The 12th match of the VIVO IPL turned out to be another thriller with Kings XI Punjab managing to ward off a late assault from CSK’s evergreen captain MS Dhoni. The 4 run win meant that the Mohali based franchise now sits at No2 in the points table with 2 wins from 3 games.
The game had some eye catching moments right from the start.Here we’ll revisit some of those last night.
*CHRIS GAYLE’S WHIRLWIND KNOCK OF 63
The ‘Universe Boss’ who went unsold in the 1st and 2nd round in the Auctions again proved that when it comes to T20, he is still a force to reckon.The Big Jamaican smashed 19 runs off Harbhajan in 4th over of the innings to announce his intentions. He raced to his 50 in just 22 balls and stitched a 96 run partnership with KL Rahul in just 8 overs.
Gayle’s innings ended with a mistimed pull shot that went straight to short fine leg but his 33 ball 63 again reminded everyone that the boss has still got it.
*CSK’S SPIRITED COMEBACK WITH THE BALL
After the departure of Chris Gayle,CSK pulled things back with Imran Tahir dismissing Agarwal(30 off 19) and Aaron Finch (0 off 1) in successive deliveries.Yuvraj(20 off 13) and Nair(29 off 17) propelled KXIP to 197 but the last 5 overs yielded only 43 runs.
The last 8 overs gave CSK a ray of hope of winning another high scoring game.
*The Top order’s life without Raina
Murali Vijay replaced Suresh Raina(who got injured in their previous game) and opened the innings along with Watson.After a positive start in the first over, Watson(11 off 9) was dismissed by Mohit Sharma.Vijay(12 off 10) too followed him to the pavilion in the 5th over.
Ambatu Rayudu continued his good form and made a sedate 49 off 35 taking the score to 113 in 13.4 overs.CSK will be pleased with Rayudu’s efforts at no3 but will hope that their main man returns soon.
*MS Dhoni’s valiant effort
Dhoni arrived at no5 in the 7th over of the innings.The hero of the last match,Sam Billings,had just departed.All eyes were on the ‘Finisher’ to come up with something special and he didn’t disappoint.In an innings of 79 off 44,Dhoni unleashed his full range.
He struggled with back pain but that didn’t stop him from taking apart the likes of AJ Tye and Mohit Sharma.
In the end the score was just a tad too much even for him but it was an innings which made most of his fans nostalgic.This was also his highest score in the VIVO IPL.
*Mohit Sharma and Ashwin’s strategy in the last over
CSK needed 17 off 6.The momentum had shifted in favour of the visitors. AJ Tye was just smacked for 19 runs in the 19th over.
Mohit Sharma,who hadn’t had a great time till then decided to bowl wide yorkers outside the off stump.It was a gamble that could’ve cost KXIP the game but the Haryana lad kept his nerves and delivered couple of pin point yorkers to leave Dhoni needing 11 from the last ball.
The last ball 6 showed what could’ve happened had Mohit bowled in Dhoni’s arc.
Ashwin’s captaincy and his faith in Mohit’s plan proved to be the difference eventually.