Even after conceding a six-wicket loss in their last league game of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 season against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the MS Dhoni-led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) managed to finish as one of the top two teams of the competition. The defending champions ended the league stages at the second position on the points table.
A team that enters IPL play-offs as either table-toppers or No. 2 would get two clear shots at summit clash qualification. This year the Mumbai Indians have finished at the top position on the points tally.
“If you can’t win a game, you make sure you get the opposition to get the runs in most number of overs. (Qualifying for top 2) Yes, and that’s something you have to keep in mind,” quoted MS Dhoni after the six-wicket defeat against KXIP.
In the match, CSK experienced batsmen duo comprising of Faf du Plessis and Suresh Raina compiled fabulous innings in the century partnership, but then the KXIP bowler pair of Sam Curran and Mohammed Shami pulled things amazingly well to limit the opposition within a par first innings total. While in the second innings, KXIP opener KL Rahul entertained the home crowd with some remarkable shots in almost all parts of the ground and his phenomenal innings also brought the result factor to mere formalities.
“We want to win the game, but if the opposition does well, you have to quickly adapt and re-assess,” Dhoni added.
It was a really good batting effort
While chasing a stiff target of 171 runs, KXIP opener KL Rahul got his team off to a brilliant start, blistering a terrific half-century off just 19 balls that too within the first four overs of the innings. The other opener, Chris Gayle surprisingly played the role of a second fiddle initially but then picked up pace in the seventh over, smashing Imran Tahir for a couple of lusty blows. However, it was Rahul who stole the show with a sensational knock of 71 runs off just 36 balls. Nicholas Pooran also played a vital cameo knock of 36 runs.
“Overall, it was a really good batting effort from their side. KL (Rahul, who scored 36-ball 71) batted really well and (Nicholas) Pooran towards the end was good with his lusty hits. We did whatever we could, it did not work for us,” the CSK skipper concluded.