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IPL PHOTOS: CSK ease past Kings XI to reclaim top spot

Last updated on: April 06, 2019 20:17 IST

Images from the Indian Premier League match in Chennai on Saturday.

Harbhajan Singh

IMAGE: Harbhajan Singh celebrates the wicket of Mayank Agarwal. Photograph: BCCI

Faf du Plessis's half-century and Mahendra Singh Dhoni's late assault helped Chennai Super Kings register a comfortable 22-run victory against Kings XI Punjab in the IPL match, in Chennai, on Saturday.

Du Plessis gave CSK a flying start as he stroked 54 from 38 balls, while Dhoni hit a quickfire 37 not out from 23 balls to rally CSK to 160 for three.

Spinners shone for CSK  as they restricted Punjab to 138 for 5 despite half centuries from K L Rahul (55) and Sarfaraz Khan (67), with Harbhajan Singh taking two for 17.

 

The visitors scored at a low pace and required to score 26 off the last over, bowled by IPL debutant Scott Kuggeleijn. The Kiwi paceman had no trouble defending those runs and also dismissed Sarfaraz.

Sarfaraz Khan

IMAGE: Sarfaraz Khan plays the scoop shot over the wicketkeeper for a four. Photograph: BCCI

Harbhajan gave CSK a dream start with the ball as he registered a double wicket maiden including the two wickets -- that of Chris Gayle and Mayank Agarwal.

Ravindra Jadeja (4-0-24-0) and Imran Tahir (4-0-20-0) also helped CSK put the brakes on the rival batsmen in the middle overs. They, along with Harbhajan, conceded only 61 runs in 12 overs even as the required run-rate kept mounting.

Kuggeleijn did not start very well, being hit for a six off his very first ball, but did well to finish with 2 for 37.

Harbhajan struck a huge blow to rivals by dismissing the Gayle, having him caught behind by Dhoni for 5 in the second over.

IMAGE: Chennai Super Kings' players celebrate the dismissal of Chris Gayle. Photograph: BCCI

Two balls later, he had Mayank Agarwal, caught by du Plessis at long-on with the batsman going for a big hit.

In the 13th over, Rahul's missed sweep saw Dhoni flick the ball on to the stumps but the bails didn't come off though the LED lights lit up, ensuring the batsman survived despite being short of his crease.

The century partnership for the third wicket between Rahul and Sarfaraz was a productive one but they failed to get going at the end as CSK cruised to victory.

Ravichandran Ashwin

IMAGE: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates the wicket of Suresh Raina. Photograph: BCCI

Earlier, du Plessis hit a fine half-century up the order while Dhoni and Ambati Rayudu provided the late flourish to help Chennai Super Kings post a competitive 160 for three.

Playing his first match of IPL-12, du Plessis stroked a fluent 54 off 38 balls with the help of two fours and four hits over the fence and together with Shane Watson (26) added 56 runs for the first wicket after the hosts had elected to bat.

CSK slowed down in the middle overs before Dhoni's late hitting at the end pushed them towards a healthy total. The CSK skipper hit a quickfire 37 not out from 23 balls, putting on an unbeaten stand of 60 from 30 balls for the fourth wicket with Ambati Rayudu, who made 21 not out from 15 balls.

IMAGE: Faf du Plessis hits a boundary. Photograph: BCCI

Thanks to Dhoni and Rayudu, CSK scored 52 runs in the last five overs to take the total past the 150-run mark on a slow wicket at the MA Chidambaram Stadium.

Kings XI skipper Ravichandran Ashwin was the best bowler for the visitors, picking up three wickets for 23 runs from his four overs. He was on a hat-trick in the 14th over after getting du Plessis and Suresh Raina off successive deliveries.

CSK got off to a blistering start as Du Plessis, playing his first match of the season and Watson, took the attack to the Kings XI bowlers.

The two raised the team's fifty in the sixth over providing CSK its best start of the tournament so far. While Watson was all muscle, delivering some hefty blows, Du Plessis hit a six with a cheeky paddle scoop off Mohammed Shami, over the fine leg fence.

IMAGE: Kings XI Punjab's players celebrate the wicket of Shane Watson. Photograph: BCCI

Taking his spot at the top of the order in place of a misfiring Rayudu, du Plessis showed intent from the start and hit two sixes, one each off Shami and Andrew Tye to set the tone for CSK's innings.

Watson fell against the run of play, attempting a big shot off Ashwin to be well caught by Sam Curran at deep midwicket.

Raina (17), who came in at No 3, strung together an useful 44-run partnership with du Plessis, who kept the scoreboard ticking with a mix of attacking shots and judicious running between the wickets.

The partnership was broken when du Plessis perished while going for a big hit off Ashwin, caught at long-on by David Miller and then a ball later the off-spinner cleaned up Raina as the batsman went for a slog sweep.

CSK made three changes to their playing XI from the previous match, bringing in Du Plessis, Harbhajan Singh and Scott Kuggeleijn for Dwayne Bravo, Mohit Sharma and Shardul Thakur.  Kings XI made two changes bringing in Chris Gayle and Andrew Tye for Hardus Viljoen and Mujeeb ur Rahman respectively.

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