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IPL 2018: Raina Shines, Dhoni Finishes in Style as Chennai End Kings XI Punjab's Campaign

Cricketnext Staff |May 21, 2018, 1:08 PM IST
IPL 2018: Raina Shines, Dhoni Finishes in Style as Chennai End Kings XI Punjab's Campaign

It was curtains for Kings XI Punjab as Chennai Super Kings registered a 5-wicket victory in the final league stage game and ensured that Rajasthan Royals became the fourth team to progress to the playoffs.

Suresh Raina shined with the bat, scoring an unbeaten 61 off just 47 deliveries, which will be good news for Chennai ahead of their Qualifier against Sunrisers Hyderabad.

It was always going to be a tough task for Kings XI as they had to win by 53 runs or more to cross Rajasthan Royals on net run rate. They started well, picking quick wickets early on but a total of 153 batting first was never going to be enough to stop Chennai.

In-form Ambati Rayudu departed for 1, with Mohit Sharma picking the wicket. Rajpoot dismissed du Plessis and Sam Billings off successive deliveries as Chennai were reduced to 27/3 on a seaming wicket.

Harbhajan Singh got a promotion, and put on 31 runs for the fourth wicket with Suresh Raina before Ravichandran Ashwin dismissed him. Dhoni then stumped everyone by sending Deepak Chahar up the order, who scored a quickfire 39 off just 20 balls to end Kings XI's hopes of progression.

Raina then upped the ante and tore apart Andrew Tye, hitting him for 22 runs off the 19th over which ensured victory for Chennai. Dhoni then provided the finishing touch in style with a maximum.

Earlier, a cameo by Karun Nair helped Kings XI post a modest 153 to keep the visitors in the hunt.

Coming into bat when Punjab were in a spot of bother at 76/4 in the 12th over, Nair plundered 54 runs off 26 balls to breathe life into the innings. The right-hander produced an exciting display of power hitting, smashing three boundaries and five towering sixes.

The Chennai bowlers came out all guns blazing at their adopted home ground to bundle out the visitors for a modest total.

Lungi Ngidi was the wrecker-in-chief for the yellow brigade with stunning figures of 4/10 from his four overs.

Put in to bat, the visitors were off to a disastrous start as Chennai pacers Ngidi and Deepak Chahar shattered Punjab's top order.

While Ngidi sent back Punjab openers Lokesh Rahul (7) and Chris Gayle (0), Chahar dismissed the dangerous Aaron Finch (4) which left Punjab reeling at 16/3 after the first four overs.

Manoj Tiwary (35 off 30) and David Miller (24 off 22) then showed some resistance, putting on a 60-run stand for the fourth wicket.

However, just when the partnership was settling down, Ravindra Jadeja sent back Tiwary, who was caught behind by Chennai skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the 12th over.

All-rounder Dwayne Bravo too, joined the party as a perfect yorker from him dismantled Miller's stump in the 13th over with Punjab's score reading 80/5.

Karun Nair then showed terrific fight down the order, hitting some lusty blows. However, he lacked support from the other end as Punjab again lost three wickets of Axar Patel (14), Ravichandran Ashwin (0) and Andrew Tye (0) in quick succession.

It was South African paceman Ngidi again who scalped the wickets of Ashwin and Tye while Shardul Thakur got the better of Patel.

Just when the visitors reached the 150-run mark, Bravo applied the brakes on a dangerous looking Nair's innings. Nair's knock was laced with three boundaries and five hits into the stands.

Thakur then performed the last rites as he dismissed tailender Ankit Rajpoot (2) to wrap up Ashwin's men for 153.

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