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Clinical CSK Thumps KXIP In A Low-Scoring Encounter

In the 18th game of the exciting Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 extravaganza, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) registered a convincing 22-run victory over Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) at the MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai. The returning Faf du Plessis smashed a blazing half-century knock to provide his team with a solid platform after which skipper MS Dhoni guided his team towards a splendid first innings finish. In the run-chase, the pair of KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan played very well to reach their fifties, but the CSK bowlers never allowed them to advance in the game. Towards the end, both the set batters failed to take KXIP over the line as the CSK bowlers displayed a sensational effort to power their side towards an emphatic victory and in turn claim the top position on the points table.

Du Plessis’ excellent half-century and Dhoni’s late blitz help CSK post a fighting total

CSK skipper MS Dhoni won the toss and opted to bat first. The home team came out with a new opening combination in Shane Watson and Faf du Plessis, who was playing his first game in the season. The openers got CSK off to a blazing start, striking a fabulous tally of 54 runs in the first six overs of the powerplay. After a poor performance with the ball at the start, KXIP skipper Ravichandran Ashwin took the onus on himself and bowled a fantastic delivery to bring an end to Watson’s stay at the crease.

Even after losing his opening partner, du Plessis kept on playing his natural game, notching up a brilliant half-century off 33 balls.  Ashwin once again came to rescue his team, removing both Raina and du Plessis off successive deliveries. After those two wickets, the CSK innings started moving at a pretty slow pace and it looked like their innings was going nowhere. However, towards the end, MS Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu contributed with blistering cameos to help CSK reach a fighting total of 160 runs. Ashwin was the pick of the KXIP bowlers, claiming three wickets at an impressive economy.

CSK bowlers combined efforts keeps KXIP in  check

Chasing a stiff target of 161 runs, Kings XI Punjab got off to a horrible start, losing both Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal off consecutive deliveries. CSK off-spinner Harbhajan Singh bowled an excellent opening spell to leave the visitors reeling at 7 for 2. After the early jitters, the duo comprising of KL Rahul and Sarfaraz Khan combined together to bail their team out of the troublesome situation. The pair steadied the KXIP innings with a splendid partnership of 110 runs, however, runs were coming at a very slow pace.

Rahul scored a valuable knock of 55 runs which included 3 fours and 1 six. However, even after Rahul’s dismissal, Sarfaraz kept KXIP’s hopes alive with a fluent half-century knock. In the end, CSK bowlers, Deepak Chahar and Scott Kuggeleijn held their nerves pretty nicely to help their team pick up an amazing victory.

Brief Scores:

CSK: 160/3 in 20 overs (Faf du Plessis-54, MS Dhoni-37*; Ravichandran Ashwin 3/23)

KXIP: 138/5 in 20 overs (Sarfaraz Khan-67, KL Rahul-55; Harbhajan Singh 2/17, Scott Kuggeleijn 2/37)

Result: Chennai Super Kings won the match by 22 runs.