati Rayudu, who chipped in with 21 off 15 balls with the help of one six.

For Kings XI, Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin was standout bowler in the game and picked up key wickets of Watson, Du Plessis and Raina. Murugan Ashwin also bowled well and conceded only 23 run from his four overs.

Off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was named man of the match for his splendid bowling performances for Chennai Super Kings.

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